Accidentally Green by Hilary Kimes Bernstein Book Review

Accidentally Green by Hilary Kimes Bernstein Book ReviewAccidentally Green by Hilary Bernstein
Published by Accidentally Green LLC on Mar. 25, 2013
Genres: Healthy Living, Nonfiction
Pages: 89
Format: eBook
Source: Giveaway won
Goodreads
four-stars
A short, easy, informative and inspiring read on how small changes can lead to a greener, cleaner and healthier lifestyle.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Why did one normal family decide to go green? And how did they do it? Author Hilary Kimes Bernstein shares the nitty gritty details in her eBook, “Accidentally Green: How and why one family began making healthy changes that honor God and happen to help the environment.”

“Accidentally Green” is divided into six different chapters, as they chronicle six distinct phases of Bernstein s life. After each chapter, a Pull Up A Chair section share specific details that work for her family. In a Things To Think About section, readers will be prompted to examine their own lives. By the end of “Accidentally Green,” readers will learn about a lot of small changes and feel encouraged to start making healthier decisions that honor God and happen to help the environment.”

My Thoughts:

Thanks to Anjannette from Raising the Barrs, I won a copy of Accidentally Green during her Earth Day Giveaway. I know I should be more “green”, make better choices for my family and our environment. Our children will inherit the Earth humans decide to pollute. I’m saddened every time I hear about a friend my age battling cancer or worse, a friend’s child. Every time I turn around, there’s another story on a cancer-causing additive and preservative, or news story about the impact of artificial colors on ADHD. It’s scary to think our food is hurting us.

I know it’s a conscious decision to make better, healthful choices, it should be a no-brainer. So why is it so hard to give up those convenient but harmful household cleaners and convenient but harmful processed food? Honestly, I get a little overwhelmed with what I know I should be doing. I would love to have a well-producing organic vegetable garden, make my own household cleaners and personal care items, read every food label and only buy non-preservative and organic foods RIGHT NOW. That’s not my reality though, not all at once anyway.

What I love about Accidentally Green is that Hilary isn’t telling us we gotta do all these things right now or else. She describes in all honesty how she became “accidentally” green, through small and large events through the course of her life that made her re-evaluate her decisions. It’s more important to do it right, than to rush through making an uninformed choice. She takes us step-by-step and shows how each small change made her and her family feel better and more motivated to do more.

She shares with us how she did her research, what websites to consult, and what she found.  She shares simple and effective cleaning techniques and even a natural mosquite repellant using ingredients from your fridge and pantry (we seriously needed that in the summer time)! Her blog of the same name has even more info on green ways to feed your family and clean your body and home. I wish I would’ve known about her home remedy for teething relief when my guys were little!

Hilary’s writing is conversational yet professional and informative. My favorite sections are at the end of each chapter, “Pull Up a Chair” and “Things to Think About.” She gives her honest opinion and then asks questions about what small steps we can do to live greener and healthier lives.

Throughout the book, Hilary shares her faith and appreciation for God’s blessings which is refreshing and not too preachy or overdone. While she’s made significant changes in her life, she also tells us what’s on her to-do list and where she wants to improve to get even greener and healthier. Accidentally Green is a short, easy, inspiring and informative read. Just what I need to make small changes so my family and I can be “accidentally” green too!

So, what has this book inspired me to do? Here are some of the small changes I’ve made:

* My container vegetable garden was a bust this year, except for the Thai Basil that overtook all the pots. But they are cleaned out and ready to go for next year.

* Got rid of plastic storage containers that were not BPA-free and purchased glass storage containers

* Used hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to clean my kitchen (it worked really well on the burned on grease on the toaster oven door and pan)!

* Haven’t bought any new hair care products which is tough cause with naturally frizzy/curly/dry hair I used to put a lot of product in it to tame it.  I’m hoping avocado and olive oil will help nourish my hair but I’ve yet to try it.

