kw: book reviews, nonfiction, ecology, environmentalism, advertisements
To be totally up front here, the book under review is mainly an extended advertisement for Shaklee products. Also, I happen to be a favorable witness, having used certain Shaklee products for forty years. I was a distributor at one time, but soon found it more lucrative to program computers—I am too introverted to be a good sales person.
I also found I didn't need to read right through. Green Goes With Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet, by Sloan Barnett, is something of a reference book. Ms Barnett is a journalist, and the wife of a Shaklee executive, so she has gathered a ton of research into its chapters.
Her opening chapters are autobiographical. She was a casual Shaklee customer (in spite of the executive connection) until a child's asthma attack got her attention. When she found that much asthma is caused by, or triggered by chemicals in common household cleaning products, she basically went on a rampage. Wherever she could, she replaced products with Shaklee products, and found other alternatives for almost everything needed to run a modern home.
Most of the chapters are topical: houshold cleansers, body and baby products, food, water, air, energy…she covers it all. She closes with an appendix that is a 33-page resource guide, to just about everything Shaklee doesn't produce but is chemically and ecologically acceptable. This guide is kept updated at the GreenGoesWithEverything web site.
Forty years ago, Shaklee really had only one or two products that were worth the extra cost. The company has revamped the product line and streamlined manufacturing, so that many of the products are now either competitive or less costly on a per-use basis, and work as well or better than "the usual". I am re-evaluating my own choices of home products, a process I began early in the year, before I ran across this book. The hurdle now is not economical or practical, but a matter of being willing to change certain habits. Using a super-concentrated cleaning product requires being willing to mix it up rather than using it as it comes in the bottle. And, as the author states several times, being willing to forego "fragrances", which are often toxic or problematic: "Clean doesn't smell like lemons, it smells like nothing."
A useful reference book, if you don't mind its advertising nature.