Book Review: The Little Green Book Of Shopping

The Little Green Book Of Shopping: 250 Tips For An Eco Lifestyle, by Diane Millis

This book could have been an insufferably self-righteous disaster, as is not uncommon in this segment of books, but the book ended up being at least somewhat interesting because the author has an awareness of the complexity in living an eco-friendly lifestyle. The author, for example, strives to balance lowering one’s environmental impact when it comes to the transportation of goods with the desire as well to support the agricultural industry of poorer areas of the world that can greatly benefit from long-distance trade to wealthier areas. To be sure, most of this book comes with familiar assumption that its readers are affluent readers looking to engage in virtue signaling, which is automatically going to cost it a little in terms of its worth as a book. All the same, there is still something of worth in the way that the author grapples with the dilemmas of trying to be a good person in a world that is fallen and evil like our own. And if a reader who does not share many of the same assumptions regarding the panicking over global warming and climate change nor has a high degree of favor for what is commonly called social justice can find something in this book to appreciate, it will probably be viewed with at least some favor by a wide variety of readers.

This book is a short book of between 100 and 150 pages that contains about two tips to a page on how the author thinks one can live an eco-friendly lifestyle. For example, the author urges that people ask about the sources of their products (188) as well as how their products were made (187). Similarly, the author urges the reader to get the best that they can afford (25) as well as to remember the 4 r’s of recharge, repair, refill, and reuse (27). The author is also fond of the energy efficiency of microwaves (113) and laptops (93) and also urges the reader to use inkjet printers (94) and recycle ink cartridges (95). Similarly, the author encourages the reader to shop second hand and vintage products (30) as well as to buy local and small (31). The author seems to think that the reader can and should support a local milkman (154) as well as get wine that is naturally corked (156). There are tips relating to nails (202), skincare (203), and lipstick (204) and even engage in car-rental schemes (232) and storing green cycles (229). These and other tips provide at least a bit of interest.

There are a great many people who view environmentalism as allowing for certain things to be focused on to the exclusion of others. This author, though, assumes that a reader may irrigate crops but want to know how to do that in a way that minimizes waste of water while getting the benefits of irrigation–so there are tips about drip irrigation. Similarly, the author assumes that the reader may own pets, and so there are tips about the importance of getting rid of pet waste in such a way that it proves to be biodegradable. To be sure, the approach of the author is not one that will be supported by everyone, as there are some who consider themselves to be purists who view pet parents and farmers and those who support long-distance trade, regardless of the justifications, with a sense of disdain and contempt. For those who find the author’s sense of realism to be one that well worth praising, this is the sort of book that is easy to appreciate, and even someone who is not necessarily a fan of the author’s worldview can have something good to say about some of the author’s comments and tips, and that is the sign of a book that is written at least somewhat well.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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