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Gorgeously Green : 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life Paperback – April 8, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Are you confused by all the advice you hear and see daily on how to "go green"? Do you want to incorporate earth-friendly practices into your life, but you don't know where to start? Don't stress! Green guru Sophie Uliano has sorted through all the eco-info out there and put everything you need to know about living a green lifestyle right at your fingertips.

In Gorgeously Green, Sophie offers a simple eight-step program that is an easy and fun way to begin living an earth-friendly life. Each chapter covers topics from beauty to fitness, shopping to your kitchen—even your transportation. Whether it's finding the right lipstick, making dinner, buying gifts, or picking out a hot new outfit, finally, there is a book that tackles your daily eco-challenges with a take-charge plan. Just consider Sophie your go-to girl with all the eco-solutions. Find out how to:

  • Green your entire beauty regime
  • Detoxify your home
  • Indulge in guilt-free shopping
  • Adopt a home fitness routine
  • Prepare eco-licious treats
  • Give your kitchen a green makeover
  • Become more aware of your impact on the earth

The book's dozens and dozens of eco-friendly tips, products, and practices combine to form a treasure trove of practical advice for every possible way to become stylishly green. Your questions about dressing, makeup, eating, shopping, cleaning, travel, and more are all answered right here. Adopting a green lifestyle is among the most positive, forward-thinking, and personally fulfilling choices that anyone can make--and Gorgeously Green shows that it doesn't have to be tedious, time-consuming, or glamourless!

Questions for Sophie Uliano

We had the opportunity to chat with Sophie Uliano over e-mail about Gorgeously Green, her suggestions for saving the Earth, and the very real possibility of becoming a hippie. Here’s what Sophie had to say about the economics of eco-consciousness, the allure of non-toxic nail polish, and of course, whether it’s truly easy being green.

Amazon.com: I’ve heard a common complaint that energy-saving light bulbs, organic food and clothing, and other "green" products are not as economical as traditional products. Is that true? Any tips for readers who want to be eco-conscious and budget-conscious too?

Sophie Uliano: I think that going green has a double meaning in that it also is about saving money. There is no way that I would or could go green if it meant that I was going to have to pay much more. If you make the cleaning spray that I suggest in my book, you will save a bunch on cleaning supplies because it’s an all-purpose cleaner that I use on almost everything (a great germ-buster too). You will pay a little more upfront for energy-saving light bulbs, but as they last 15 times longer, you will save money in the long run. Food is the only thing that you may have to pay a bit more for, however, I think that your health is an important investment, so I choose to save on boring cleaning supplies and treat my family to food that not only tastes more delicious, but will keep them healthy and vibrant. Remember that if you follow all the energy-saving tips in the book, you are going to save a wad of cash too--so it’s a win/win.

Amazon.com: I think many people are interested in making more sustainable choices, but when it comes to the heavy lifting it can be hard to break old habits. We tend to think, "Someone else will ride their bike to work today--I’ll drive like I always do." What advice do you have that can help people "walk the talk"?

Uliano: I agree that it is hard to break old habits. My suggestion is to break one habit at a time. Choose the one thing that bothers you most. For me it is using paper towels when I know that I can easily use a rag instead. Make a decision about the change you want to make and tell your friends and family that you have decided to do this one thing and that you want their support. It could be that you are going to cook one organic meal from scratch once a week, or that you are going to air-dry your clothes this summer or simply that you will wash out a barely used zip-lock bag, instead of throwing it away--easy!

Amazon.com: Furthermore, I’ve heard many people worry that eco-consciousness is the first step toward becoming a granola hippie, to use one of your own phrases from the book. Do you have to be a hippie to go green?

Uliano: You so don’t have to become the tree hugger/hippie to live a green way of life. I feel passionately that you can still have the glitz, the glam and the gleaming house because now there are so many eco-friendly companies that offer you safe and healthy choices: nail polishes, organic clothes that are fabulous to name a few.

Amazon.com: Not everyone lives in an area where green options are available and accessible. Can you suggest a few ways that readers can live a greener lifestyle even if they don’t have easy access to car-sharing companies, wet dry-cleaners, and other alternatives you mention in your book?

Uliano: If you don’t have easy access to some of the green options in my book, it really doesn’t matter. No matter where you live, you can make a start. I recently visited my in-laws in Georgia, who have fewer options than we do here in Los Angeles; however, they have embarked on making their own cleaners, composting, growing veggies etc. There’s advantages to living in a metropolitan city in that you can buy all the great eco-stuff, but if you live in a more rural setting, it’s fantastic too because you may have a yard in which you can grow tomatoes or air-dry your laundry. I’d pick the latter if given the choice!

Amazon.com: Your book is mainly directed toward female readers--what tips do you have for men who are interested in making sustainable lifestyle changes?

