Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Big Green Purse - Take Two

I'll admit it. The first time I heard of Diane MacEachern and The Big Green Purse, I assumed it was another one of those "buy your way out of climate change" greenwashing books. I doubted that I would ever read that book. My list was simply too full with "serious green reads."

Boy, was I wrong. I finally picked up The Big Green Purse last month after reading positive reviews on it from Beth at Fake Plastic Fish and Joce, a guest reviewer here at The Blogging Bookworm. Neither Beth or Joce were the type to buy into the "green consumption" thing so I figured I *might* have been a bit hasty in my assumptions. And was I ever!

The Big Green Purse is one of the most comprehensive, best organized guides I've ever come across - and I've come across quite a few - on personal environmentalism. Ms. MacEachern clearly and carefully sets forth how we can reduce consumption, make our voices heard, and wield real power with those purchases that we choose to make. She covers everything from beauty products to lawn care to food and advocates borrowing, renting, buying used, cutting back, or making do instead of simply buying new. In each section, she debunks myths, explains relative impacts, and gives a variety of tips from light to dark green.

I will admit that, after a year and a half of taking every green step I could think of, I didn't learn a whole lot from this book (though I did pick up a couple tidbits). What I wouldn't have given to have read this book a year ago! I would have saved endless hours of research and head-scratching by simply following, one by one, the steps Ms. MacEachern so thoughtfully lays out.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to those interested in embarking on a greener life as well as for those further down the path looking for a few more ideas or a better understanding of the changes they can make. Even for those who are "deep green", I'd say pick up the book and leaf through it. I guarantee you'll walk away learning something worthwhile.


Anonymous said...

Well, you know what they say about judging books by their covers. I think the cover was maybe supposed to be tongue in cheek, but because there are so many light-weight go green books out there, it just seemed like another one of them.

Anyway, now that we've met Diane, we know she's tough as nails when it comes to the environment. Diane, are you reading this?


Diane MacEachern said...

Ah, that cover... Honestly, what I still like about it is its two-fold message: You can use your purse to make a difference; and eco-friendly living is good for your purse, too. I'm hoping to inspire women to use their purse power, as well as address one of the biggest obstacles women face in making green choices: the perception that it's going to cost them more money. Thanks for the reviews! Diane

Green Bean said...

FPF: Totally true about Diane. After meeting her, I had to read the book because she was in now way a lightweight.

Jam: Your review was the final push. It was worth it. Thank you!

Diane: After reading the book, I totally get the cover. I love that the book is completely geared toward women and is both hard-hitting AND gentle. I can think of a number of people who might get it as a Christmas gift this year.

Kale for Sale said...

I've dismissed this book for whatever reason - I'm not excited about how to books, the cover is frou frou, I'm busy with other books, take your pick. But a comment by the author! That's the best recommendation of all. Thank you.