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Green Books Campaign: Style, Naturally (thoughts)

November 10, 2009

Today, I’m participating in an event sponsored by Eco Libris: the Green Books campaign. They’ve requested that I include the following at the beginning of my post:

Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

Awhile ago I received an e-mail asking me if I’d like to read and review a book published in an eco-friendly way as part of an environmental campaign. I, like most of us, happen to adore the earth, so I was more than willing to join in. Then, we received a long list with many enticing books. It was difficult, but I decided on Style, Naturally by Summer Rayne Oaks. It’s not only a book about how to be stylish and environmentally friendly, it’s also printed on recycled paper.

As long-time blog readers will know, I happen to love clothes. :D (In fact, during the last read-a-thon I posted a picture of my closet as a mini-challenge about what we collect.) I also love reading about clothes and fashion, so I was very excited to receive this book. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed. First of all, this is a sumptuous publication. The end papers are of mallard ducks, and each chapter opens with a two-page spread of a photograph manipulated in cool ways. Throughout the book, there are photographs of pretty much all the products Oakes recommends, so I’d call it a coffee table book. If you’ve ever seen the Lucky Guide to Style, with its almost picture-book-for-grown-ups feel, Style Naturally is similar, just on a larger scale. And it smells wonderful. I know, odd to say, but true!

So what’s the book about? Essentially, it’s a catalogue of brands to check out for environmentally-friendly products of anything remotely style-related: clothes, shoes, jewelry, purses, make-up, beauty care, etc. with tips on making your habits more earth friendly. There are profiles of, and interviews with, designers of the various lines, which I thought added a nice touch. And throughout, Oakes explains how you can start making little changes to become more environmentally friendly, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed all at once.

I think anyone who enjoys style, who delights in the visual aspect of women’s clothes, will love this book. Oakes has done a great job of providing all of the information you could possibly need, including things it hadn’t occurred to me to ask about, in easily digestible bits. The use of photographs will help convince people that you can still be stylish while respecting the earth. And the chapters on beauty products cosmetics, which ask you to think about why you would put something on your skin, that’s going to absorb into your bloodstream, that you wouldn’t want to eat, are thought-provoking in a good way. That being said, my only issue with the book was in the chapter on skincare…Oakes implies that people whose skin break out might just want to take a break from all the products they’re using, and then their skin will magically become happy and clear. That seriously offended me. I’ve been dealing with problem skin since I was 12, and when in the past I’ve tried stopping using all products, my skin breaks out more than ever. And I didn’t appreciate being preached at by a former model. ;) But that was a minor flaw in an otherwise wonderful, fun, informative read! I highly recommend this if you have any interest in the topic, or just think you might be interested.

On a more personal note, thanks so much for all of the TV on DVD suggestions! I have several on hold at the library, and I hope that they’ll come in soon. I’m still quite sick (hence why this review is pretty short), but I hope to be able to catch up with everyone’s blogs soon. :)

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2009 11:31 am

    Ok, this has nothing to do with anything except it sort of does. So this one time I was working on the advance team at summer camp that comes up a month a head of time and pulls weeds and knocks down old sheds and things…ANYway, three of us had WICKED seasonal allergies and one of us didn’t. The one who didn’t was convinced that the REASON we had allergies was because of our allergy meds, and so talked us all into going off of them for a week. We. Were. Miserable. Allergies have nothing to do with allergy meds, breakouts cannot be solved by not treating them. I get that we’re an over-medicated culture, but some of those medications are NECESSARY!

    /rant

  2. November 10, 2009 1:02 pm

    I really wish I’d gotten to participate in this, but I was too swamped at the time to even think about it. The book you chose sounds great! I’m reviewing an eco book for an upcoming blog tour, so that makes me feel better for not getting to do this. ;)

    Hope you’re feeling better soon, Eva!

  3. November 10, 2009 2:37 pm

    Hope you start to feel better soon, Eva. But I’m so glad you’re participating in this Campaign — I really enjoyed the book I received for review, though yours sounds much more colourful and fun! ;) I agree with you on the model giving advice to those of us not quite so dermatologically blessed, but the rest of your description makes this one sound like a good one to flip through and enjoy.

