Sunday, October 19, 2008

Book Review: Almost Green by James Glave

BIG THANKS to Emiko and Douglas & McIntyre for sending me this book to review!

“Almost Green" by James Glave

Published by Greystone Books, a division of Douglas & McIntyre Ltd.

Rating: 4 stars

In an effort to make his life more eco-friendly, idealistic James Glave came up with the crazy notion of building an ecologically sound structure on his property, which he deemed the Eco-Shed. In “Almost Green”, Glave explains how the idea, planning and building of this ‘green’ haven came about. While the book primarily chronicles the construction of the Eco-Shed, it also details Glave’s struggle to reduce his carbon footprint within the limitations of practicality. As Glave puts it, this book is about “our natural instinct to flatten the protruding nail of personal sacrifice with the always handy hammers of convenience and denial”.

As is evidenced by the long and financially burdensome process of producing the Eco-Shed, Glave knows firsthand that it’s not easy being green. While reading the book it is clear how much time, energy and money was being poured into the Eco-Shed, notwithstanding all of the hope, heart and faith. Reading about all the times Glave's project came close to failing and draining all of his resources, he was the epitome of the underdog and had me rooting for him until the very end.

I learned a lot about our environment from the book because it is packed with practical and interesting information. It is apparent that Glave did quite a bit of research to come up with the intermittent statistics and eco-friendly facts located throughout the book. There is also a great deal of information on each of each step in the construction of the Eco-Shed. While much of these details were necessary in recounting the story, I felt that at times there was simply too much detail to absorb. I wish there had been a few more anecdotes about Glave’s wife and small children, because I found those parts of the book extremely touching and they showed just how much Glave cares for his family.

Not only is this book educational, it is also extremely comical. After reading “Almost Green” I can safely conclude that Mr. Glave is a very funny man and I really appreciated his self-deprecating and sometimes sarcastic sense of humor. Another obstacle Glave had to overcome was his father-in-law, Padre, who is the kind of guy who forwards emails that joke about the existence of global warming. The pages dedicated to Padre were some of the funniest and most enjoyable parts of the book. There is even a hilarious ‘quote’ by Padre on the book’s back cover that reads: “Almost Green is a BOONDOGGLE from start to finish. Save your money; go out and get yourself a Costco membership instead” (Note: I have to disagree with this quote. Sorry Padre!)

“Almost Green” is an inspirational story about a regular guy who sought to become a little more eco-friendly and in the process learned and passed on some very valuable lessons. (And true to his message, this book is even printed on forest-friendly paper!)

For more info, check out James Glave’s website
To see more pictures of the infamous Eco-Shed click here

To reserve your stay in the Eco-Shed visit its website OR enter Douglas & McIntyre’s Eco-Shed contest to WIN a night in the Eco-Shed!!

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I'm adding this one to my wish list. I would love to be more "green."