Chelsea “Green Guides”

Use Less – Save More
By Jon Clift and
Amanda Cuthbert

Both books are small “pocket” style compilations, under 80 pages, but chock full of tips and ideas that cover all aspects of energy and water in our lives, as well as how we can better utilize them in a sustainable and efficient fashion.

Energy starts with facts and statistics on electricity usage, and how to take control of our expenditures when it comes to everyday usages like heating, air conditioning, lighting and cooking, plus more. In addition to 100 individual tips, there is a body of advice with additional resources to pursue.

Water also begins with usage data and then goes on to tackle specific areas, like your kitchen, bathroom, the garden, as well as your car. It explains how water is delivered to your home and ends with a global overview, as well as additional resources.

Authors Clift and Cuthbert have worked together on other environmental subjects; Clift has a Masters degree in Sustainable Environmental Management and Cuthbert is a writer, editor and environmentalist who raises animals and grows her own vegetables organically.

Short and easy-to-read or use as reference guides, these books are full of useful information and practical solutions that you may immediately implement and use for years to come.

Published by Chelsea Green Publishing, these books are available at your local bookstore or
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

Chelsea “Green Guides”

Easy Household Guides
By Nicky Scott
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
After tackling the obvious myths about recycling: it costs more, it doesn’t really go where we think it’s going, and it basically causes more trouble than it’s worth, author Nicky Scott, who spent years learning about and working with waste, soil and compost management, gives us a list of individual items that can be given new life. Added benefits are that some of these can save you money and save the planet at the same time!

From Aerosols and Appliances to Wood and Yogurt Cups, you will see a list of specific items as well as tips for their second and subsequent lives. With a bit of inspiration, a vision for the future, and additional resources for research, the practical information in this book is plentiful.

Composting goes one step further and show us, in essence, how we can use our “live” recyclables in a way that produces nutrient-rich, necessary “earth” to be used in your garden… perhaps to grow some succulent, organic vegetables or potted plants. This book explains composting from start to finish. Whether you’ve composted before or are new to the process, you will find many ideas, as well as resources to pursue.

Published by Chelsea Green Publishing, these books are available at your local bookstore or
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

Eco-Friendly Interior Design and Home Improvement
By Kristina Detjen
With clever chapters like plenty of “handy-dandy” roof treatment tips, how to draw a furniture floor plan, creating a budget and even a shopping list for alternative cleaning supplies, this book is a very efficient manual for just about everything you can do to make your home more environmentally friendly.

There are chapters on the “insider story” of what is really in those items you use, sleep with or ingest, of how to choose alternatives in your bedding, from synthetic to natural, more friendly choices like organic cotton, silk, buckwheat and unbleached natural fibers.

As a true manual, you basically go through every room in your house. You start off with a chapter on simply getting started, painting rooms, alternatives to traditional paint finishes, how to clean mold from your bathroom (and keep it away longer) and tips on ventilation and water conservation.

The book touches on the kitchen and how you can find lurking mold, then moves into your laundry room to find other culprits that may hinder recurring problems, as well as harboring dangerous substances that could be making you sick.

This book covers just about any question you might have while moving to an environmentally-friendlier format. And finally, the book shows you how to actually save money while using the methodology to go greener! 

Published by Green Home Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore or at
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

True Stories from Around the World
By Ken Beller and Heather Chase

The winner of the 2007 International Peace Writing Award, this book is perfect for anyone seeking a positive role model in his or her life. Illustrative stories about these leaders fill every page and bring them to life.

Starting off with Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Albert Schweitzer and Mother Theresa, to name a few of the twenty peacemakers spotlighted, this book contains powerful research and insight on exactly why these people were truly “great” at promoting and living peace. It also includes actual statements and sayings by these individuals. The authors specifically chose to feature individuals who were all born after 1800 so we can better relate to them within a historical timeframe.

The authors noted five paths to peace which emerged while studying and profiling these individuals, such as choosing nonviolence, living peace, honoring diversity, valuing all life and caring for the planet.

The book also contains information on free study guides as well as a free download of instruction materials for clubs, schools and other service organizations wishing to use this as a guideline standard for education.

Published by LTS Press, this book is available at your local bookstore or at
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

Volume 1
Greening Your Cleaning
By Deirdre Imus

This author challenges us on whether or not the way we clean is good for us. Citing several toxic ingredients that most of us grew up with, like bleach, ammonia and other chemicals, she asks us to use alternative tools that are more friendly for our health, as well as the environment. And, Imus shares with us some tried-and-true alternatives, as well as the exact ways we can use them to successfully clean our homes safely.

Imus is an activist and founder of a pediatric oncology center that creates hospital-based programs to identify, control and prevent exposures to toxic environmental factors. She speaks from a position of tried- and-true methodology and backs up her alternative methods with a lot of facts and information.

