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Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living Paperback – June 1, 1999
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This book represents the culmination of her search for a more sustainable lifestyle. Taking her cue from an earlier time, Berthold-Bond, former editor in chief of Green Alternatives for Health and Environment, offers more than 800 simple and practical alternatives to common household toxins, covering everything from skin care to gardening. And the good news is that adopting her suggestions and formulas isn't hard at all. "Mixing up face creams or wood stain isn't much different than cleaning the windows with vinegar, soap, and water instead of using Brand Name X, or making a cake with flour, eggs and milk instead of buying a mix," see asserts. "With a few simple staples we can clean our houses, wash our hair, rid the dog's bed of fleas, and do many other things as well." If you have your doubts, here is her formula for metal polish:
3 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon flour, and enough white distilled vinegar to make a paste. Scoop the paste onto a clean sponge, and polish the metal clean. Rinse with hot water and buff dry.
Sure, these days it's literally impossible to lead a life that is completely toxin-free. But you can significantly reduce your exposure, and picking up a copy Better Basics for the Home is a great way to get started.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Better Basics" is far easier to use and much better organized and written than "Clean & Green." It is set up in logical sections according to the products' uses. The index is very good. You can find a recipe quickly, although I would suggest you read through the book once and get a feel for how to go about things. Also, one of the best aspects is the "Sources and Resources" section near the back. If you live in an area without health food stores, woods or land suitable for growing your own herbs, then this will be essential for your ability to find ingredients to make your own green household products.
This book is also suitable for the beginner green cleaner. Most of the recipes, once you have the correct ingredients, are very easy to make and quick to put together. That being said, this book is also for people who are really serious about green cleaning, personal hygiene, pest control and other aspects of running a household. I say that because some of the ingredients used in many of the recipes are costly if you have to buy them instead of gathering them from your yard or a nearby wooded area. Also, essential oils - literally essential in green cleaning! - are expensive. (A little goes a loooong way, though.Read more ›
Keeping in mind that I think this is a wonderful book, and well worth the cost, there are a few things I'd like to point out. I found that a lot of the skincare recipes were geared for people with dry skin. This is understandable considering the author's dry/sensitive skin, but I wanted to let other readers know to expect this. I tried many of the basic lotion, cream, and soap formulas and found that many of them felt way too greasy for my skin-especially if they contained beeswax. There is a small section with recipes for people with oily skin. That was helpful, but the skincare recipes in general are probably a little more suited for dry skin.
I also found that some of the yields seem a little off. (This is more so for the skincare recipes than the cleaning recipes.) I follow all of the instructions very carefully, but still end up with yields that are sometimes significantly off. You can tell just by reading some of the recipes that it's unlikely they could yield what they say. Also, some of the recipes for the cleaning products seemed a little repetitive. (Not a significant enough difference between some of them to warrant separate recipes.Read more ›
If you want to remove most of the "dangerous" chemicals from your home this is an excellent resource for how to prepare your own cleaning products at home. The book does cover some of the dangerous chemicals that are normally in the products that most of us buy everyday. However if you want a more thorough discussion of potential toxins in and around the home check out either "The Healthy Living Space" or "Toxic Overload". Both of these cover the topic of potential toxins in the home in more depth.
This book does a nice job of covering the basic products that you can use to clean and disinfect your home. The author gives many recipes in this book for a variety of products.
The book is organized as follows:
1. The Basics
3. Skin Care
4. Whole Body Care
5. Gardening, Pets, and Pest Control
6. House Care and Hobbies.
I was surprised, but pleased, to see that the author included formulas for lip balms, cuticle cream and mouthwash.
If you are really interested in keeping a green home I would suggest a steam cleaner in addition to this book. I have written a review of the SAECO Piccolo, also on this site, if you are interested. Which ever brand you select, a steam cleaner is an excellent product to have if you are interested in green cleaning.
Overall, I highly recommend this book for those that just beginning to embark on a green home program.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book it has a lot of really good info in it. Thank youPublished 9 months ago by mary goens
Lots of good information here if you are looking to avoid man made chemicals in your cleaning and personal care products. Read morePublished 9 months ago by R. Montgomery
In our plastic world, I couldn't live without this book. I have been using it since 2001 and I never stop going to it's pages for more ideas and ways to keep my family home... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dearest Be
Covers a lot of things. I mainly got this book for a tonic against mosquitoes, but haven't tried it yet.Published 12 months ago by Mabel C.