Simply Green Parties Review

Book Review:

Simply Green Parties

by Danny Seo

  gg-simply-green-parties1 This book is set up in a way that really stimulates interest.  There are a lot of colors and pictures and the layout is simple to follow.  It includes directions and material lists to allow the reader to reproduce the ideas and projects that Danny creates with ease and comfort.  Many of the ideas are very simple and easy to duplicate.   It's a fun book to look at, however I felt that there was still something missing from the projects and ideas he presented.  I think most readers probably won't reuse as many ideas as are presented in the book, but use it rather as an example of some fun and exciting and "oh, isn't that creative" projects that are available to the eco-conscious event planner and lay person.  I would have liked to have seen more ideas that are more tangible for the reader.  For example, how to reuse and decorate old paper grocery bags for wrapping presents or how to convert those toilet paper rolls into something fun like party favor holders.  I know that some people do have access to tree stumps, forest moss, excess makeup compacts and oyster shells,  but at my house those items are a little harder to come by.   Adding a few more easy to find materials  that we might actually have at home (rather than having to go out and buy craft supplies) would have touched more people's lives.   Over all, I know it's a good start, and I have not seen an eco-friendly event idea book as easy to pick up and get ideas from as this one.  I just wish it offered a few more ideas that were in my range of possibilities and those of so many folks who live in big cities and urban environments, those with less financial access to craft supplies or possibly less time to create or gather up materials, and those who may be new at sustainable living. Some highlights that enjoyed from the book include:
  • The storybook birdhouse project, which would be a fun activity to do with kids who've grown out of a few of their children's books.
  • The naturally flavored water with cucumber or grapefruit, however I think it would be important to add that using plastic water bottles aren't the greenest option.  Using tap water or filtered tap water is not only a greener option than water in plastic bottles, but is often healthier as water in plastic bottles isn't regulated like tap water and may result in contamination by Pthalates and other chemicals found in plastic.  
  • The idea of having socks at the door for folks to be welcomed to take their shoes off.  Not only does taking your shoes off a great way to keep your floors and carpets clean, it also prevents a lot of toxins your shoes come into contact with out in the world from making their way into your house.  I would have liked for that comment to have been made to suggest that this is something we might all want to start doing.  But, I did learn from Danny that putting rolled up newspaper in the shoes you take off can absorb moisture and odor.  
If you're a crafty person or looking for some crafty ideas, this book might offer you some great examples and start you on your way to thinking green in many aspects of your life, including your events or dinner parties.  If you already are crafty and green, start looking around your house for what you already have, and figure out how to put it to good use in a second or third life.   In Green and Health, G&G

Green Chic Review

Green Chic  Saving the Earth in Style  by Christie Matheson

green chic book

  Although this book is not a "wedding" or "event" book per se, it is filled with helpful hints and smart remarks, making it an easy and intelligent read, to say the least.  It's also filled with great ideas that can be used in the  wedding and event arena, as well as every day of our lives.  So why not?

 Over all, I would say it's worthy of being picked up if you are looking for some green motivation.  It may also be helpful if you are  fairly feminine.  As the cover suggests, it's probably written for women.  However I think it's readable for just about anyone.  If a section dives into nail polish and you're not digging it, skip it.  There's some good info in there about  cleaning toilets and I think that is both a male and female issue, or at least it should be. Despite the title and the occasional inclusion of girlie info, the book is written very smartly, succinctly and it's pretty compact.  There are a good amount of suggestions as well as scary statistics to promote behavior change.  This, of course, is the whole reason you might be reading this type of book anyway, to change your behavior. There were some occasional steps I thought Christie could have taken to be slightly greener, but maybe that would have been pushing the envelope.  She does give a whole-hearted try for some of the more "hippie" products out there like natural deodorants and she does mention the menstrual cup, but I think there could have been a little more pushing in some areas or at least mentioning of the many options available.     I know just reading the book has influenced me and I think of myself as pretty well educated about green living, health and sustainability.  But, sometimes we forget the everyday actions we take that can have such a massive affect on our world and the people around us, not to mention our own health.  So, getting a little reminder is good for even us greenies. One piece of knowledge that I have heard before but was happy to hear again was about Bottled Water.  I know you've probably heard, drinking from the tap is way better for the environment and possibly for you.  It's also cheaper.  But did you know that we go through 70 million of those pesky bottles a day?  Think of it.  Families across America buying 24 and 48 packs of plastic water bottles at Cosco each week and how many of those bottles end up in the landfill, or better yet, in the ocean floating around as a giant island of plastic trash.  Not to mention that 1/4 of those bottles don't hold special water from fijian springs, but plain old tap water.  So why are we spending so much on this special bottled tap water?  Well for some more insight and suggestions, try the book.  It might just change the way you behave around plastic.  And paper.  And cotton...  until next time, G&G