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All You Need Is Less: The Eco-friendly Guide…
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All You Need Is Less: The Eco-friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living…

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This book appeared to mostly be a collection of home-made cleaning supplies recipes, many of which I had seen before, accompanied by editorials. ( )
  shawse | Oct 4, 2016 |
This review can be found on readingthething.net

"Tao of the lazy environmentalist"

This book is clearly based on a blog. I didn’t know this when I started reading, but the way it was written, with short chapters mostly filled with practical ways of living greener and the repeating of certain things (like that you should reduce the stuff you have), made that very clear. This does make for very comfortable reading, and a high density of information. I got this book as an e-galley, but would consider getting it in print, just so it’s easier to use as a reference, especially for all the “recipes” for cleaning materials in the early chapters of the book. I am certainmy going to use some of that!

I would’ve liked if the book was made a bit more bookish and a bit less bloggish; like creating a theme without repeating itself. Also, I would have enjoyed it if she nagged at her husband less. He is the butt of too many jokes. And although playful banter between couples is fine, it’s a bit different if the banter is all you see.

What I did enjoy, was the focus on doing what you can and are comfortable with, without being preachy (although the recurring mentions that she was not being preachy, felt a bit… preachy). I think this really is the way to go with greener living: just step a tiny bit outside your comfort zone, but without making it so uncomfortable you quit within a week.

I had one more point of critique: her endorsement of alternative medicine, with the reasoning that she trusts in the placebo effect, and that it can do no harm trying alternative stuff before going to a GP. I really disagree with this: sometimes, alternative medicine does damage. Also, funding people who make money with bogus treatments (even if you know it’s bogus and if you have the money to spare) that might lure others into spending more money than they might have on things that will not cure them (but they might not be aware of that) is not ethical behaviour at all.

But, if you ignore that bit if woo, and focus on the good advice she’s giving, this is a really useful little book. I’ll leave you with a quote, that sums it all up nicely.

Reduce, reuse, recycle and choose to give out instead of giving up.
( )
  readingthething | Aug 7, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I don't normally read guide books, or if I do I just skim through for the ideas or recipes I am interested in. This one has been different, the authors approach is so light, non-judgmental and engaging that I have found myself reading sections that do not and probably never will apply to me (the odds of me owning hard wood floors or glass shower doors are slim to none).

I'm not going to lie and say I've implemented many, or any, of her suggestions and recipes but I can say I am going to try several of them and her advice and stance of things such as compulsive consumerism, organizing and what is really important in life and have definitely given me much to think about and I am hoping to apply at least some of her approaches to living in my own life. And I am definitely trying the shampoo and conditioner recipes...the toothpaste one I'm not so sure on.

This is a life guide book I am very glad to have found and read and even if I only adapt one or two ideas from it I think my life would be better. ( )
  Kellswitch | Jun 6, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Madeline Somerville is young, very funny, and concerned about doing things naturally to save the earth and to save the health of our families.

In this book she addresses ways to simplify and "go natural" in every aspect of life. I agreed with her views most of the time. I must admit I haven't been able to find the time to make some of the things she suggests. For instance, she suggests wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets or fabric softener. She tells you how to make them, but I bought mine instead.

I really appreciated her advice on decluttering, and not buying too much for baby (and pets). I try to follow her advice when I buy things for my daughter (and our family dog!).

I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to simplify and do things that are good for the environment. And did I mention she is FUNNY? I laughed out loud many times while reading this. :) ( )
  BookAngel_a | May 19, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
All You Need is Less is one of many current books on living "green". The thing that I liked best about this book is that the author does not subscribe the the "all or nothing" school of green living, and advises gradual adoption of more eco-friendly habits. This is a much more positive and effective approach to encouraging good ecological habits, and the truth is that if each of us just make at least some changes the world will be much better off. On the down side, I hate to see the word "chemical" maligned; after all, borax and vinegar and even coconut oil are chemicals, too. All in all, I liked the book, and the light tone, although the author's humor did get to be just a tiny bit wearing at times. Overall, though, a lot of good ideas presented in a non-preachy, practical fashion. ( )
  Rosalind | May 12, 2014 |
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"All You Need is Less is about realistically adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle without either losing your mind from the soul-destroying guilt of using a plastic bag because you forgot your reusable ones in the trunk of your car (again), or becoming a preachy know-it-all whom everyone loathes from the tips of her organically-shampooed hair to the toes of her naturally sourced recycled sandals. It's all gotten kind of complicated, hasn't it? These days you're not 'green' enough unless you quit your day job and devote your entire life to attaining an entirely carbon neutral lifestyle or throw out all of your possessions and replace them with their new 'green' alternatives. This whole eco-friendly thing seems to have devolved into a horrific cycle of guilt, shaming and one-upping, and as a result people are becoming exhausted and getting annoyed and, oh my god, we are living in a world where one of my grocery bags says 'This reusable bag makes me better than you.' It doesn't have to be this way. It is possible to take easy baby-steps towards a more earth-friendly lifestyle without stress, guilt, or judgy eco-shaming. Top eco blogger Madeleine Somerville is here with really original ideas on how to save money and the planet. Her ideas are even fun! Somerville has emerged as the voice of reason on urban homesteading that is stress-free, sanity-based and above all do-able"-- Provided by publisher.… (more)

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