ECOHOLIC BODY: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to Living Healthy & Looking Good

Author: Adria Vasil
Publisher: Vintage Press
Book Publication: 2012

Ecoholic Body is the third book in the Ecoholic series by NOW Magazine’s green columnist Adria Vasil. All three – Ecoholic (2007), Ecoholic Home (2009) and Ecoholic Body (2012) – are intended to help us lower our environmental footprint and reduce our exposure to unhealthy substances in our daily lives.

Ecoholic Body is filled with 450 pages of information on sustainable and healthy products – from beauty and personal care to health supplements and apparel, for both adults and children. However, the book is more than just a bible of eco-friendly and healthy products.  It makes a clear connection between our daily choices and their consequences for the environment. It will teach you more than you could imagine about the dangers lurking in all the choices you make.

Ecoholic Body contains extensive research on product ingredients and sources so you can make wise and intelligent choices. For example, Adria Vasil reveals the unvarnished truth about:

  • the hidden toxins in your personal care products, including some “natural” brands;
  • the triclosan (an official toxin) and other synthetic disinfectants in your grapefruit seed extract;
  • the fabric conditioning chemicals in your favourite T-shirt that could be the cause of your brain fog.

The science on these toxic products is now indisputable. Fortunately, Vasil has also done the research on which products are clean and green, and she provides lists of her preferred brands as well as product testing charts where she scores natural items such as deodorant and shampoo out of 5. At the same time, she urges the reader to do their own research and find their own non-toxic favourites.

Personally, as a skincare professional, I would have liked to see more of Pure+simple’s quality products recommended in the book, but Ecoholic Body is still an important reference for me and our clients.

There are holistic anti-aging tips in the skincare section and tips on how to get optimum effectiveness from product purchases. It’s full of useful DIY recipes, like a DIY hand sanitizer, and great natural remedies to replace controversial medicines. For example, Ecoholic Body explores the use of garlic instead of antibiotics for killing bacteria and parasites.

In the apparel section, Ecoholic Body warns of the dangerous finishes used on both conventional and natural fabrics to improve appearance, such as “no wrinkle” cotton with Teflon, or pyjamas steeped in formaldehyde. With Ecoholic Body in hand, your spectrum of sustainable clothing choices expands to include ethical natural fibres like hemp and green synthetics like Tencel, processed from eucalyptus. There is even a recommended list of green clothing designers along with mainstream organic brands, consignment clothing shops, and “sew your own” suggestions.

Ultimately, Vasil sums up Ecoholic Body’s approach in the introduction in which she points out that the consequences of our choices “boomerang right back at us, knocking us upside the head like a 5 a.m. wake-up call from Gaia,” and links this to her chapters on Environmental Health sub-titled “What Goes Around Comes Around.”

Ecoholic Body delves deeper into the matter in its Big Issues section where Vasil spells out how big picture issues related to climate, water, forests and more are affecting our collective health. There, she offers up suggestions on just how to “harass” our politicians and companies making these goods into “prioritizing our health – and the health of the planet.”

Therefore we need to educate ourselves and others on the facts of climate change and global environmental concerns.  Adria Vasil states it well: “As the big picture comes into focus, we are waking up to the fact that we’re not only making ourselves sick, we’re making the planet sick.”

Everyone should get this comprehensive book on ethical and healthy consumption for all things “Body.” It’s a great guide for the novice and for the seasoned ethical shopper.

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