cover image Simply Living Well: A Guide to Creating a Natural, Low-Waste Home

Simply Living Well: A Guide to Creating a Natural, Low-Waste Home

Julia Watkins. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23 (288p) ISBN 978-0-358-20218-9

With the message that it’s not easy to be green, this simple but comprehensive guide from environmental activist and debut author Watkins helps readers eliminate excess plastic, waste, and chemicals from their lives to whatever extent they choose. Emphasizing the importance of setting attainable goals, Watkins cautions that reaching the state of “zero-waste is a process, not an event.” Checklists begin each section, with the kitchen chapter list advising replacing plastic utensils, storage containers, and cooking equipment with wood, glass, and stainless steel. People concerned about the safety of commercially available cleaning products will particularly appreciate the section on making one’s own chemical-free solutions. Watkins often refers to the homemaking methods of an earlier time, as with her “Tips for Line Drying,” where she posits “working methodically with your hands” as a good “way to slow down and be present.” The beauty and wellness section includes recipes for common drugstore staples, including toothpaste made with peppermint essential oil and a hair rinse product made with apple cider vinegar. Whether readers want a smaller carbon footprint or an entirely chemical-free lifestyle, this has all the information needed to get started. Agent: Julia Eagleton, the Gernert Co. (Apr.)