Book review

Ecoholic Body

Book review

Discover ways to green your body from head to toe with Adra Vasil's eco body tips.

Ecoholic Body by Adria Vasil
Vintage, 2012, 468 pages, $29.99
ISBN: 978-0-307-35715-1

It’s not always easy being green; nor is it easy to write about. With new information entering the airwaves every day, how does a writer stay current and interesting to a savvy readership, especially in the face of a fast-fading print culture? What makes us want to pick up a 468-page compilation of relevant info—knowing beforehand that it may be hard to swallow? Why should we keep turning the pages?

The answer? One word. Or two: Adria Vasil.

If you’ve been living under a rock, or like me—on the far edge of this great country—you can be forgiven for not knowing about Toronto’s Adria Vasil. The Ottawa Citizen calls this environmental writer “the reigning queen of helping Canadians live the green life.”

Vasil’s new book is the big fat bible of all things healthy and green in this country. Her plucky style is what makes Ecoholic Body so compelling that you won’t put it down. She uses an endearing, straight-shooting tell-it-like-it-really-is method to call out greenwashers and industry posers across the board. From engagement rings with excessive carbon footprints to natural baby products that could be more so, she analyzes all aspects of daily life that interact with our bodies.

There are no blanket statements in this book. Vasil points a feisty finger at any company with green-tinted marketing claims that are less than solid. She knows the eco-provenance of just about every product sold on Canadian shelves. Look for the province-by-province guide to regional eco stores and online businesses. There’s even a label decoder. Do you know what “Cradle to Cradle,” “Fair Trade Certified,” and Canada’s “EcoLogo” say about the textiles you wear and cremes you use?

Which nail polish, shampoo, or mascara is the safest in Canada? Which is the most promising natural option for arthritis? What is Health Canada doing about pharmaceutical pollutants? You’ll find more answers than you knew there were questions for, but Vasil’s enthusiasm for her subject makes Ecoholic Body a fascinating and fun ride. A carbon-free tonne of research has gone into this work, and it’s organized for maximum relevance to Canadian readers.

The Ecoholic Body

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