Green Goes with Everything, by Sloan Barnett

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Author’s website
Publication date – September 23, 2008

Thoughts: Not going to do a “back of the book” intro to this today, because what this book is about is fairly obvious. The green revolution is upon us, and this is another book filled with info about the toxic products in our lives and how we can make little changes to our lifestyles in order to make us more healthy, and the planet more healthy along with it.

I have to admit, this book did have some good advice and good information in it. It was very America-centric, which is good for Americans, but bad for anybody who happens to live outside America when they read this book. I have plenty of research to do now to find out if Canada has pretty much the same view on chemicals and additives that America does. I know we don’t allow bovine growth hormone to be used anymore, but beyond that, I have to admit that I have no idea what my country’s green regulations are.

Green Goes With Everything was broken up into easy-to-understand sections relating to the products and processes covered, from household cleaners to makeup to clothing, which prevented a whole lot of jumping around that I’ve seen in other books. It also had a handy listing at the back for companies that make green versions of a lot of the everyday products that we use, so as to give us a little more choice in the matter, which I’m quite thankful for.

However (and isn’t there always a ‘however’?) this book felt like a huge advertisement for Shaklee products. Which I wouldn’t necessarily mind so much if the author didn’t have a personal stake in flogging Shaklee products. The company may make some good green alternatives to common products, but when the company is owned by the author’s husband, I really have to ask myself how much she was recommending the products because she’d feel bad not recommending them, or because she gets to benefit from the potential increased sales. They may work just fine, but since her motives are suspect, now so are mine. I don’t like branding being thrown in my face like that. It makes me take the advertising less seriously. Minus points on that one.

This book also seems to be heavily geared towards women rather than men, or women and men together. Since it was written by a woman, I can’t fault her too much, since most people tend to write what they know and for whom they know, and most people tend to generally have a majority of same-gendered friends. But this struck a chord with me and made me wonder if the proponents of green living are, as a majority, female rather than male.

Either way, this made for some pretty odd advice. Like throw away your chemical cleaners right now, but even though your makeup might be dangerous too, yeah, just keep using that stuff and replace one item a week with a green alternative from now on. Is makeup actually that important to women? I understand that chemical cleaner are more dangerous all around than foundation cream or lipstick, but it still seems odd to say, “By the way, some lipstick has been shown to have dangerously high amounts of lead, so keep using it until it’s gone, but if you can, try to find a green alternative, but if not, meh, that’s not so bad.” Minus points again on skewed priorities.

But if you can get past the rampant advertising for her husband’s company, you’ll find a lot of useful information and advice in this book. Though it has its problems, I can’t deny that this was a helpful book and an informative read.

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