Saturday, December 5, 2009

Green book review - Whole Green Catalog: 1000 Best Things for You and the Earth

Today we review a green book that is catalog, which is following the path of the original Whole Earth Catalog.
It is a unique book and not just because it's 400 pages long. It is the ultimate guide for green choices.

Our book today is:

Whole Green Catalog: 1000 Best Things for You and the Earth

Authors: Michael W. Robbins (Author), Renee Loux (Introduction), Bill McKibben (Foreword), Wendy Palitz (Designer)

Michael Robbins is the former editor-in-chief of Audubon magazine. He has written books and articles for numerous publications including New York, Discover, Mother Jones, Plenty and Popular Science.
Wendy Palitz is an art director who has worked for New York, Self, Travel Holiday, and Workman Publishing. She has designed books for Houghton Mifflin, Stewart Tabori & Chang, and National Geographic Books.
Renée Loux, author of Easy Green Living, is the host of the TV show Easy Being Green.

Publisher: Rodale Books

Published on:
September 2009

What this book is about? (from the book's website) Think of the choices we can make—do make—every day as small steps, in either a positive or a negative direction. Each choice can work to benefit you, me, and our whole community—and ultimately, our global environment.

How can we make those right choices? One at a time, with the help of the Whole Green Catalog. We’ve convened thought leaders in every category—from home furnishings and appliances to clothing and children’s toys, from pets and beauty products to travel and investing— to share their authoritative tips, reviews, and advice. To share with you a wealth of green information and green ideas.

Just a few years ago, there were very few “green” products on store shelves and little or no “green” components in many of these categories; they simply didn’t exist or couldn’t compete in the marketplace. The sheer size of the Whole Green Catalog illustrates the diversity of possibility, discovery, and potential, answering such questions as: Can one go green and save money? Can people reduce their carbon footprint if they are business travelers? Is there an environmentally-friendly disposable diaper?

This catalog is a browser book. Like the original Whole Earth Catalog, which helped to define the credo of its age, this is a resource guide to a special kind of life: then, an alternative lifestyle and now, a sustainable one. It is designed for people to peruse, consult, find, and choose. And it is full of surprises and delights—on every page. Flip through, and you’ll find that it opens many doors.

Beautifully packaged with over 1,000 photographs and illustrations, and manufactured with 100 percent post-consumer waste materials, this volume is the perfect gift for anyone who cares about the future of the planet.

What we think about it?
This book has an ambitious goal - becoming the "green bible" of the 21th century by providing readers all the information and resources they need to live sustainable life. The book is definitely impressive - 400 pages makes it one of the most extensive resources for a greener lifestyle you can currently find, with 20 sections covering everything from food and gardening to electronics and the workplace.

The book rightly mentions that only a couple of years ago the number of "green" options you had in front of you was very limited. Today the situation is completely different and you have many choices to choose from. The problem is that many times we're not aware of these options and don't know or just too lazy to start looking for them. This book is supposed to be the solution for this problem, providing ideas, resources and tips in a very thorough and interesting way.

Just to give an example, in the food section, you can find tips on how to choose eggs, where to look for online resources on seafood, information on milk alternatives, recommendations on kitchen appliances and so on. This diverse information is also presented in a very inviting way, which makes you want to do the right thing.

The only question left is of course how relevant this book will be in a couple of years, or even in a year, in such a dynamic market that offer new options almost every day. It looks like the authors took it into consideration and tried to make sure a big chunk of the book will be valuable even for the long run, as well as adding a website ( where updates can be added. Still, it's not a simple challenge, especially with such an extensive and ambitious catalog and only time will tell how well it handles it.

Last but not least, I would like to mention that the book was printed using Cascade Rolland Enviro100 School book text paper, which contains FSC certified 100% post-consumer fiber.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a great and valuable gift for the holidays for someone who wants to go green but don't know where to start, or already started this journey and needs more tools and resources to get further, this is your book!

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book from the publisher.

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on Eco-Libris website's green resources section.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!