Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Greener Christmas by Sheherazade Goldsmith

A Greener Christmas offers ideas and solutions for celebrating a simpler, homespun, greener Christmas. It's packed with ideas for trimming the tree, outfitting the table, making the gifts and feeding the guests. It also offers many suggestions for more eco-friendly shopping and celebrating.

I loved this book. It's perfect for those, like me, who are tired of the commercialism of Christmas and wish this time of year wasn't so chaotic, stressful and wasteful. Even though the recipes and crafts look simple, the results are nevertheless stunning. The instructions for each are straightforward and easy to follow. Each project features a level of difficulty indicator, a list of materials, step-by-step instructions with accompanying photos, as well as a photo (or photos) of the finished product. The book even has templates for the crafts that need them.

I appreciate all of the "Green Tips" that are scattered throughout the book. These tips include how to recycling various items, what to look for when shopping, etc. There are also "Cooking Tips" on some of the recipes that further advice.

I loved all of the photographs in the book. They are large and beautifully presented. Especially lovely are the ones featuring the themed Christmas trees. I loved the Natural Christmas tree with the dried fruit slices and cinnamon sticks; the Fabric and Paper Christmas tree with the homemade decorations; and the Edible Christmas tree with the cookies and other treats to eat. Fabulous!

The book also features a substantial Table of Contents as well as a pretty good index. Both of these makes items in the book easy to find. There's also a Directory, which lists the various companies from which supplies can be purchased. Most of them are in the USA and have websites, so if you're into online shopping and can't find the items locally that might be an option.

I haven't made any of the recipes or craft projects yet, but I do have my eye on a couple. The first craft project on my agenda is called "A Flock of Festive Birds" (page 73). Basically, it's a tree decoration in the shape of a bird (or birds) made out of felt. Odds and ends are used for decoration. I already have the scrap felt and the rest assembled and ready to start. I also really want to make the cotton bag (page 170), which according to the introduction would be "perfect for taking to the beach". As far as recipes go, I really want to try the "Marshmallow sweets" (page 260), the "Spiced Nuts" (page 271) and the "Parsnip Chips" (page 272-273).

Highly recommended.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the DK Publishing website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at DK Canada for this review copy.

A Greener Christmas by Sheherazade Goldsmith, Dorling Kindersley (DK Publishing), ©2008. ISBN 9780756656478(Trade paperback), 352p.

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