GreenGreenerGreenest – Earth Day Every Day Part Five

April 17, 2014 at 2:45 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

GreenGreenerGreenestTitle: Green Greener Greenest

Author: Lori Bongiorno

Publisher: Perigee (Penguin)

Genre: Nature/Organic Living

Length: 310 pages

Written by a journalist and freelance writer, GreenGreenerGreenest is a concise but thorough way to get up to date information and advice on how to handle the green movement in your life.

This is a handy reference book that should be on the shelf of every self-proclaimed hippie, home owner, or human being.  Yes, it’s that useful and that important.

There’s so much information out there about how to live an eco-friendly life, and so many opinions on which way is correct.  GreenGreenerGreenest takes all the advice, all the information, and categorizes it for you so you can select which option works for your life and budget.  It helps people see clear cut options for how to go as green as you can in every area of your existence without shaming you for not being able to do it perfectly in all of them.  Sometimes going green is what you can afford, sometimes being greenest is easiest, either way Bongiorno helps clear the red tape of confusion and spells out what is what.

There are a lot of things discussed that I already knew about, things I thought everyone probably knows.  But there are twice as many things that I read that I had never given a second thought to.  For instance, I had no idea you could get reusable menstrual pads, not sure why it didn’t occur to me, but it didn’t.  It’s the greener option.  (Green being using chlorine free and chemical free ones made by companies like Seventh Generation.)  My response to that was similar to my response to Merriweather of Foraging Texas cooking June bugs for breakfast – I’m not that hippie yet.  Bongiorno makes me feel like that’s ok.  I can choose a greenest option in another category to make up for it.

Which I do in my house, little did I know.  We have ripped out all our carpets and have concrete flooring.  Mostly because we’re poor and concrete floors are cheap – your foundation is already there whether you like it or not.  I already knew carpets weren’t the best for your health (dust, dust mites, allergens, dirt, overall ick), but I hadn’t thought of it as “green” living.  We live with area rugs we can remove from the house to clean.  Area rugs last longer and keep you healthier… and apparently is better for the environment as most carpeting is made with petroleum products.

Food and Beverages, Personal Care, Babies and Children, Transportation, and more, Bongiorno covers it all, and provides links and websites when helpful.  Love it.

earth joel

Photograph by Joel Robison

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Earth Day Every Day 2014 – Part One

April 13, 2014 at 1:27 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Spring time… the sun is out, the animals are about, it’s time for spring cleaning and for our family to start hitting the trails every day again. It also means April is here, and so my environmental awareness is in high gear. Earth Day and Arbor Day means Earth Day events at the bookstores and local libraries. It also means I start seeing my favorite color (green) plastered all over displays, and books with pretty leafy covers come out of the woodwork.  Thus begins the Earth Day reading highlight reel.

The Green BookTitle: The Green Book

Authors: Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen

Publisher: Three Rivers Press

Genre: Nature – Environmental Conservation & Protection

Length: 201 pages

This is a handy little book that is easy to read and full of celebrity pep talks for going green. The writers have pointed out a lot of easy to remember ways to readjust your existing lifestyle to recycle more and waste less. I liked it.

It was published in 2007, so some of the information feels a little outdated.  It also gets a little repetitive for those who have the ability to apply one concept to multiple aspects of their life, but it’s a good little book nonetheless.

My favorite tidbit from this book – being a cyclist – is this:

“Try to recycle your old bicycle tires and inner tubes instead of throwing them away. You’ll prevent about two pounds of rubber from being landfilled and may help provide materials for a new handbag, a pair of hiking boots, or even a bike path itself. If one in fourteen American cyclists were to recycle his or her bicycle tires each year, the rubber saved could pave the current route of the Tour de France.”

Worth checking out from the library or downloading to an e-reader.  The only time I could see wanting a physical copy would be for your child’s library – and even the authors think you should buy these books used.

joel-robinson-surreal-photography-7This photograph is a Joel Robison piece.  I love all his work, it has been awhile since I’ve shared it, though.  However, some of his earthy pieces seem extremely appropriate this time of year as we’re reminded to enjoy our world and treat it kindly.  Click the image to visit his blog.

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Great Books to Read Outside With Kids

March 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

Weekly Low Down on Kids Books – March 12, 2013

loraxTitle:The Lorax

Author: Dr. Seuss

You know you’ve read The Lorax a few too many times when your two year old steps outside and says, “Look Mommy, the trees,” then breathes deep and continues, “they smell like butterfly milk!”

The Lorax is an oldie but a goodie.  It follows the tale of the Once-ler and how he destroyed all the trees for the sake of industrialism.  Ignoring the warnings from The Lorax, the delightfully curmudgeonous beast who speaks for the trees, all that is left of a once beautiful land is a small truffula seed.