There are dozens of suggestions and examples of substitutes, as well as a true description of what may be in the cleaners you are using. With creative solutions for cleaning items such as bathroom mold, tiled floors and carpets, just to name a few, there is not much left to the imagination.

Especially appropriate if you have small children in your home or have any health problems, this book offers very practical alternatives to better health and a better environment.

Published by Simon & Schuster, this book is available at your local bookstore or at .
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony
By Will Tuttle, Ph.D

There are no actual recipes in this book; however, the premise is to provide us with the necessary background on how our food choices are linked to our background, cultures and genetics. This is meant to act as, and provide the important key to understanding, connecting and evolving with our food choices.

The author, with a master’s degree in humanities and a Ph.D. in the philosophy of education, puts forth the premise that while food can be very simple, it forms the profound essence of the sacred in our lives.

In order to learn about why and how we eat, when we eat and our food choices in general, we need to understand the basis of the philosophy of food, from different traditions and religions as well as science.

We are first shown the power that food holds in our lives, including a vivid, deep discussion on our culture’s roots, such as hunting, herding and an agrarian culture. One particularly compelling section speaks to the domination of the feminine and what the author calls the “Dairy Nightmare,” as well as discussions on the metaphysics of food, the dilemma of work, science and religion and the evils inherently associated with each. Once we are past the basics, we start to learn about evolution, transformation and abolishing some basic myths we hold about food.

Finally, this book also includes quite an extensive bibliography and valuable reference information for additional review and research, for those who want to learn more about the subject.

Published by Lantern Books, this book is available at your local bookstore or at the websites: and
 Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard

By Joan Solomon

At first glance this book looks like a lovely garden photography coffee-table book; however, it is much more. Imagine opening the book to gaze at a gorgeous flower and then noticing a face looking back at you? Actually the book is a collection of tiny faces that the camera revealed on plants.

The author, Joan Solomon, calls the faces “spirits” as she was inspired by them to be seen and exposed so they can freely offer their gifts to those who take the time to behold the beauty and messages of nature.

The book has a beautiful, colorful, award-winning quality collection of photos, each with a face that can be detected in the form of elementals and animals. This collection of faces in the flowers began inadvertently when the image of a “gnome” was captured by Solomon inside a violet in her garden. Intrigued, she was led to photograph more and more flowers and buds, uncovering what she calls a “secret life around us” and to appreciate the gifts of healing wisdom in them.

The photos in this book are unaltered and printed exactly as taken. The pages contain an actual-size drawing of the face in the flower to provide another perspective, along with recipes for the herbs and remedies they offer, and other useful information about the utilization of plants as food and medicine.

Published by Grynwild Publishing, this book is available at most bookstores and at
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis

No One is Left Behind
By Dr. James Turrell
From his years of research and study of religion and philosophy, Dr. James Turrell expands and explains the teachings of Jesus in this new book “The Secret According to Jesus.” 

A pastor himself, Dr. Turrell writes in the same manner in which Jesus once shared his wisdom, with parables and short statements of truth to free our minds and hearts from the human conditions of guilt, shame and ignorance.

It serves to remind us about the “secrets” Jesus once taught and lived but were forgotten or missed because they are so obvious, such as: God is not external to your being; You are in God and God is in you; God does not play favorites; God does not punish anyone for making mistakes; You have never been separated from God; You can not be left behind.

Dr. Turrell was motivated to write the book because he says “it’s time to wake up and enjoy the gifts you have been given.” As a tool and proof of the gifts from Jesus, a chapter called “Questions and Answers About Heaven, Hell and Jesus,” is included, as well as a list of Affirmations of Love: The Law of Attraction translated into the Law of Love from Corinthians 13:1-13 in the World English Bible.

Dr. Turrell is the Pastor and founder of the Costa Mesa Center for Spiritual Discovery in California.

Published by AC Publishing the book is available at: and  and most bookstores.
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis

By Ingrid Newkirk

Knowing children have a natural affinity for animals, author and PETA Founder, Ingrid Newkirk, has compiled this fun and witty guide to offer children 50 ways they can channel their feelings toward the betterment of life for all animals.

Kids like to feel that they can make a difference and help their little friends in the process. The book contains all the information that caring kids (and adults) need to take action and raise awareness which will make an enormous difference for animals.

Who better to offer such a book than the voices of PETA, an organization that has raised awareness and has empowered consumers and spread the message of humane treatment and peace for all beings throughout the universe to an awakening world?

Newkirk explains that there are more than 50 things one can do, of course, but the basic situations that kids encounter, such as how to handle lost pets, what items can be purchased that are not tested on animals, what they can eat that didn’t have to suffer, where is the best place to obtain pets and why, what can be done to help animals enjoy their life.

This book a practical, supportive tool for kids and anyone who cares about the well-being of animals and the planet.

Published by Warner Books this book is available at most bookstores and at
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis

Return to the March/April Index page