Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's not easy being green

Yes, yes, ANOTHER review**. I truly have been reading A LOT lately and I feel lucky to have been afforded the opportunity to see some books I might otherwise overlook. (Thanks Mother Talk!) To wit....

I struggle with the whole "Green" thing. I want to recycle, I really do. But I am very lazy. As such, I will gladly separate out recyclables - if you will come to my house and pick them up for me. Well, maybe not YOU personally, but someone. Otherwise, in spite of my good intentions, those bottles and newspapers are going into the trash. I suffer tremendous guilt over this obvious character flaw. If the powers that be here in Candyland would begin a curbside recycling program, I would be the first to stand up and champion it. I would even be willing to PAY MORE for it. *gasp*

So, you see when I saw the opportunity to read Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home by Christopher Gavigan, I saw it as an opportunity to assuage my guilt. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a book that explains how and why the little changes we can make in the way we go about our day-to-day lives can truly affect the health and lives of our children right now. It gives realistic suggestions as to how we can make those changes - what household cleaners we use, the foods we buy, the building materials we use - and does it without getting too preachy.

And best of all, Gavigan states more than once that just making one or two changes in our lives can make a difference. This book isn't expecting us to all trade in our minivans for a Prius, start composting, grow our own foods AND spin flax into linen to make our children's clothes. This book is about people in the real world. REAL moms and dads. Those of us who would like to make the world safe and cleaner for our kids but don't know how. Or at least feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. He explains how buying locally grown foods is healthier (duh) but also, in the long run, is going make the air a little cleaner, because then we won't need to transport produce all over the world. (Which, incidentally, would reduce the demand for fuel and bring down gas prices, but that's another lecture for another day.)

He also discusses one of my favorite (or least favorite!) topics - high fructose corn syrup. If you have ever spent any amount of time with me IRL, you have heard me rail against this evil stuff. And HERE IN THIS BOOK, I have in writing the same stuff I have been telling all of you people. HA! These same friends also look at me like I'm crazy when I insist on buying organic foods and read labels obsessively at the supermarket. It's really just that I love my children much more than they love theirs. *snort* (Please know that that last sentence was dripping with sarcasm. Also, please don't beat me up.)

The book also has contributions from celebrities about how the things they do to be "green." I was awfully skeptical about these. Some are very cool and helpful. Some made me giggle, because COME ON. I will never be Gwyneth Paltrow and make my kids' baby food from organic brown rice and organic carrots that I grew myself. And no, I don't have a Prius and don't plan on it. I have three kids and all their accompanying crap to haul hither and yon. I need my minivan.

But, I did find quite a bit to think about. I do think that I can recommend this book to you. If you are interested, the Healthy Child, Healthy World website is also chock full of suggestions and all kinds of information about living a greener life. In the mean time, I will be writing notes of apology to all of my friends who read my blog. LOVE YA!!

**If you are bugged by the reviews here, I am considering moving all of my reviews to another site where I have already started concurrently posting the last couple of reviews. This way, I can mention the book or product, or whatever, and if you want to her about it, you can pop over. Any thoughts??

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