Title: All You Need Is Less: The Eco-friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity
Author: Madeleine Somerville
Source: Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review
Tl;dr: Become a true hippie in 10 steps! Lots of practical advice for people who want to live more environmentally conscious,
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.