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BOOK REVIEW: The Eco Chick Guide to Life
The Eco Chick Guide to Life is a roadmap to greener living for the modern girl. Author Starre Vartan covers fashion, makeup, cleaning supplies, pets, drinking, food and more in this easy-to-read guide. When it comes to transitioning into a greener lifestyle, Vartan leaves no questions unanswered. She explains food and clothing labels, breaks down the reasons to go vegetarian, and spells out every acronym. Read on to see what we thought of this comprehensive book for the green living.
Even as it’s apparent that Vartan is an eco-maven, her tone is completely unpretentious; in fact, it’s hyper-casual and downright conversational. The guide reads like a Cosmo article, and that’s not a bad thing for the distracted, multi-tasking modern eco-chick. The tagline is, “For every eco-friendly fashionista who wants to reduce her carbon footprint while wearing fabulous stilettos,” and the text is written in a perky alliterative style and sprinkled with “Chickie Tips.”
But even though the word “chick” makes me cringe, I have to admit that Vartan’s schtick is encouraging. Eco Chick makes green living accessible and fun. She gives easy how-to instructions for making your own toothpaste, perfume and compost pile. She manages to be comprehensive without sounding didactic.
The book is best read in small, useful doses, and it’s functionally divided into the main areas of a young modern woman’s lifestyle. The chapter “See the planet — without polluting it” struck a chord with me immediately, as I love to travel. (In fact, I am posting this review from Tokyo. I read the book on the flight.) And I’m going back to the section on how to make your own toothpaste as soon as I get home. And the part about earth-friendly kitty litter. And probably the section on vegan cocktails. There are definitely some web sites I need to hit up.
Locating relevant sections when you need them is easy. Vartan included an extensive index and a chapter-coordinated list of excellent web sites (including Inhabitat) and books, as well as suggested search terms.
One thing Vartan does is to include profiles of real-life “Eco Chicks,” including Inhabitat founder Jill Fehrenbacher, who shares tips on how to green your bedroom and living space.
Vartan’s perky tone can seem irreverent at times but it’s possible to glimpse a burning seriousness below the chirpy veneer. “The depressing truth is this; our lifestyles, right now, depend on being wasteful, taking advantage of less-fortunate people, and consuming in a way that cannot be sustained in the future,” she writes in the introduction. And it’s the combination of seriousness and light-hearted optimism that inspires and empowers the reader.
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