In­formed de­ci­sions

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS - Star2@thes­

Whether you de­cide to take on board this book’s mes­sage or not is up to you. But we’re sure you’ll have fun de­cid­ing! sim­ply about choos­ing be­tween reach­ing for a packet of chem­i­cal-laden weed killer or tak­ing 10 min­utes to mix an equally ef­fi­cient con­coc­tion from one ta­ble­spoon each of gin and cider vine­gar and one tea­spoon of liq­uid Castile (ie: olive oil-based) soap for a home­made, non-toxic weed killer.

While Barnouin does rec­om­mend prod­ucts, most are not avail­able in Malaysia, though one as­sumes some might be avail­able on­line. But we can still take in the mes­sage of the book, which is to be an in­formed con­sumer. In giv­ing in­for­ma­tion about the man­u­fac­tur­ing process of fur­ni­ture mak­ers, food pro­duc­ers, fash­ion com­pa­nies and oth­ers, Barnouin is em­pow­er­ing readers, prompt­ing us to ask, “Where does this prod­uct come from? How many pro­cesses did it go through to get into my hands? What is this prod­uct’s car­bon foot­print? Is there a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive?”

The last ques­tion should al­ways be in our mind ev­ery time we choose to buy or use any­thing. It’s about liv­ing life more con­sciously and re­spon­si­bly. This book makes you re­think the no­tion that to be “green” is way too much trou­ble. It’s sim­ply about a change of mind­set.

Just like Barnouin’s first (coau­thored) book about ve­gan/ healthy eat­ing, this book about liv­ing the green life will have you laugh­ing out loud and nod­ding in agree­ment.

There have been mixed re­views about the Skinny Bitch se­ries; some peo­ple dis­ap­prove of the au­thors’ crude lan­guage; some call the first book on be­com­ing ve­gan pure pro­pa­ganda; some love the se­ries for its en­ter­tain­ment value and some truly take the ad­vice to heart. The re­ac­tion onto this book will prob­a­bly would be sim­i­larly var­ied – but no one can deny that a fair bit of re­search went into it.

My take on it is, any book that makes you ques­tion man­u­fac­tur­ers or pro­duc­ers that use harm­ful and toxic chem­i­cals dur­ing pro­duc­tion, and in turn chan­nel those tox­ins into our homes and bod­ies when we pur­chase the end prod­uct, is a good book.

In the end, it’s about per­sonal choice. You can choose to prac­tise what you read or to ig­nore it if you deem it too much trou­ble. But at least you will be mak­ing an in­formed decision.

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