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Green Mama: The Guilt-Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet Paperback – March 13, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Writer and speaker Bianchi does what few evangelicals have the courage or social insight to accomplish, treading fearlessly into the minefields of discord between those Christians who go enthusiastically green in their habits and philosophical leanings, and those who do not. The author presents a compelling argument for prudently using (and not simply wasting) everything from water to electricity to foodstuffs. Bianchi shares her personal story of becoming a "green mama" with eloquence and gently calls others to do likewise, making small but significant choices as outward expression of faith, trust, and selflessness. The author also offers plenty of practical "Green Steps" and "Eco-Examen" questions in every chapter for daily application. Readers will not be guilt-tripped into accommodating Bianchi's ardent desire to save the planet, but will instead find themselves compelled to rethink their lifestyle with a more environmentally friendly eye. END
Bianchi artfully blends a Christian outlook with a quest to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. While unabashedly focused on saving the world as part of God’s plan, she realizes it will take a lot of practical choices to accomplish that goal. So while she does credit her faith for much of her determination, she also notes that combating global warming so that the onslaught of the Mountain Pine Beetle will be halted is a worthy achievement anyone can appreciate. Bianchi doesn’t make suggestions about specific products so much as point out the connections between our choices and some very dire ramifications. “It’s all hooked up,” she writes, and then draws a line from fewer scallops on her plate to the increase in predatory cownose rays that are booming due to the overfishing of sharks. Bianchi avers that convenience must not be the choice of those truly committed to their faith, family, and environment. Hip, funny, and earnest without being preachy, Bianchi is an environmentally focused author. Fox News fans, among many others, will easily embrace. --Colleen Mondor
Top customer reviews
If you are looking for ways to make the earth a better place, this is a great book. The unique aspect of this book is the connection between environmentalism and Christianity. It is beautifully written and made me think about how preserving the earth is part of my faith and beliefs.
Also, this book really stuck with me. I actually removed a cardboard box from the trash can the other day and put it in the recycling pile. I am trying Tracey Bianchi! Thanks for a well-written book.
If the title of this book scares you, or you're afraid it's fully of silly hippie drivel, rest assured that it's really not that bad. In fact, I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit and the ideas presented within it.
There are plenty of books, websites, and blogs dedicated to "going green" and living with less. Much to the chagrin of my mother, I do consider myself a bit of a hippie and a lot of a minimalist. My family tends to buy secondhand, I use essential oils for just about everything, and I recently learned to make my own laundry detergent. The biggest difference between this book and all the rest is that this book is specifically written for Christians who want to learn more about preserving the planet that God has given us.
I think that many Christians forget just how important taking care of our surroundings really is. In the last 60 years, our world has grown and blossomed and boomed, and we consume more now than we ever have in history. In my own experience with Christians, there seem to be two categories: the college know-it-all hippie Christian and the Christian who says, "God is in control so how I treat the environment doesn't really matter."
Last week, while picking up my son from AWANA at church, I turned off the bathroom light and was instantly chastised by a woman in the foyer. "Someone else might want to use the bathroom," she told me. "You need to leave the light on for others." While there was no one else in line for the restroom, nor was there anyone else in the restroom, I did as she asked and left the light on, all the while wondering "Is it really that difficult to flip a switch?" Something as simple as turning off a light, turning down your heater, or re-using a bag can go a long way in minimizing the amount of energy your family consumes.
This book is all about moderation in consumption. It's all about looking beyond what's popular and what's cool and considering what impact your choices have on the rest of the world. Consider something as small as buying produce, then ask yourself "Where does this come from?" What toxic chemicals were thrown into that food before you purchased it? What dyes and artificial ingredients are in that drink you're buying just to give it a different color?
The author of this book is a suburban mom who shares her own journey becoming "greener," but within moderation. She writes in a way that is clever, easy to follow, and fun to read.
My biggest complaint with this book and the point that I really can't move past is her acceptance of CFL light bulbs. CFL light bulbs contain mercury and while the author does mention this, she doesn't delve into just how dangerous mercury is. It's not safe in vaccines, it's not safe in thermometers, and it's certainly not safe cooking all day long in a bulb over your head. The EPA actually has a list explaining what to do should a CFL light bulb break in your home, and I think it's important to note that you aren't even supposed to toss these in your garbage because of the mercury content. While CFLs certainly reduce the amount of energy your home uses, if you have little kids who tend to break things or knock lamps over, I would think twice before implementing these.
Overall, though, I appreciate this look at Christianity. It's certainly refreshing to read a book by someone who accepts that we are a consumer-driven society and that making healthy, conservative choices is not about being a hippie so much as it is taking a responsibility to care for the planet our Creator has entrusted us with.
As a busy mama, women's speaker, women's ministry director, and editorial advisor and columnist, and yeah, did I say it? MAMA!!, her life is going many directions. She still has found time to do what she feels God calls us each to do - care for the earth.
In a no guilt way she doesn't push us to all move to the country, plant huge gardens, or sell our car and walk everywhere. She gives us tips and resources, and encouragement to embrace where we are at and choose steps to a greener life in the capacity our life allows. With tips on things we can incorporate into our daily lives and ways we can take those baby steps to be more earth friendly, she doesn't pile on the guilt but ends each chapter with 2 questions. What did you get from this chapter that you are going to start doing? What are you NOT going to do?
It was such a weight off me to read her refreshing outlook on life and green living, to not feel that huge mom failure but to look fresh at life and take the steps I can and not get hung up on what I can't do.
I highly recommend getting yourself a copy of this book. Right now it's on sale for such a great value. It is completely worth this price and more!