* Started reading the labels on my shampoo, so I bought the sulfate-free thinking that’s better but it still has some sodium laurel dioacetate and a laundry list of other things I can’t pronounce. I have a feeling that “natural” kids body wash I was buying is also not so natural after all.

* I’ve been a food label checker so I continue to avoid foods with preservatives, corn syrup and artificial colors. I’m not perfect but basically if my 1st grader couldn’t read the ingredients, I try to avoid it (ok, except for Halloween, we do have a slew of candy and I’m not that mean of a mom that I will throw it out!)

* I buy some organic food, those with the soft skin like grapes.  This last time, a light colored spider was crawling through the grapes as I washed them. Do you know I have bad arachnaphobia? Eek!

While this is just a start and by no means, the end, Accidentally Green gave me a jump start and some ideas for baby steps to take to achieve a healthier lifestyle for me and my family. Thanks Anjanette for the giveaway and to Hilary for sharing her journey with us.

Visit Accidentally Green if you are interested in buying the book!

Disclosure: I received this book for free and was not compensated for writing a positive review. Opinions expressed are honest and my own.  

What have you done to make greener and healthier choices? If you’ve got effective green home or personal cleaning remedies, please share what works for you! 

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four-stars

26 comments

  1. Jeannine G. says:

    This is a hard one for me because it does feel overwhelming and I always feel like there’s no time. But the idea of one thing at a time would work. I buy whole grain breads and Skippy’s natural peanut butter (needs refrigerated) to avoid hydrogenated oils…same with cheese, avoid those bad oils. When we are able we buy beef straight from a local farm. It’s hard to keep up!
    Jeannine G. recently posted..Memoir x 2My Profile

    • Tanya M says:

      Hi Jeannine, I know what you mean, it is hard to keep up. I love natural peanut butter now, it just tastes better to me. That’s awesome you get beef from a local farm, I still haven’t tried to do that yet. But my awesome friend keeps her own bees and gives us honey every time we see her. I LOOOVE their honey.

  2. Missy Homemaker says:

    Great review and account of how you’re trying to green up your life.
    It can be overwhelming to go greener, but when you do one thing at a time like you mentioned, such as not purchasing a cleaner when you run out but making your own instead, it’s a lot easier.
    Good for you for taking some steps to get those harmful chemicals out of your house. Every little bit helps.
    Missy Homemaker recently posted..Wellness Wednesday: Diets Fail, You Don’tMy Profile

    • Tanya M says:

      Thanks Missy Homemaker for the encouragement. I always tell my kids “every little bit helps” too! I think the household cleaners and homemade shampoo/soap will be the hardest for me only because I haven’t tried it before. Just like anything, it takes some time to figure out but hopefully I can develop some new and healthy habits my family and our environment can benefit from!

      I appreciate you stopping by!

    • Tanya M says:

      That’s great you can local beef. I haven’t tried to buy meat locally and even with nearby farmers markets, I still shop at the grocery store for produce that I don’t grow myself. I so hope I can get my garden in better shape next year. I had a pretty good container garden the year before and I loved being able to just go out on the deck and get fresh peppers, herbs and tomatoes.

      It does take time, thought and energy…all things that I seem to have less and less of as my kids thought and energy increases!

      Thanks for stopping by Tammy, let me know if you read it..or visit her blog for lots of ideas!

    • Tanya M says:

      I made some small changes and know there is much more I could do. I’ll take it little by little and do my best. I can already tell the difference, especially in limiting kids intake of sugary cereals with the artificial colors. I feel the differences too as it relates to food, replacing vegetable oil with olive oil in cooking or applesauce in baking.

      The household cleaners and the homemade shampoo/soap and laundry detergent will be my biggest battles, but only because I haven’t tried too much yet. Once I find what works, hopefully I can get it into a routine. There’s hope anyway :)

      Thanks for stopping by Zan, lovely to hear from you!

