Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Living the Good Life

I really enjoyed reading Living the Good Life: Simple Strategies for Sustainable Living by Linda Cockburn.

The book is about Linda and her family's six-month experiment to not spend a dollar, not on bills, food, transportation, entertainment, etc. Part personal diary, part instructional manual on the need for sustainable living, Cockburn successfully manages to combine the best of both "save the planet" type books into a single tome.

I read a few of the Amazon reviews of this book, where some readers complained because the facts and stats included in the book are Australia-centric. This didn't bother me in the slightest. Although the facts for my country may be different (since I live in America undoubtedly they'll only be more grave), the picture painted by these stats are still meaningful and enlightening. Cockburn also sprinkles helpful recipes, from meals to homemade wine and beer, to cleaning potions, throughout the book.

One of the things that makes this book so inspiring to me is that this family managed to live sustainably and grow most of their own food on a typical urban-size plot of land. This is a much more realistic of an endeavor for most, resident of min hus included, than moving to a secluded plot of acreage as many have done for sustainability experiments. Granted, I think this would be challenging to impossible to accomplish without at least one household member staying home to dedicate their time to gardening and other needed projects, but that's still more doable than uprooting one's entire home and life.

Cockburn also has a blog, although it's no substitute for the book, so one can follow her adventures online as well.

Rating: 4.5/5.0, highly enjoyable and recommended.

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