The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life : Simple Measures That Benefit You and the Place You Live
by Nell Newman, published by 2003-03-11 (Villard)
Buy now from Amazon.com for $15.95
Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 41859
It's fairly obvious that one can't be a ‘perfect' environmentalist. But that's okay. Perfection isn't the goal. A good life is. And a good life has as much to do with your intent as with the end result." -from the Introduction
The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life is the essential book for those of us who can't live in an organic hemp tepee but do care about our quality of life, global warming, clean water, and disappearing resources.
Nell Newman shows you how to do what is within easy reach. Along with realistic, practical advice, she shows how and why living a more environmentally conscious life benefits you and your immediate surroundings. In addition to recycling and reusing, the book covers consumer-related steps such as
• how buying and eating organic food supports small farms (and tastes better, too)
• how you can buy clean power through your regular power company
• which long-distance telephone companies offer competitive pricing and service while returning a portion of their profits to environmental and educational organizations
• where to buy everything-from pots and pans to pet food-so that you can "vote with your dollar" and feel good about your purchases
Packed with profiles of fascinating-and sometimes zany-people and a heavy dose of sanity, this book is organized according to the way you really live, making it easy to identify what areas of change are viable for you. A resource directory of publications, retailers, groups, and associations is included in the back of the book.
Nell Newman is the daughter of actor Paul Newman and actress Joanne Woodward. Paul Newman grew up in Ohio's Amish country and Nell's grandparents no doubt gave her inspiration to appreciate nature. Nell went to college to study our precious environment, which probably accounts for her book's 26 pages of extensive resource listings at the end of each chapter.
Nell's research examines several facets of contemporary life such as food, energy, transportation, communications, investing, shopping, pet care, household cleaning, and gardening. She offers practical solutions to make changes that promote a greener, cleaner lifestyle for those of us who want to make a difference to this planet that we've been entrusted with: Buy organic, local, or fair-traded foods; Drive more fuel efficient cars; Learn about the "Green Power" energy options available in several states; Recycle old cell phones; and Buy ecologically sound stock investments. Before buying imports from Communist China, Nell advises to "Think before you buy, you might be reincarnated as a Third-World laborer".
In short, making drastic changes to a greener lifesytle is something few of us can or even want to do. Nell's book is chock full of little ways through which we can make a difference, and when you tally these up, they amount to something!I dont know how I heard about this book but it is a fantastic gem.I had enjoyed the newman's salad dressing and the cookies (chocolate chip yum!) but never realized that Nell Newman was such a great writer along with being environmentally conscious. From the book I learned ways to ivest socially, clean my house with healthy non toxic products, and how to be efficient while helping the earth. My next car will definately be a hybrid! She acknowledges that she is not an activist, but more so a contributer to making this earth a little better then when she came onto it. I like also that she included a section on healthy pets since I am obsessed with my pooch.
This book is so simple and staight forward, and she has become a sort of role model in her ways. She is not interested in profit but that we learn the value and importance of personal and eco health. She even recommends to pass this book on then order another and kill more trees (note though this book is made of recylced paper)!This book provides a good introduction to living a more environmentally friendly life. It covers the basics of eating, transportation, energy and water issues, investing, cleaning, shopping, gardening and pet care.
Each chapter is sprinkled with stories of organic farmers, environmentalists, or eco-friendly companies and how they are making a difference in the world. There are tips to help a person choose the most environmentally friendly way to do something. For example, in the chapter about pet care there is the story of a golden retriever with hip dysplasia who was helped immensely by a change in diet. Included are ways we can improve the diet of our pets by adding organic and fresh foods to our pet???s diet such as apples, pears, melon balls, carrots and even a recipe for an organic carrot juice.
Throughout the book the authors emphasize that buying products locally is best because it takes resources to move items across the country. Also emphasized is thinking more about where things come from and how they were produced. Companies that use organically grown materials and fair labor practices are emphasized. Included are many resources and web sites throughout as well as a bibliography and 25-page resource directory at the end with names, address, e-mails, and web sites of companies and organizations that correspond with the chapters of the book.Nell Newman has produced what appears to be a lovingly written appeal to live the "organic good life". I can only imagine that she's preaching to the choir here - there seems to be little that would draw in anyone who isn't already convinced that one should shop sustainably, minimize reliance on private transportation and save water.
Her suggestions are blameless - there's nothing to criticize in the ideas themselves. I just wish that she would have pushed the envelop a bit and worked outside the comfort zone of mass market cliche to try and reach those not already convinced - maybe Susie Suburban who buys some salad dressing already knows to recycle but isn't familiar with other environmentally sound measures - such as rain barrels or car shares.
Still, the text has its charms. Stories of Nell's Ma and Pa (Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman to you and me) remind the reader that this is a real person writing, one who truly believes what she says and has a stake in the information she offers. Most recommended is the essay on generosity found in the last chapter - I don't know if it was ever reprinted elsewhere, but it should be required reading for every American.I think the other reviews caught my key points - what I like best about this book is the positive "can do" attitude, and the fresh ideas. It's layed out well and is up-to-date with our lifestyles. It also has worst offenders lists so you know where to focus in and "10 things you can do" lists in different subject areas.
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