Monday, December 14, 2009

Green book review for the holidays - part 2: The book you should bring to eco-shoppers

Today we have our second part on our holidays series, where we review green books that will make great presents this holiday season!

Each book will be dedicated to another group and we today we have a group that is constantly growing - eco-friendly shoppers. And the green book we're recommending to give to eco-shoppers is:

Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products, and Serivces

Author: Adria Vasil
Adria Vasil has been writing the ECOHOLIC column for NOW Magazine since the spring of 2004 and has covered environmental and social justice issues for NOW's news section for eight years. Vasil has a degree in political science and cultural anthropology from the University of Toronto and a degree in magazine journalism from Ryerson. An advocate for the earth, women's issues and human rights since her teens, Vasil has appeared on CTV, MTV Canada, TVO, MuchMusic, Book TV and CBC's Newsworld as well as countless print and radio publications to promote green living.

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.

Published on:
July 2009 (paperback)

What this book is about?
is an eye-opening guide to decoding the green from the greenwashed in the maze of products lining our shelves. Unlike other eco guidebooks, Ecoholic names names and gives you the dirt on what not to buy and why, as well as the dish on the most sustainable food, the greenest clothes, beauty products, home supplies, banking choices, sports gear, kids stuff and much much more. And yes, it will even take the toxins out of your love life. Ecoholic is a witty and indispensable guide to the small eco choices that make the biggest difference. No wonder reviewers have called this "sassy eco-bible" your " sacred text when it comes to making any life decisions."

Why it's a great holiday gift for eco-shoppers?
There are many green guides out there. Some of them are good, some of them aren't so good, but none of the guides I'm familiar with is as thorough and frank as Ecoholic. Adria Vasil's guide is proud in naming names and giving you the dirt on what not to buy and why, and this is a rare quality that makes it a very valuable companion to any green journey, whether you want to buy an eco-friendly laundry detergent or cookware.

There are many people who already take steps to to green up their lifestyle, but are still full with questions and not only about the basics, such what is biodegradable or natural toothpaste mean, but also about the differences between brands and which one is actually better. Ecoholic is the place where they can find these answers.

The book is well organized, divided to subjects (what not to wear, food for thought, outer space and so on), has a very good glossary at the end and even an index to help readers easily find what they're looking for.

Finally, Adria Vasil's writing is nothing but dull. This maze of green information is not easy to master, but she meets this challenge and makes it what looks as almost impossible - accessible, thorough and fun read.

And it doesn't matter if your friend or family member is a beginner or a more advanced eco-shopper - in both cases they'll find this book valuable and an interesting read.

Price: $12.21

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

More on our holidays series:

Green book for parents - The Looking Book

And don't forget that if you're buying a green book, you can
even make your gift greener by adding our holidays special offer to it - trees/stickers and a beautiful holidays gift card made of recycled paper. For further information, please go to

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Green printing tip no. 26: What can we do to reduce the carbon footprint of direct mailing campaigns?

We're back with another tip on our weekly series of green printing tips, where we bring you information on green printing in collaboration with Greg Barber, an experienced eco-friendly printer.

Direct mailing is considered by many a very not sustainable marketing channel, as it can be very wasteful and have a significant carbon footprint, while at the same time it generates many times poor results. Today, in a tip dedicated to the Hopenhagen campaign, Greg is offering another option that combines greater effectiveness and a reduced carbon footprint.

What can we do to reduce the carbon footprint of direct mailing campaigns?

Tip #26

I attended a sustainable meeting at NYU last week and came away with a few good Green tips on direct marketing - how to make it effective and minimize its footprint at the same time.

There is no secret here and it's actually quite simple - if you look at your clients and really decide to target what it is they really want, you can create a direct mail program that will give you better
results, be environmental, and save trees, paper, energy, water and money.

First step: Make your list of names targeted to these best clients, or the ones that can do you the most. Look at their history of their buying. What did they buy, and when did they buy, and how much did they spend? Make a new print campaign that targets those wants and desires.

It's all about personalizing your marketing. Personalize by name, products, time frame, and do a mailing that might be 20% of your present mailing list, but targeted to their past history of buying.

Second step: Even though you already eliminate waste by sending this printing only to past customers, don't forget to use 100% recycled paper that is 100% processed chlorine free for the materials you're sending.

Third step: You can also an email to this targeted audience on a second run, that will not only help you to minimize your campaign's footprint, but can also be an helpful tool to estimate the effectiveness of your campaign and even further personalize your database for future campaigns.

Personalized marketing brings in 5 times better results. One telecommunications company I saw the results of, did a 49 per cent return by doing their homework. They knew the people they mailed to were ready for an upgrade. They showed a picture of what the present phone was, of each recipient, and then showed 3 new models that might interest that client. They also showed the nearest store to each person they mailed to.

The national average for sucessful responses is under 1%, and the company I am referring to, had a 49% response rate. They mailed to a fraction of their names, but did so well that the fullfillment department asked that the program be stopped until they caught up.

So, this firm not only made good business and prsented impressive ROI (return on investment) but saved trees, paper, water, and the carbon footprint was reduced for the people they sent to, by telling them where the nearest store was.

For additional information, please call Greg Barber at (973) 224-1132, or email

Also, if you have any questions you would like us to address in future tips please email us to .

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #25 -
Can you Green your print advertising?

Green Printing Tip #24 - Can we be Greener in our use of Inter Office Envelopes, Presentation Folders, and Outgoing Envelopes?

Green Printing Tip #23 - Are there inexpensive Green papers for brochures?

You can find links to all the tips we published so far on our green printing tips page, which is part of our green printing tools & resources.

You can also find further valuable information on Greg Barber Company's website -


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing!