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EcoThrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life
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EcoThrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  149 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without—our grandmothers knew the importance of responsible, thrifty choices. But somewhere along the way we lost our way and succumbed to the belief that we can get everything for next to nothing, have it shipped halfway around the world and then, more often than not, just throw it away.

This consumer binge is taking its toll. Diet
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by New Society Publishers (first published September 11th 2012)
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Mar 11, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
I've been reading Deborah's blog since before she published her first book, so I can say that if she sounds preachy to some people, it's because she has the experience and the knowledge to preach about living an EcoThrifty life!

I've read a lot of green living books, and I usually put them down and think, "Well, that sounds great, but I could never do it", but this book is great for someone who wants to find a few simple ways to start incorporating a more environmentally concious worldview, but
Apr 13, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Inspiring! The author did a great job of stripping away all of my excuses of why I don't do more myself. Her convictions at the beginning, suggestions through the body, and encouragement at the end of the book were just what I needed to begin a plan for eco-improvement!
Dec 16, 2013 AnandaTashie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fic, 2013
It's a 2 for me, but it could earn an extra star for people who don't have much experience with being "green" (?). I found the book to be kind of dry, occasionally preachy, and a tad iffy now and then (for example, suggesting people switch to kitchen oils for lube; though the verdict varies of the true health of that, there's also no mention of what it could do to condoms...).
Nov 27, 2016 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: simplicity, 2016
There are some really good tips here, but nothing groundbreaking. This book would be more useful for someone just beginning to choose more environmentally friendly options, but for someone already fairly aware of their impact, this won't give many new ideas.
Bookish Jen
Apr 19, 2014 Bookish Jen rated it really liked it
With a financial situation that can only be described as “meh” and a desire to be a green as possible, I’m always looking for tips and ideas on how to save some money while also being earth-friendly. Some of the money saving tips I find are way too stringent, the kind you might find on the TLC show “Extreme Cheapskates.” No thanks. I refuse to dumpster dive for medication. And as for being green, there are times when I think the green movement has become too elitist or “yuppie,” like high-end gr ...more
Diana Gotsch
Oct 09, 2012 Diana Gotsch rated it it was ok
In someways a confusing book. I'm not sure the Author ever decided who her target audience was. Sometimes the advice was so obvious that it was insulting to the person who was already experienced in trying to live a more thrifty and Eco friendly life. Open a window on cool nights to save on air conditioning for example. In other places she seemed to assume her reader already knew some complex art. She talked at length about the oils you could add to homemade soap to make them special without eve ...more
Apr 28, 2016 Cara rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, nonfiction
Following her eco-friendly debut, "Homegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living," Niemann continues to offer tips for sustainable living, focusing now on practical ways to be green while saving money. Niemann’s suggestions provide earth-conscious, frugal ways to avoid buying toxic products or their expensive alternatives, thereby reducing environmental harm and supporting personal health through informed consumer choices. In every chapter, from food to home to transporta ...more
Feb 09, 2013 Samma rated it it was ok
I felt like the author got a holier-than-thou attitude about her writing on the subject at hand. It's perfectly fine to want to be thrifty and to seek out a book --but, she made me glad I didn't pay for this one. Thank god for libraries (...which I don't think she even mentioned as a way to cut costs on books and magazines; instead heading straight for the internet...which may I remind you spendthrifts, is usually available at your local library along with many other wonderful opprotunities to s ...more
Aug 09, 2013 Fay rated it really liked it
A concise guide to living a frugal "green" life. This book covers every aspect including personal hygiene and entertainment. There are some basic recipes, accounts from experience and gentle encouragement to at least give it a go.

I liked this book because it was inspiring and stimulating. My only complaint - it was written for American readers, in particular those in Chicago. The comprehensive bibliography section made up for that.

