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Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products, and Services Paperback – July 20, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

" This is the kind of information for people who want to do something to lighten their impact on the planet. The small steps cost us little in the way of effort, cost or time, but the cumulative effects of doing many of them can be enormous."
-- David Suzuki

"Everything you need to know to make green, non-toxic, Earth-friendly consumer choices-and to be a bang-up planetary citizen-is in this book. Its comprehensiveness is mind-boggling! My fondest hope is that a well-thumbed copy becomes a fixture in every Canadian home."
-Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence
"This is the kind of information for people who want to do something to lighten their impact on the planet. The small steps cost us little in the way of effort, cost or time, but the cumulative effects of doing many of them can be enormous."
--David Suzuki

"This book is for people who want to do something to lighten their impact on the planet. The small steps cost us little in the way of effort, money or time, but the cumulative effects can be enormous."
--David Suzuki
"Everything you need to know to make green, non-toxic, Earth-friendly consumer choices - and to be a bang-up planetary citizen - is in this book. Its comprehensiveness is mind-boggling! My fondest hope is that a well-thumbed copy becomes a fixture in every Canadian home."
--Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence

" This book is for people who want to do something to lighten their impact on the planet. The small steps cost us little in the way of effort, money or time, but the cumulative effects can be enormous."
-- David Suzuki
" Everything you need to know to make green, non-toxic, Earth-friendly consumer choices - and to be a bang-up planetary citizen - is in this book. Its comprehensiveness is mind-boggling! My fondest hope is that a well-thumbed copy becomes a fixture in every Canadian home."
-- Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence

About the Author

Adria Vasil is a best-selling author and journalist for Canada’s NOW magazine, where she has been writing the “Ecoholic” column for five years. She lives in Toronto.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 Original edition (July 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393334287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393334289
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One of the things that absolutely drives me crazy is when a writer starts spouting "commonly known facts" without providing sources. The first chapter of the book on beauty products does this. It reads like a collection of alarmist hype about the different chemicals in soaps, shampoos, etc., and only once ever provides any hard scientific evidence that the chemical in question is, indeed, bad. The attitude is, "Well, even if it's NOT harmful, why risk it?" Not good enough. If you're telling me that I have to make drastic changes in my life, give me good, solid, peer-reviewed evidence, not conjecture, half-truths, and fear-mongering.

The rest of the book is a compendium of good ideas that most people should already know about (such as weather-stripping, organic cotton, blood diamonds, local farm co-ops, etc). Some of the suggestions are a little, well, pie-in-the-sky, and some are just common sense. If I had just crawled out from under a rock, or just wanted to have common sense ideas put into a single reference, this might be it. It's a nice idea, I'm just not overly impressed with the execution of this book.
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Format: Paperback
I have made an effort the past few years to do my part, small though it may be, to be more environmentally aware and friendly in my daily life. I recycle most things, I do compost for my garden, I purchase more "green" products and try to buy locally and organically when possible. After reading Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Porducts & Services by Adria Vasil, I am now aware that there are so many simple and inexpensive ways to aid in a healthier environment not only for the planet but for my family.

Ms. Vasil is a columnist for Canada's NOW magazine and has written a weekly "Ecoholic" column for five years. This book is a funny, easy to understand collection of the same ideas and insights included in her column. Ms. Vasil does not ask the you to run out and hug the nearest tree, donate your clothes and start knitting a hemp sweater or forgo bathing. She does provide quite a bit of eye-opening enlightenment which may make you examine your normal purchases and habits in a different light.

The book is divided into twelve sections such as home products, food, clothes, beauty, children and finances. Each section covers quite an array of material but the writing is to the point and gives an overview of both the bad and the good. Ms. Vasil explains what toxins are in make-up or cleaning products and she is not afraid to name names (as in name brands) of those that are guilty as well as highlighting those manufacturers that are taking some steps to make their products a little safer. She is also honest with the "good" products as well. When discussing nail polish and nail polish removers, she mentions one brand of remover that is 100% soy- and corn-based. Great except for the massive headache it caused.
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Format: Paperback
Ecoholic is THE book that anyone who is concerned about environmentally friendly products needs to read. This book is "your guide to the most environmentally friendly information, products & services".

Ecoholic is broken down into chapters on bathroom confidential, what not to wear, green's anatomy, food for thought, no kidding around, homeward bound, home improvement, outer space, I get around, it's all fun and games, you work hard for your money and big issues.

Each chapter discusses several products in general and how safe they are. Then it lists specific products that it recommends as environmentally friendly. It also lists what products & companies aren't environmentally friendly.

Have you ever wondered just what's in your mascara? Are antibacterial products really good for you? Just what's in that lotion you put on your baby's skin? How organic is that food you're buying? Which company's products are produced in sweatshops? What are genetically engineered seeds? Who is Monsanto?

These questions and hundreds more just like it are answered in Ecoholic. These are a few facts I learned:

We used to eat 10,000 different species of food plants, and now 90% of the world's diet is down to 120.

Nearly a third of all the garbage Americans toss each year is packaging.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are some things in it that I think aren't super accurate (times change, science makes progress, yanno, life...)
but I'm guessing it was all extremely accurate when it was published.
Still an awesome book. Maybe just keep in mind that our existence isn't the worst thing in the world and you CAN leave the planet in better shape than you found it... if you want to.
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By noyoudont on February 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good information, i.e. social investing, what's better and worse for the planet, what's better and worse for your health. Has great index. Cons are the text in the occasional green spots are hard to see for someone with poor vision, and a good portion of the web sites no longer exist.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up from the library yesterday and could barely put it down! What a fantastic book of pretty much everything you need to know in one place! I found this book incredibly thorough, interesting and insightful and definitely recommend this to everyone! It is a MUST READ!

Adria Vasil goes through every single aspect of our homes and lives analysing the things we use and come into contact with, giving relevant statistics and interesting background data. Links to safe alternatives are given for every thing also - which I love. It goes through everything room by room even down to details like makeup, nail polish, tooth paste etc

I never thought about shoes and the glue on them being a chemical toxin, she also talks about fabrics on furniture, food storage, all the major food groups and what really happens along with safe alternatives, pet care, cars, sports equipment, seasonal decorations, floristry. I had no idea with half of this - it really shows how much I just assume things are safely made for us to use. The sad truth is we are the guinea pigs as most things are not tested.

I am SO glad I read this book and will be buying it to refer to in the future. It is a wealth of important information that everyone should be aware of.
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