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Book Review: Wake Up And Smell The Planet, by Grist.org

Guest Author - Arcadia Maximo

Never has a book on going green made me laugh so hard! Last month when I flew to Michigan I used my time on the plane to read an advance copy of this book sent to me by Grist.org. If you are not already familiar with Grist.org, they are a witty (very witty in fact) website dedicated to helping consumers go green without the pretense and smugness that is often associated with the “go green” campaign.

Wake Up And Smell The Planet is a collection of ideas, tips and advice that spans over eight years of exploring environmental issues, in a highly entertaining and informative way. They cleverly use humor to captivate the audience, especially about a topic that is starting to feel a little backlash – green fatigue anyone?

What I like best about this book is the way the chapters are arranged. It basically takes you through your whole day, from your morning shower to the bed you sleep on at night. Also, this book is not gender biased; men as well as women will find the information useful. This is not your typical guilt guide; you’ll be folding over pages, highlighting sentences and placing sticky tabs as you read it! I have read a mountain of books on the subject and most I would not recommend to the average consumer. It is not because they aren’t good books, a lot of them are, but because they are almost like school textbooks, very technical and dry. Grist took into consideration not all its readers are eco-geeks! The artwork on the cover alone is a great indication of what you are going to find on the inside. One of the best things I got out of this book is the end to the big debate for new moms: cloth versus disposable diapers. Read the whole answer starting on page 33 but basically it doesn’t matter….”No one any more can claim the moral high ground on nappies” says Tracey Stewart of the Absorbent Hygiene Products Manufacturers’ Association (page 36).

To make sure you are comprehending what you are reading, they throw in a little pop quiz every now and then, here’s one I liked (page 125):

The most effective way to clean the bathroom is:
A.Shower it with chemicals
B.Scrub-a-dub-dub with vinegar and baking soda
C.Total remodel
D.Um, I’m pretty sure it cleans itself?

If you answered B, call it good and spend the weekend outside. I know people who would have chosen C, therefore this book is a must for them :)!

With the holidays looming nearby, I think this book would make a great gift for the eco-geeks all the way to the eco-phobes in your life. As Grist said, set an example-but in a nonpompous, nonpreachy way- by showing the people you love that living green doesn’t mean changing who you are! (page 168).


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Content copyright © 2014 by Arcadia Maximo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Arcadia Maximo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Farjana Amin for details.

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