It's pretty much guaranteed that we're going to enjoy almost anything that Grist puts its name on. They're funny, they tackle big environmental topics, and they seem to get it right almost all of the time. Did we mention that they're funny? We like that. We really liked that in Grist's new book, Wake Up and Smell the Planet.
As serious as we are about the environment, sometimes too much earnestness makes us feel cranky. We enjoyed this read because some of it's refreshingly goofy (workout advice: "Volunteer to lift sacks of bulk grains at your local grocery store"), but also packed with all kinds of great information.
The book is organized as a sort of green guide through an ordinary day. Starting with the morning shower (get a low-flow shower head, don't use disposable plastic razors) and ending with a little sexual healing before bed (try vegan condoms), there are helpful tips and really unexpected bits of information packed into each page.
For instance, do you know what beauty product you should seriously consider giving up (if you haven't already)? According to Grist, it's nail polish -- because of the 10,000 chemicals used in its production (89% of which have not been tested for safety by any independent organization).
This is a great gift for a friend who seems intrigued, although possibly intimidated, by the whole green thing -- or a nice addition to your library if you're looking for a few laughs and some great tips.