There is something very satisfying in today’s hectic lifestyle about reconnecting with nature. Learning to live more organically and rely less on manufacturing processes that are harmful to both us and the planet, can make us feel more peaceful and healthier. This is the basic concept behind the book A Slice Of Organic Life, edited by Shererazade Goldsmith and published in 2007 by DK (a division of Penguin Books). In a time with great debate over the extent of climate change (and some people still debating the fact that it exists despite overwhelming evidence that people are adversely affecting our planet), clashes between activist groups and political conservatives, and lots of technical jargon, A Slice Of Organic Life is a refreshing addition to the agenda.
The book is designed to help everyone, no matter what your situation is, to make small changes in your lifestyle that will benefit you in terms of both mental and physical health, and that will help you to help the planet as well. It is divided into three sections: 1 (things you can do without a garden), 2 (things you can do with only a small outdoor space), 3 (options for people with a large garden or more space). Although there is an emphasis on gardening type activities, there are plenty of things you can do even if you hate gardening.
For example, in the first section, suggestions include growing herbs in window boxes, but also shopping ethically and responsibly, eco-cleaning tips, and home-made organic skincare products. As you go through the book, the ideas become increasingly more involved, and include sections on keeping chickens, goats, and other animals. The book is informative and interesting, so you could either read it straight through as a book, or just flip straight to the sections that are applicable to you. There really is at least one thing that everyone could do. Just imagine the difference we could make in the world if everyone would try out just one of these ideas!
This book is not designed to tell you everything you need to know about living organically, but just to give you a slice, a sampler or taste to get you started, or to inspire you with new ideas if you’re trying to live green already. There is a wide variety of information, including recipes and gardening tips. If you are interested in one of the more involved ideas, like beekeeping, then you will get an overview here and will want to do further research. There is a list at the back of the book of further resources to point you in the right direction if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the sections.
Overall, this book is a good sampler of organic life. Some people will feel overwhelmed by the number of ideas (and some of the bigger ideas), but there are lots of little suggestions too that anyone can start trying, no matter what their situation is.