The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life : Simple Measures That Benefit You and the Place You Live
It's fairly obvious that one can't be a 'perfect' environmentalist. But that's okay. Perfection isn't the goal. A good life is. And a good life has as much to do with your intent as with the end result." --from the Introduction
The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life is the essential book for those of us who can't live in an organic hemp tepee but do care about our quality of life, global warming, clean water, and disappearing resources.
Nell Newman shows you how to do what is within easy reach. Along with realistic, practical advice, she shows how and why living a more environmentally conscious life benefits you and your immediate surroundings. In addition to recycling and reusing, the book covers consumer-related steps such as
- how buying and eating organic food supports small farms (and tastes better, too)
- how you can buy clean power through your regular power company
- which long-distance telephone companies offer competitive pricing and service while returning a portion of their profits to environmental and educational organizations
- where to buy everything--from pots and pans to pet food--so that you can "vote with your dollar" and feel good about your purchases
Packed with profiles of fascinating--and sometimes zany--people and a heavy dose of sanity, this book is organized according to the way you really live, making it easy to identify what areas of change are viable for you. A resource directory of publications, retailers, groups, and associations is included in the back of the book.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Well known for both her family (she's the daughter of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward) and her food (the Newman's Own brand of sauces, snack foods and other delights), Newman here joins forces with Discover contributing editor D'Agnese to offer this well-reasoned and practical handbook to environmentally and socially conscious living. Her suggestions cover such areas as food, transportation, energy and investing, and range from the commonsensical-eat local produce in its season-to the surprising-stock your living room with the 10 plants that "clean air best." Newman assumes her readers aren't zealots, but simply people who want to do right by the earth, and it's this lack of self-righteousness that makes her advice so refreshing. Whether readers want to learn how make nontoxic household cleaners, buy "green power" from the power company, shop more responsibly, practice "social investing" or to encourage their pets to eat organic people food, Newman offers the secrets. Interspersed with her counsel are oddball and often inspirational tales of green living, like the man diagnosed with terminal cancer who took cranberry skins and duck fecal matter to become king of a small soil empire (profits go to inner city charities like the one he started). Full of hints and encouragements-and printed on 100% postconsumer recycled paper-this excellent beginner's resource makes conscientious living look very simple indeed.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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March 10, 2003
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Excerpt from The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life by Joseph D'Agnese
I never expected to write this kind of book. In fact, I seldom read this kind of book. When I thought about that apparent inconsistency, given my interest in ecology and the environment, I realized that the book I wanted to read did not exist. I think that reading a book full of "shoulds" would be almost as tedious as writing one. Yet I also believe that it's worthwhile to share stories, trade ideas, and exchange not only encouragement but also down-to-earth advice with people who care about their own well-being and the health of the planet.
With that in mind, let me confess up front that this book is not without contradictions. In fact, the printed book itself 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper and soy ink notwithstanding is a contradiction. It took resources to produce it and get it to you. Every positive measure you take to help the environment probably entails a downside. You might order fair-trade organic cotton clothing over the Internet to support this worthy business model, but getting that item involves energy-expensive packaging and shipping. You might go out of your way to buy organic food, but driving farther means emitting more pollutants into the air and using extra fuel. It's fairly obvious that one can't be a "perfect" environmentalist. But that's okay. Perfection isn't the goal. A good life is. And a good life has a lot to do with who you are in the world, with your intent as much as with the end result.
I don't expect you to make use of every suggestion offered in these pages, nor do I intend it to be a definitive encyclopedia of living green. My aim is to inspire you as you read about people who have done some fascinating and sometimes hilarious things to live more in tune with nature. I hope that among the steps outlined at the end of each chapter you will identify those that are within reach for you. You are probably already doing some of them, and you might have suggestions for me, too. Enjoy yourself and live a little. If you slavishly reuse every paper bag that comes your way until it's a pulpy wad, go ahead and issue yourself some "environmental credits" to spend on taking a spin in your sporty guzzler.
A good life, after all, isn't one of relentless deprivation. Quite the opposite. I've discovered that caring for the world around me rewards me more than my small effort really deserves. So I hope it's not too crass to admit that my seemingly altruistic choices are not entirely so. The selfish benefits of living an environmentally conscious life are many. Through supporting organic growers by eating organic produce, I enjoy much more delicious and healthful food. When I walk rather than drive to run errands, I get exercise and sunshine (okay, I know I'm spoiled here in Santa Cruz). When I use biodegradable cleaners and detergents for my clothes and in my home, I reduce my exposure to toxic chemicals. And most of all, whatever small thing I do for someone else is often paid back many times over in humbling ways.
In the course of researching this book I discovered many things I didn't know. I came across suggestions for saving energy, water, time, money, and fuel you name it that were new to me. I also found myself more excited about practicing what I already know to do. As you browse these pages I hope that will be your experience too.