Review: The Book of Rubbish Ideas

Review: The Book of Rubbish Ideas

ByGroovy Green Feb 21, 2010

The Book of Rubbish Ideas is anything but rubbish. It is FULL of excellent tips to help eco-newbies and hard-core Greens see rubbish as a resource, cut down on waste, and save time, money and resources as a result.

Don’t be put off by the quirky cover; author, Tracey Smith, a contented downshifter, aims to take the freaky out of eco, and her book is accessible, practical and positive. There’s no holier-than-thou attitude to reusable nappies, washable sanpro and chicken-keeping; we are encouraged to ditch the guilt for what we are not doing and start feeling good about what we are doing.

Tracey takes you on a tour through the average family home, from bedroom and bathroom through to the kitchen and out into the garden, including the Usually Male Domain of shed and garage, which so often get missed out where decluttering’s concerned.

Tracey’s project boxes at the end of each chapter include creating an art/craft box for your very own Make Do And Mend moments, a luscious His & Hers body scrub for a sticky night in, and (back down to earth) how to clean all sorts of household items – from grubby grout to wooden chopping boards – without using chemicals. Her practical advice is backed up with case studies from every day folk who are making their personal contribution to waste reduction through their own downshifting initiatives, and there are contributions from several celebrity greens, such as Wayne Hemmingway and Kim Wilde.

But this is more than a book of eco tips. It also helps readers get politically active and involved in environmental issues, by providing templates for letters to supermarkets, local schools and political representatives. There’s even an invite to send to your friends when hosting a Clothes Swap Party. So not only can you make changes within your own home, you can take steps to affect the wider world. The resources section is thorough and will have you hooked to the internet for days – there are websites, organisations and eco-products galore and a bibliography that is bound to fill up your amazon wishlist. One person’s rubbish may be another person’s treasure, but The Book of Rubbish Ideas is a gem for everyone.

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