Saturday, 16 January 2010

Book Review - Practically Green

Practically Green is written by Micaela Preston, who is also the author of the popular blog Mindful Momma ( The book is subtitled "Your Guide to Ecofriendly Decision-Making" and promises to offer "simple steps for sustainable living".

I love Micaela's attitude to green living which is, in essence, be green when you can, but don't beat yourself up about it when you can't, and she writes in a very down to earth and accessible way. It's very easy to dip in and out of this book and all the information is set out in a very simple and concise format, that helps to make all her suggestions feel totally realistic and achievable.

The book is divided into six chapters, Eating, Living, Cleaning, Caring, Wearing and Conserving and each chapter is subdivided into Buy It Green and Do It Green. There are "Copy and clip" guides on such topics as Eco-friendly Food Certifications, Top cleaning ingredients to avoid and Where can I recycle that? Each chapter has plenty of practical advice - tasty recipes, sewing projects & instructions for making all-natural body care products for example. And the pages are liberally sprinkled with additional notes and tips such as Even Greener, Health Alerts and Adventures in Green Living, Micaela's own personal anecdotes.

The only minor point that I would mention (although this is by no means a critisism) is to be aware that the book is very US based - most of the companies and products mentioned in the book are from the US so it may not always be possible to source those exact products in the UK (or any other country), but with the internet at your disposable I am sure it would not be hard to locate suitable alternatives.

I love this book. It may be small but it is jam packed with useful advice and information and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in making some green changes to their lives. In the introduction Micaela writes, "my goal was to keep the information simple, the process creative and the outlook fun." And I think she has done that brilliantly.

Rachel x

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Rachel here. We really hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and are now looking forward to what the new year will bring. Both Emma and I have had a lovely break and are now trying to get back into our everyday routines! During our break, we've been thinking about That Little Bit Greener and how we can take it forward into this new year - we are both really keen to continue to try and make the world a better place and we really want to make this blog a useful resource for others who also want to make changes. So, although this may sound counter-productive, we've decided that from now on we will be committing to posting once a month instead of every other week. Also, instead of picking a topic for discussion each time, we are going to mix things up a little bit and bring a mixture of things - useful links, news, tips, tutorials, In The Spotlight features, recipes, book reviews - in fact anything that we think is of interest and on subject. Some months there may well be several posts, but we're going to be aiming for quality, not quantity! We shall still occassionally offer up topics for discussion and we still want you guys to be involved in this blog too. We really, really appreciate all the support you've given us in this venture - in fact I would go so far as to say we are relying on you to help us spread the word! In the near future, we hope to be running our first giveaway, as a small way to say thanks for all your support, so keep an eye out for that too.

In the meantime, have you all recycled Christmas? After taking down all our Christmas cards, I reused many of ours by cutting out shapes with pinking shears to be used as gift tags next year. In fact, if I do this every year I don't think I shall ever need to buy gift tags again! All the other left-over cards have also been recycled - most supermarkets have special bins for Christmas cards, also WH Smiths and M&S, so there's no excuse!

(Emma here) That is such a fantastic idea Rachel, I'm off to get my cards and pinking shears now!! I will post some photos of my efforts....we hope that you also tried to recycle as much of your wrapping paper as possible. As not all wrapping paper can be recycled I did try not to buy any foil based wrapping. So the majority could go in the normal recycling bin, good pieces of the foil paper I gave to a friend who makes greetings cards so hopefully next Christmas it will get a new lease of life. We also kept all the gift bags so that they can be reused next year, this is where some of the recycled tags will come in handy. Dont forget to check out where in your local area you can take your tree to be recycled, some schemes are allowing you to dedicate a tree by taking in your used Christmas tree. Important: Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Pines, firs and other evergreens have a high content of flammable turpentine oils. Burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup and risk a chimney fire.

We would love to hear any tips and tricks for Christmas recycling you have, even if its a great recipe for Turkey curry, it'll always come in handy for next year ;) so don't forget to post a comment below so that we can all share. And if you would like to become a member its easy, either send us an email or say hello in a comment that you would like to join and we will add you to our list, there's no commitment when you join, we just want to pass on the word and get more people in our little community together.

On that note, may we both wish you all a very happy, healthy and green New Year!

Rachel & Emma xx