December 01, 2008

Green Goes With Everything


Cancer is dramatic enough. When it comes to my body and the environment, I want the least amount of enviro-paranoia and vegan-girl-scout-pep-rallying as possible. That is exactly what I like about Sloan Barnett’s new book Green Goes With Everything.

The Pros
In this basic primer on becoming a green consumer, Sloan is no Julia Butterfly and doesn’t expect you to be one either. She present steps that help you phase into a greener life, and tosses in plenty of guilt-free phrases like “when possible.”

I don’t need much convincing to green my life; I am a young adult cancer patient and my husband is an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Still, simple tasks, like swapping out the carcinogenic plastics in my kitchen and buying glass food storage containers, have remained on my to-do list for two months. Sloan presents simple information from credible scientific sources. She motivated me to finally run to the store this past Friday and load up on Pyrex containers.

The Cons
Green Goes With Everything reads like a Scholastics fourth grade book and is packed with a plethora of infomercial-like pitches for Shaklee, an enviro-friendly household cleanser company owned by Sloan Barnett’s husband.

Sloan doesn’t do the math to back up her numerous claims that her enviro-solutions are affordable for everyday people. It is hard for me to just take her word on it: Two years ago I read about Sloan in an Earth Day article in the Style Section the New York Times. She was hosting a “Tupperware-style” Shaklee house party in her Upper East Side mansion with a guest list including Rockefeller, Hermes, and Trump. My math and their math have a different bottom line.

Green Goes With Everything paints participation in environmental policy making as a hippy, street-corner rally, discrediting the change that we can make as concerned citizens. Fact is, if we all became more active in effectively petitioning government entities to regulate carcinogenic materials, you and I would not need to work so hard to detox our living spaces. That’s not radical. It’s smart.

The Verdict
Read this book. Despite some pitfalls, this sensible, practical guide will help you make healthier choices about the food, air, water, and energy that are in your home. I have signed off on pages of yellow disclaimer slips in the hospital acknowledging that the very treatments that are used to try to cure me may cause secondary cancers. The tips in Sloan’s book may help me lower those odds.

Have you made any simple changes lately to detoxify your home? What were they?

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Comment(s)

  1. Lisa F. Says:
    December 2nd, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    great book review! you should do more of these. You know, with all that free time you have. ;)


  2. swine Says:
    December 2nd, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    I am the son of an 11-year breast cancer survivor. I’ve found your site via your comment left on the NY Times blog entry about eating exclusively organic. Thanks for the great info. on your site here.

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