11/20/09 Update: The winner of the Practically Green book is… (see below.)
I first met Micaela Preston through the Green Moms Carnival. Her blog, Mindful Momma, is full of practical advice and Do-It-Yourself projects for living a more sustainable life. She was also my roommate at the BlogHer conference this summer, where she impressed everyone with her ingenious handmade business card holder, made from the pocket of an old blouse and sporting two compartments — one for her own cards and the other for cards she received from other people. So it’s not surprising that she has just published a new book entitled Practically Green: Your Guide to Ecofriendly Decision-Making.Micaela sent me a copy of her book, which I’ve just finished reading. Each chapter is divided into two sections. Buy It Green includes useful charts and lists that explain the various green standards and environmental and health hazards to watch out for when purchasing food, clothing, home furnishings, toys, etc. Do It Green includes recipes and instructions for making your own from materials you might already have on hand.
I was treated to another sample of Micaela’s handiwork at the BlogHer conference while showing her my To-Go Ware bamboo utensil set in its cute fabric carrying case. She did me one better and showed me her own homemade utensil carrying case that is so simple anyone could make it. And she uses silverware that she already has in the house. No need to go out and buy anything new.
1) Take a cloth napkin. Instructions for sewing your own cloth napkins are in the Do It Green section of Chapter 2, but I’m betting you could use a napkin that you already have.
2) Lay your own knife, fork, and spoon along one side of the napkin in the vertical center and fold up the bottom over them.
3) Fold the top of the napkin over the utensils and roll them up in the napkin.
4) Hold it all together with a nice ribbon.
I actually might create a system like this for my bamboo utensils. The case I currently have allows the utensils to slide out through the top if I don’t tie it tightly enough. And in Micaela’s version, you have a napkin to put on your lap.
Micaela will be hosting a virtual book launch party on her blog, giving away prizes to participants, beginning on Monday of next week and continuing all week long.
But why wait until then? Now that I’ve read the book, I’m ready to pass it on to one lucky Fake Plastic Fish reader. All you have to do is leave a comment here and share with us one of your own Do It Green tips for ways to avoid buying new products. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Micaela’s utensil case is a very simple idea. I had just never thought of it. And finding ways to reuse, repurpose, and make our own from materials we already have is certainly the more sustainable choice than buying anything new.
I’ll choose a winner by the end of next week. Oh, and one more condition. Your Do It Green tip? Can’t contain any plastic. This is, after all, Fake Plastic Fish!
The winner of the Practically Green book is… Just Ducky! Congratulations!
Disclosure: If you use the Barnes & Noble link in this post to buy Practically Green, Fake Plastic Fish earns a small commission. But try to borrow, find it used, or buy it locally from an independent book seller before going the online route. For an explanation, read my full advertising/review policy here.