"The Imperfect Environmentalist" by Sara Gilbert

Let me start by saying I don’t generally like to read eco-friendly books written by celebrities.  Maybe it’s just me but I wonder how much of it is about their commitment to the earth and how much of it is just about one more thing to add to their resumé.  In other words, I wonder just how much I’ll learn.  But I saw this book by Sara Gilbert and thought, okay, she’s vegan, I’ve seen her on her talk show and heard what she has to say and she sounds really committed, so I decided to give her book a chance.

The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind) defies what I think about celebrity books.  Sara writes with knowledge, humour, and authority.  She isn’t condescending (don’t worry, she won’t berate you for not being vegan) but she isn’t light about these things either.  You can tell she is committed to being an environmentalist but respectful of where others stand on the issue.  This book is about educating you about all of the little changes you can make to make a big difference.  You may only be ready to commit to making one change but by the end of the book you'll realize there is a lot you can do.

The thing I love most about this book is how it is organized.  First, it is divided into sections - food, house, home, garden, health and beauty, community, work and money, transportation and travel, parenting, and rites of passage.  Each section has various topics and those have fun headings like “Cut to the Chase, Hippie: What’s the Least I Need to Know?” “Intriguing…I Can Handle a Little More,” and “I Need Some Facts to Bore My Friends With.”  Proving there is something in this book that everyone can do, her advice and tips have the headings “I’m Donald Trump,” “Okay, I’ve Got My Own Place, but I’ve Also Got Credit Card Debt,” and “I’m Sleeping on My Friend’s Couch and Eating Ramen Noodles.”  Taking care of yourself and the environment doesn't require a ton of money and Sara realizes that there are different things you can do based on how much money you've got available.

If you’re already a committed environmentalist, you may not find much new in this book for you.  But that shouldn’t stop you from at least taking a glance at it so you know when to recommend it.  I think anyone looking to make small changes would really enjoy this book.  It shows you that nurturing our planet isn’t a difficult thing to do and it’s not just for people with money or a whole lot of time.  It is for everyone and if you’re ready to make that commitment, you can start here.  You’ll find yourself off and running in no time.


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