  4. November 10, 2009 3:27 pm

    I’m just starting to become more aware of this whole issue and have a long way to go towards understanding it better. I travel alot and I know in the hotel industry they are starting to think about it more and more. In any case, thanks for the review and hope you are feeling better very, very soon!

  5. November 10, 2009 6:32 pm

    Wow, this sounds like a fantastic book and full of great photos. I love coffee table books. I’m glad you participated in the green books campaign…your enthusiasm has shined through in this review.

  6. November 10, 2009 6:38 pm

    Sounds interesting! Usually, when I picture eco-friendly fashion, I picture misshapen burlap sacks as dresses and blobs of plastic shoes. Nice to know I’m wrong!

  7. November 10, 2009 6:45 pm

    This book sounds interesting to me! I love coffee table books; they always have the best pictures. ;)

    Hope you’re feeling better, Eva!

  8. November 10, 2009 10:19 pm

    I love this “Green Tour” and am glad the book was enjoyable. I do hope you’ll feel better soon!

  9. November 10, 2009 10:29 pm

    Looks like a very informative book. Nice to know u enjoyed it. This campaign will definitely create lot of awareness about books that use recycled papers.

    Hope u feel better soon. Take care of ur health.

  10. November 10, 2009 10:32 pm

    I have a written a book on going green, I wish I had known about this and could have submitted my book for review, it most likely would have made getting an agent much easier.

    DD
    Watch for my book coming soon to bookstores everywhere, “Going Green without going broke”.

    http://www.booksbydiedra.wordpress.com

  11. November 10, 2009 10:56 pm

    This isn’t really related to your post, but I thought that this list of recommended books might be useful for everyone participating in the “Women Unbound” reading challenge.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2009/11/ariel-levy-a-feminist-reading-list.html

  12. November 11, 2009 5:08 am

    What a brilliant cause that you have gotten involved with it sounds wonderful. I don’t tend to think of how eco-friendly my books are and you have made me wonder.

    I do often feel if i am buying second hand or getting from the library that in some ways thats eco-friendly as more than one person is reading that book. It’s not as eco-friendly as it could be though.

  13. November 11, 2009 6:04 am

    Green AND stylish! Lovely!

  14. November 12, 2009 2:56 pm

    Too funny about our similiar reading tastes…I have a few books on the history of fashion (including “How the West was Worn”). You wouldn’t know it to look at me, though, I tend to dress relatively simply :-).

    Hadn’t really thought about the “green” aspect of fashion, so this was interesting!

  15. November 13, 2009 5:35 pm

    I love the fact that there are eco challenges out there. Thanks for this review – I think it’s a constant struggle to find a balance between the fashion statements of the world and the values we hold. I kind of gave up on the fashion – but maybe dont have to. I think we should all give a certain % of our blogging time to promote eco friendly values – recycled paper, recycled books, and ebooks.

  16. November 16, 2009 12:55 pm

    Raych, that story is evil! I totally agree with your rant. :) Seriously, if my skin magically became clear if I did nothing more than wash it, I’d be so happy. But it’s not going to happen!

    Andi, thanks!

    Melanie, it definitely is a fun one to flip through. :)

    Kathleen, I’m glad it’s becoming so much more mainstream than it was even when I was in high school!

    Serena, thank you. :)

    Lorin, lol-in the intro, the author says that’s part of why she wrote the book! Down with Crocs! ;)

    Meloday, they do have gorgeous pics!

    Satcy, thank you. :)

    Shona, yep-recycled paper is great!

    Diedra, congrats on writing a book. :)

    DailyWorksandActs, great! Do you want to post it at the Women Unbound Challenge blog as well?

    SavidgeReads, I agree-using the library and buying second hand certainly makes me feel more eco-friendly. I think it really is, even if the paper isn’t recycled.

    Debnance, :)

    Valerie, that’s fun! I think fashion is so fascinating. :D

    Tamara, I love that too! My main way of being green w/ fashion is thrifting. :)

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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