It's a small book, easily read and printed on 100% recycled paper
Feb 13, 2014 Aimee rated it liked it
I think I've read pretty much all the eco-hints at this point. I'm a die-hard composter. I have switched almost all my cleaning products to eco-friendly ones. There are hardly any incandescent bulbs left in my lighting fixtures, and at this point I'm replacing the CFLs with LEDs. And on and on. Either I'm not hard-core enough to do it (like bringing my own metal flatware to a family picnic in order not to use a plastic fork), or it just isn't realistic for my life!
Learned a few interesting and useful tidbits from this book, but it wasn't as engaging or useful as I had hoped. Also, I don't think that the sections where she adds up the cost savings are all that helpful -- either they did not apply to me (I wouldn't be purchasing those things anyway) or the savings did not seem to be all that worthwhile -- the advice was, but that aspect just didn't work for me. Kinds basic, but a good starter on the subject.
Dec 07, 2012 Melanie rated it it was ok
While she has some good ideas and the book covers many areas of modern life, her writing is preachy and her style is laborious. Could have used a brisk edit. Also many of the how-tos were very thin and I doubt anyone will successfully make recipes for food or household supplies from her vague directions
Jun 24, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
This was a good general book for how to save money and think of the environment. I'd like to be more self-sustainable and this gave some good tips. It was so generalized, however, that it is hard to start any one thing without looking up further directions online. I did get some good ideas where to start, though, as some good rationalizations for why.
Sarah Lee
Jan 12, 2016 Sarah Lee rated it liked it
This book did have a lot of good ideas, but also some that are very impractical for my situation. Regardless I enjoyed reading and did pull out some tidbits that I can use myself. If you are looking for ways to be green, this has various ideas for all aspects of life!
Sep 30, 2013 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-adventures
Good general advice for anyone who wants to become more self-sufficient. Many of the tips given was all stuff I have heard before and already practice but it was also a reminder that I am already pretty thrifty compared to the average North American.
Meg Dean
Oct 04, 2013 Meg Dean rated it liked it
Shelves: diy-green-living
Not good, not bad. There are some good ideas in here, but not everything is feasable for everyone. She is a bit preachy at times...come off a lot like those vegans who try to make you feel like a horrible person for eating a chesseburger. Such is though. It's not for everyone!
Sep 17, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
I only picked up a few tips from this book, but for someone just starting to get interested in eco-thrifty lifestyle this would be a great overview and get your creative juices flowing. Niemann does a good job giving the basics of living a eco-thrifty life with practical advice.
Oct 01, 2013 Jess rated it liked it
Shelves: eco-friendly
This was insightful, but some of it I don't one hundred percent agree with. Sometimes in life you do need the convenience of a disposable diaper and wipe. Although I would be open to clothe ones while at home, when you are on the move it is not so easy.
Sep 29, 2015 Tamara rated it really liked it
I appreciated the anecdotes about how the author made small changes over time by altering her thought processes and mindset.
Aug 03, 2013 Gregory rated it liked it
Save the planet on the cheap.

A few good ideas. Got the book at the library so I already feel sanctimonious ;-)
Beth White
Mar 01, 2014 Beth White rated it liked it
Had some good tips mostly read for the recipes!
Gay Ann
Apr 18, 2016 Gay Ann rated it really liked it
Back to the basics, simple choices you can easily do for a healthier life. Suggestions are doable!
Nov 29, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: refference, eco
Some good ideas
Some really good ideas, many of which I already do. A good book to browse now and then, not really one to read from front to back.
May 22, 2014 Megan rated it liked it
Well written but sadly nothing I haven't thought of or considered.
Jan 16, 2016 Linda rated it it was ok
Although this is a new book, I found the info to be rather dated because most of it was general knowledge to me. Not useful, not informative. Wasted time for me.
May 05, 2014 Leah rated it did not like it
A couple of good ideas but mostly extreme. If I did half of what she does, I would never sleep. Also, she totally underdeveloped or seriously overlooked many topics.
Oct 01, 2015 K rated it really liked it
Picked up from the library. A few useful things - it made me wonder why I use disposable wipes instead of small towels if I'm washing cloth nappies anyway! Valuable for that alone!
Jan 05, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Great ideas for very gung ho environmentalists. Really makes you think about the environmental impact of *everything* you do and use.
Beth Melillo
good recommendations for reducing food waste and food costs.
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Deborah Niemann is a homesteader, writer, and self-sufficiency expert. In 2002, she relocated her family from the suburbs of Chicago to a 32 acre parcel on a creek "in the middle of nowhere". Together, they built their own home and began growing the majority of their own food. Sheep, pigs, cattle, goats, chickens, and turkeys supply meat, eggs and dairy products, while an organic garden and orchar ...more
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