Organic You

Happily, spring is here and we can open windows again and enjoy the fresh air and clean smells of the great outdoors (unless you live near a large pig farm or dairy that is doing spring cleaning). Many people still do that annual spring cleaning, not just farmers.  If that is you, here are some great books to turn that event into a more healthful one and suggest simple lifestyle changes that last the whole year long.


A slice of organic life edited by Sheherazade Goldsmith is a delightful book--I checked it out myself!  Filled with great ideas and detail, it can revolutionize your lifestyle and your home.  It deals with the various homes we may find ourselves in, such as no yard at all, a tiny one or even a large field. The ideas cover everything from making paint or raising honey bees to homemade fly paper and are accompanied by gorgeous photographs. 


The Newman's own organics guide to a good life: simple measures that benefit you and the place you live by Nell Newman with Joseph D'Agnese is not as bright and exciting as Goldsmith's slice, but it still covers the material well. Both these first two books give space to caring for pets, including better diets and homemade flea prevention. Both have lists of dangerous household cleaners and suggest friendly alternatives. More time is spent in this book on activism, and each chapter includes a section titled “What you can do.”


For families with young children, there is a special volume just for baby and child care.  Part of a series called green this!, growing up green! by Deirdre Imus is volume two. The first two books cover some of the material in this book, but nowhere near as much detail and information is included.  Mostly organized by the child’s age, there is a great chapter of information on pediatrics, including discussion of the controversial vaccines debate, and an introductory chapter on environmental triggers and cancer causes. Other topics include ADHD, overmedication, sun protection and more.


The other two books covered here are strictly for housekeeping.  The first, Natural cleaning for your home: 95 pure and simple recipes by Casey Kellar, is an in-depth study of all types of needs. Lists of ingredients and where to find them are included at the beginning of the book. Each recipe comes with procedures and cautions, if any.  Kellar even covers outdoor needs such as siding and pool cleaning as well as cars (windshield de-icer even!) and boats.  And the last chapter has some great gift ideas.  Believe it or not.


Finally, Organic housekeeping: in which the nontoxic avenger shows you how to improve your health and that of your family while you save time, money, and, perhaps, your sanity by Ellen Sandbeck is a hoot while she brings us up to date on many subjects.  For instance, she includes a section on absentmindedness.  (She can cure that?  I exclaimed.) One suggestion goes like this: “Bags, boxes, pockets, baskets, purses, and backpacks were invented to hold small objects such as keys, wallets, and eyeglasses, which are easily deposited in random locations but difficult to find afterward.  The container is one of mankind’s greatest inventions: Use one today!” If that’s not good organic advice, what is?