The Lorax is a fantastic way to enlighten your kiddo to the environmentalist ideals and introduce them to be mindful of their world.  We love reading it on the porch swing and inhaling the sweet smell of “butterfly milk.”

Wild_about_book-330Title: Wild About Books

Author: Judy Siera

Illustrations: Marc Brown

Follow the tale of bookmobile librarian Molly McGrew introduces all the animals at the zoo to the wonderful world of reading.

“By reading aloud from the good Dr. Seuss,

She quickly attracted a mink and a moose,

A wombat, an oryx, a lemur, a lynx,

Eight elephant calves, and a family of skinks.”

Kiddo likes to find all the animals mentioned in the story illustrated out on the page.  To the right of this segment, you can find Molly McGrew in a chair reading from The Cat in the Hat.

Later, the animals discover that they like books so much, they even start writing them!  The Insects dive in with poetry and the scorpion offers “stinging reviews.”

We read this one outside on the porch a lot, but we also read this before bed at night too.  If you don’t have a copy, check out your local Half Price Books, I purchased mine off a generous stack in the kids section at the Humble store.  No guarantees that you’ll find one too, but it’s worth a shot.

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Even More Earth Day Excitement with Ian Somerhalder

April 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm (The Whim) (, , , , , , )

As I’ve previously mentioned, working for Half Price Books over the years has made me very Earth Day conscious.  Even more than that, its made me even more Earth Day Every Day aware.  In additon to that, its made me pay a little more attention to the world around me, more specifically pop culture.  Kids are reading Vampire Diaries? See what they’re filling their minds with and what you can offer them if there aren’t any copies to sell.  Oh, the fad is being turned into a show? Check it out and see if its any good.  Maintaining a book blog and networking with Twitter? Be sure you’re following people who have the same interests as you.

All of these scenarios led me to following Ian Somerhalder on Twitter.  I’m not a huge fan being THAT fan, unless of course its of a writer.  I have plenty of author love for people like Tanya Egan Gibson and Jane Austen, but if you haven’t noticed the latter is dead and the former is a bit too sweet and humble to be basking in worldwide limelight any time soon.  (That being said, you should totally go buy her book How To Buy a Love of Reading.)  But joining a hero worship bandwagon of an actor is not usually my deal.  Yet, Ian Somerhalder just has a way of keeping you hooked…

1. He’s an amazing actor.  So amazing that in Rules of Attraction, my husband and I really thought he was gay in real life.  And despite his gorgeous face, I completely forgot about him being pretty in Lost.

2. He does cool things with his money.  He loves the environment and the world and has set up a foundation called IS Foundation. No naturalist, environmentalist, earth day extraordinaire could deny that this is a pretty cool thing for someone to do: http://www.isfoundation.com/.

3. He’s from the South. Being a Texan, I fully appreciate one’s dedication to his/her roots, even more so if those roots were once part of the Confederacy.

4. He runs a family business with his brother.  I love small businesses, and though this business probably wont stay small because Ian Somerhalder is already famous, I love the idea behind it…

And that brings us to what this little article is really about: BOB… Built of Barnwood.

Ian Somerhalder and his brother started a business in Mississippi creating accent pieces, furniture, and all sorts of other artsy crafts out of reclaimed barn wood.  It feeds into his desire to help the planet by reusing and recycling as well as (I am assuming) utilizing skills and tapping into other passions he got from his father, Robert, who was a building contractor (information from imdb.com).  Go check out the site and see the special Earth Day promotion: http://www.builtofbarnwood.com/

The only thing cooler than finding this site and this business on Earth Day and sharing it with you all, would be getting an interview with Ian Somerhalder himself and finding out the name of his favorite author.  After all, this is supposed to be a book blog.

More Posts About Earth Day

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A Walk in the Woods with Bill Bryson

April 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

A Walk in the Woods makes me desperately want to go hiking. This was my first Bryson, I find the author surprisingly witty and fun, although perhaps a bit truthfully cruel in the beginning. I have to admit, prior to reading this I knew very little about the Appalachian Trail – it was a trail I had heard of but didn’t really have a clue about its length (Georgia to Maine, 2200 miles), its fame, or its history. This is the perfect blend of traveling memoir and a true survival/ adventure story, and I was completely captured by the weather conditions, the terrain, the fellow hikers, and the long nights in cold shelters. It’s definitely an adventure I’d like to take, even if it means I only finish 39% of the trail like Bryson himself.

Buy here:http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=anakawhims-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0307279464

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