4 out of 5 stars
I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group – Rock Point for providing me with a free – temporary – electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Although I’m auto-approved with them, the decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.
For those of you keep track of when I read something, vs when I post the review – I’ve just finished reading this book last week!
‘An Almost Zero Waste Life’ was an interesting and informative read. My family and I have been moving towards a more zero waste lifestyle for some years now, so this isn’t a new topic for me. But I did love how Ms Weldon is of a similar mindset to us when it comes to zero waste. Which is: do what you can when you can. Zero Waste shouldn’t be seen as a fad where you need to throw out everything “bad” (plastics, etc) and immediately replace it with high end “good”. It’s not about being a minimalist… though you can sort of become one. It’s about looking at what you use, as a consumer, and how you get rid of the waste your consumerism creates. Oh, and I hate to break it to you, but we’re ALL consumers.
And I think this whole attitude of “do what you can, when you can” really clicked with me and made the book an enjoyable read. We’re all perfectly imperfect… but as long as we try to improve on lessening our waste, and ensuring we try to become more conscious and responsible consumers, we can do this. ‘An Almost Zero Waste Life’ isn’t judgy, preachy, or trying to get you to join some clique set. It is down to earth, open and honest, and speaks to the reader as an equal. THIS is what we need in resource books like this!
What I also love about ‘An Almost Zero Waste Life’ is it tries to cover EVERY aspect of our lives – warts and all, so to speak. The chapters go from room to room in a typical household, and covers items some people might not have thought of being an issue… even those usually unmentionable ones, like *gasp* “feminine hygiene” items. And, as those who follow my blog know, I’m a cloth pad wearer, I’m very pro reusable products like this, and yes I DO openly talk about menstruation products and their effect on our environment. So I really do love that Ms Weldon tries to cover EVERYTHING.
Throughout the book there are handy hints and tips to help encourage the reader to replace wasteful shop bought products with homemade. This includes many recipes for household items such as cleansers, soaps, make-up, beauty products, and then some. What is great is the book doesn’t demand you make them, or sound judgy if you don’t… instead it has a great light and easy attitude of “hey, if you’d like to try and make this item, here’s a few ideas”. No pressure, no sales gimmicks, no brand names. Just some helpful hints, recipes, and ideas.
Now, I want to say that I feel ‘An Almost Zero Waste Life’ has everything covered from house, clothes, shopping, food, babies, pets, seasonal moments, travel, etc… But I’m sure there would be someone who spots something they feel is missing. So, instead I will say it is an extremely comprehensive resource book that tries to cover everything, and one I feel does a pretty amazing job.
At the end of the book there is a great 30 day challenge to help to and ease the reader (and their household/ family) into a more zero waste lifestyle. Each day is just one more basic step on how to change our habits. Again, there is no pressure, gimmicks, or brand name dropping. Just some encouraging ideas to help the reader on their way.
AND, geeky book nerd moment, I love the fact that the last part of the book is a list of reference material pointing to other books and places to help the reader learn more about specific subjects – all touched upon within ‘An Almost Zero Waste Life’.
The formatting was good – very easy to read, follow and jump to from the front index, or read from cover to cover. I loved the style and graphics too, my sort of “thing” and so I feel the formatting and layout were done well, as they help attract the reader to the subject, and encourage them to read on.
Would I recommend this book to others?
What do you think? 😉 Of course I would! Yes, okay, so I’m a bit biased as I’ve been trying to become more zero waste for over a decade now. But I really do find ‘An Almost Zero Waste Life’ an incredibly thorough reference book to help others take a similar approach to life… without being a heavy, hard to read, burden of a book. So, if you’re serious at wanting to improve not only your own life, but that of your house, family, and the environment – I highly recommend this book to you.
Would I buy this book for myself?
You know, as critical as I am of buying/ owning books of late (eBooks and paper books), I think I would like to have an eBook copy of ‘An Almost Zero Waste Life’ in my Kindle library. I think it is a very useful resource book and, even though I know a lot my own zero waste living tips and tricks, I can still see myself wanting to turn to a copy of this book to try and gain new ideas for every days consumerism. The only reason I haven’t bought a copy of the eBook already is it would cost me over $30 AUD on Amazon Australia right now. And, yes, I find it a great practical guide and all… but I also have a budget, and paying over $30 AUD for an eBook has never been in my budget. So I’ll just have to wait for a special sale day, or for the exchange rate to improve. I’m not just someone striving towards a zero waste lifestyle, but I’m frugal with it. 😉
In summary: A very comprehensive, and useful, handbook to those seeking a more zero waste lifestyle.