    • Tanya M says:

      Well the e-book is only 89 pages, so it is a fast read! Maybe that’s good if your book club meets during the holiday months :) What sorts of books does your club like to read? I host one too and enjoy it a lot. I am always looking for recommendations to read but we are working our way through the Harry Potter series so that will take a good chunk of the year to complete.

      I agree that some tasks are easier than others to incorporate into daily life. I also bought some washcloths to use as cloth napkins. We use those now instead of paper napkins. They hardly take up any space in the laundry and I’m saving a lot of trash as much as my family of 5 eats and the napkins we used to go through!

      Thanks for stopping by Miranda, hope you come back again and share the good books you are reading with me!

    • Tanya M says:

      Yea, I tried one of the Green Works products before (but it was more than a year or so ago) and it had a foul kind of odor. Last thing I need is for my house to smell worse than before I cleaned it. Have you found green household cleaners you like? We are good recyclers, thank goodness for curbside recycling. I think we recycle more than we throw in the trash, small victory! :)

      Thanks for stopping by Kim, always great to hear from you!

  3. Felicia S. (@thegeekyblogger) says:

    On the hair thing: I have been without shampoo and conditioner (except made with all natural oils/veggies) for almost a year now (started in Feb)! I have naturally frizzy/curly hair. Here is the good: it is only bad for about 6 weeks and then after that your hair will be softer/you won’t have to wash as often. Here is the bad: I occasionally (depending) on the weather have to blowdry my hair. Most of the time I don’t but it does occasionally have to be done. I do use a straightener (device not product) occasionally to tame the beast but otherwise it is all natural–no product. I will say this: straight baking soda/vinegar did not work for me. I use Fundamental Earth Organic Shampoo and Conditioner.
    Felicia S. (@thegeekyblogger) recently posted..30 Days of Thanks 2013 Day 13: The Intercept by Dick Wolf | The Caffeinated Book ReviewerMy Profile

    • Tanya M says:

      Thanks Felicia for all the help! Where do you get the Fundamental earth organic shampoo? I am not good at straightening my hair, I have a straightener that just uses water but it normally takes me an hour to do it myself and I haven’t attempted it in years. I used to go to hairdesser for that and kids would always love when i got it straightened. How often do you wash your hair in the beginning and how often do you wash it now?

      • Felicia S. (@thegeekyblogger) says:

        I order it off Amazon!

        In the beginning I was washing my hair every 3 days. Now I wash it 1 time a week (2 times if I do a lot of walking)! My hair isn’t grimy or icky! In the beginning, it will be horrible. The more you can wear it up the better. As far as straightening it—I mostly just do the top two layers with the iron and just brush out the bottom layers (except the ends I will do with the iron. It is amazing how much doing the top two layers will hide and give volume. This won’t work if you are pulling it up but if you are like me–you have lots of hair. Doing all of it is just too time consuming and it won’t all sit straight anyway. By doing the top two layers and the ends–it give the illusion of being straight but still has body.
        Felicia S. (@thegeekyblogger) recently posted..30 Days of Thanks 2013 Day 15: Black Moon by J.D. Tyler | She-Wolf ReadsMy Profile

  4. Carli says:

    I am the worst person to ask about this because I hate the term “going green”. I think it is so overused and commercialized. I always say, do the best you can with the information you have. And then I don’t stress too much about it!

    • Tanya M says:

      “Going green” is an overused term and like certifying something as “organic” or “all natural” seems to just be a license to charge us more money for it. What I don’t get is why these things that should be better for us and are LESS processed, actually cost MORE! It’s silly, but really I shouldn’t start on my rant about that :)

      I think the intentions to get to a healthier lifestyle is a good one. I agree with you too on doing the best with the info you have. It seems every time I turn around, there’s some study saying one thing and another contradicting it. I don’t care what they say about coffee, whether it’s good or bad, I still need it! Thanks for stopping by Carli and sharing your thoughts with me!

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