Book 30 of 52: The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green

Feeling greenwashed yet? I am. And even though Terra Wellington’s The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home offers a few nuggets of good eco information, I wouldn’t recommend it as your one green go-to book. A lot of the information is beyond basic, like how to put more walking into your life, and put a lid on the pot as it boils to save energy and heat. Wellington also leans so much on information from the EPA and Energy Star programs that I wondered why she didn’t just reprint their web pages in the book.

The title of this book also bothers me. I can see why putting “mom” in it would mean to sell books, but there’s little about this book that screams it’s specifically for moms. Why are kids tips just for women? Or a chapter about greening a school?

I’m annoyed by this book. Seriously annoyed — like how I feel when I see someone like Clorox with a “green” product (Really? How is bleach green? You can’t claim to be green while still producing that stuff. Also, the author notes on her bio that she has done spokesperson work for Clorox, which I realized AFTER I wrote this part of the review).

So many people are hitching onto the green bandwagon for the sake of selling something (I can only imagine how many of them I’ll see at Book Expo America this year). Don’t get me wrong — there’s some great books out there, like book 3 of 52 — but green books are becoming like diet books. Too many of them, all repeating the same thing. Unlike a lot of diet books, The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home isn’t nonsense, but doesn’t offers information I can’t find elsewhere. It’s not even told in an interesting format — just a listy, bland narrative with so many boxes and charts that I wonder as to how much space had to be filled to reach word count. I also don’t see how a bio like this makes someone a “green” expert. If I wanted to search for a tip or two on green living, I’d go to Google or to Leah Ingram’s Suddenly Frugal blog, not a book that amasses the websites I’d can easily find on my own.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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