Uliano: I wrote my book for women because I realized that as a mom, wife and working girl I could show like-minded women how easy it is to become green, however, men can totally benefit from my book too! My husband doesn’t have a huge interest in non-toxic nail polish, but he’s fascinated with everything solar and has started biking everywhere. We work together as a team, inspiring each other with our daily green discoveries--it’s fun!

About the Author

Sophie Uliano is a passionate environmentalist who has developed an earth-friendly lifestyle that appeals to women who don't want to compromise their glamour or style. She lives in Hollywood, California, with her husband and daughter.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: WmMorrowPB (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061575569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061575563
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has sections for every green aspect of life. I wish I could give it four and a half stars because overall it's great to have, but does have a few *minor* problems. It seems to be targeted at thirty to forty something mothers with young children, but I'm none of the above (20s single) and still found this book to be jammed packed with useful information. My favorite section was the beauty one. I was using a natural moisturizer I thought was pretty safe but instead turned out to be a 7 out of 10 hazard on the Cosmetic Database! The book also includes an enlightening section on yoga routines which actually seem doable. The house section is all encompassing, from your mattress down to your shower cleaner. Uliano also provides a handful of skincare recipes which are easy and straightforward. There were somethings that did annoy me with this book, though as I said before they are all minor. Number 1 is that the first chapter can just be ignored, it was boring and really didn't seem to have a point. 2nd is that there are several noticeable typos throughout the book (minor, once again). 3rd, Uliano plugs her website throughout all the sections. If you want to use any of the checklists or quizzes she has created, you need to register on the website first. It's a bit off-putting. 4th, I wish there were more food recipes provided. 5th, a few of her tips seem a bit extreme, i.e. I'm probably not going to pack any carrot sticks the next time I go to the movies or an amusement park. 6th, and this is my biggest gripe, I wish she would include some information on the cost of some of the products and services she mentions! All-in-all, I'm very happy with this book.Read more ›
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I wanted to like this book, I really did. I found it to be very cute, but a bit of a puff piece.

There's alot of tid bits of information, but nothing substantial. Some information is conflicting - on one page Sophie says she avoids microwaves and doesn't want it altering the molecules in her food. Yet, on another page, she writes that the microwave is the most eco-friendly way to cook, as it uses the least amount of energy.

And yoga sun salutations and exercise instructions don't belong in a green guide. They just don't!

I also purchased Easy Green Living by Renee Loux and found it to be much more substantial and informative - like a mini encyclopedia on what you need to do to live green.
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Format: Paperback
While I commend Ms. Uliano for appealing to the masses and trying to make "going green" seem so simple, I also found so many things about her book to be contradictory and/or against what she supposedly stands for. For example, she recommends Burt's Bees products, but a little research would show they are now owned by Clorox ... not exactly an environmentally-friendly company. As many have pointed out, she contradicts herself re: microwaves.

I found her constant referral to her own website to be redundant and annoying. If all of the information is there on the website, why waste all this paper in the book?!

I also found her reference to "granola"-types to be quite offensive. Just because you care for the environment, but don't wish to buy into the American consumerist culture, that makes you a granola?? Why such a negative connotation?? You can be environmentally conscious, chic, and beautiful without having to purchase new products ... where is the mention of second-hand shops? These not only are better for the environment than purchasing NEW products, but there are many shops (like the one down the street from my house) that sell expensive, designer, barely-used (sometimes brand new!) clothes for less than half the original price. What could be more eco-friendly?!

I'm all for getting everyone to recognize changes need to be made, but I don't think supporting our cultural norms of consumption is the way to go.
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Format: Paperback
Though this book has some great tips and is fairly easy to read, it could have been summed up in maybe half the pages the author actually used (saving many trees, of course). I found many of her tips to be a bit silly, and her lack of descriptive vocabulary (must everything be "simply to die for" and/or "gorgeous"?) boring. The list of fashion vendors provided in Chapter 4 seems more like shameless free advertising. Some of the vendors no longer exist, and many are quite expensive. Save your money and check out websites or the local library for more up-to-date advice, or start a green group to discuss alternatives to eco-friendly living instead.
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I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I think it has a lot of good advice that can be easily applied. On a positive note, it is clearly written for women. The jokes, comments, etc. always refer to "The Gorgeously Green Girl" which makes this book a great gift for female friends and family members. For myself, I found it a bit annoying after a while but could overlook it. The book does contain many, many websites which left me with the impression that everything green that I would be buying must be ordered online! This is not the case. My local health food store carried many of the natural soaps, shampoos, feminine products, etc. mentioned in the book which was a lot easier and cheaper to buy locally. The book does not just focus on women's issues either. There is great advice regarding wrapping your hot water tank, buying Smartstrips to turn your computer completely off, and how to garden organically. I really think you can only benefit from reading this book.
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