The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to be Fabulously Green, by Starre Varten, brims over with enthusiasm for green living. Filled with tips, facts, resources and advice, it is a terrific primer book for green living. If it has any fault, however, it is that Varten attempts too many topics in one book and cannot possibly cover everything needed for green living. Later in the review, I will recommend a couple good books that cover more completely what the book doesn't. In the introduction, Varten writes: 'Just because we are facing a coming crises with serious repercussions for us and for future generations, doesn't mean that we can't still enjoy ourselves, look good, dress well, and even have a great time!...Being an Eco Chick meand doing good while having a good time doing it! It is not about depriving yourself, but about rethinking how we live our lives, and living better--more creatively, more passionately, and more consciously.' Part I is called 'All About You, baby!' It includes personal care products and what chemicals to avoid and products the author likes. Next is a section on fashion. Varten takes us through the process of how a pair of traditional jeans is produced and how eco-unfriendly the process is. Sustainable fabrics are recommended. Chapter 3 is on accessories, including the shoes and jewelry. DIY and vintage ideas are suggested. She also illustrates a couple before and after looks using conventional then eco-friendly accessories. Part II is called 'Your Nest.' In the home, for the kitchen she recommends cookware, getting rid of plastic containers and vermin. For the living areas, paint and floors are discussed. The bedroom reviews eco-friendly bed linens, keeping air quality good and more. Under cleaning supplies, Varten has some good simple ingredients and recipes and products to use for particular tasks, like clogged drains. Under energy, she reviews appliances and lightbulbs. Under food, organic and local food is encouraged, as is becoming a vegetarian (or part time one.) There is a fun section on parties, which includes drink recipes, like the waterberry martini . Under gardening, she gives some tips on houseplants and composting. There are recipes for making pet food. Here I would supplement Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. The home is a huge section and this book could cover a lot more ground. (I'm an interior designer, what can I tell you!) Anyway, I recommend the award winning book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet, to supplement Eco Chick. Part III is 'That Crazy World out There' and includes eco-friendly travel and greening at work and school. There are resources for more information and reading at the end. Throughout the book are also resources for products that is very handy. Highly recommend!
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