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The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind)
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The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  253 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Actress, producer, mother, and imperfect environmentalist, Sara Gilbert understands how helping the environment can seem overwhelming. Between keeping up with work, friends, and kids, who has the time or money to maintain a compost pile, become an activist, or knit a sweater out of recycled grocery bags? Fortunately, we now know that small changes here and there in our eve ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published August 13th 2013 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Emily B
Sep 24, 2013 Emily B rated it it was ok
I really like the idea of this book, and how the sections are laid out, but I can't finish it or give it a higher rating because there are no citations! That drives me crazy and really undermine's the author's credibility. Talking about studies without citing them is worthless. Some sections were better than others, and some really felt like they didn't belong (attachment parenting and tai chi?), while others were vague and confusing (macrobiotics?).
Sep 07, 2013 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
It's Sara Gilbert. Enough said... And yeah, you'll probably end up reading it in Darlene's voice. Bonus points. Super Informative!
Oct 25, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it
This book was an eye opener for things I probably should have already realized. I thought I was in huge trouble when the very first chapter not only made me want a water filter, but somehow lead me on a Google search trail that ended with all my tupperware and dishes being replaced with glass. I was like "uh oh, this is about to be a really expensive library book!" some chapters were over the top for me and some stuff did not apply. There are a few areas I could feel smug about but many more tha ...more
Aug 15, 2013 Deena rated it really liked it
This book is really informative. It's set up like a Cliff's Notes manual for being environmentally conscious, and each page addresses a topic, and has subheaders that break it into basics, more informative, and specifics. I recommend it to anyone who feels overwhelmed with all there is to be green.

I love the headings for these.
1. Cut to the Chase, Hippie: What's the Least I Need to Know?
2. Intriguing...I Can Handle a Little More
3. I Need Some Facts to Bore My Friends With

I love the clarity in th
This no-nonsense guide to the basics of everyday "greening" would be a great reference for someone who didn't know step one to becoming more environmentally conscious. Unfortunately, this was almost completely recycled information for those of us who try to stay up to date on basic green cleaning, new ways to be energy efficient, etc. Also, the attempt to make "Attachment Parenting" a green endeavor really put me off the remainder of the book.
Jude Arnold
Nov 27, 2016 Jude Arnold rated it it was amazing
Sara Gilbert does an excellent job of breaking it down; what you can do to be Green in Body,Home, and Mind, and Save the Earth! She does it with finesse and sense of humor. Whether you are Donald Trump or sleeping on a friend's couch, the Imperfect Environmentalist guides you with all the practicals of passionately protecting your family and the environment.
Aug 01, 2014 shartyrant rated it it was ok
I don't regret reading this book, but I am torn on between a 2 or 3 star review. It is sort of in the middle really at 2 and 1/2. I am always researching into various ways of helping or restoring the environment as well as living in a way that is safer and healthier. And glancing through it at the bookstore it seemed a pretty quick and easy introduction to doing all that without "losing my mind" as the author put it on trying to keep up with it all.

It might be a good intro to an EXTREMELY new p
Jul 29, 2013 Tanya rated it really liked it
At first, the book felt different in my hands. The paper was a different quality than I was used to feeling. But then it dawned on me, it was made from recycled paper. It was clear right then that Sara Gilbert not only practiced what she preached, but also helped readers from her target audience make a painless shift towards helping the environment. And it made me think, I am a part of those who could be considered imperfect environmentalists too!

I liked how each topic was divided into task cons
Sep 28, 2013 Kelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I like the way the book is broken into easily manageable sections about different parts of life and the further simplification of offering three levels of informational depth into a subject.

I think everyone wants to live in a less polluted world, but often the word environmentalist brings to mind someone who is condescending and inflexible about how environmentally conscience everyone should be. I'm glad to read a book that really is practical and more moderate in its approach.
Mar 29, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is an awesome overview! She covers every topic I could think of, and each page starts with a super-brief summary labeled, "Cut to the chase, hippie: what's the least I need to know?" Only read further if you feel compelled to do so. Haha!
In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation...even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine. -Great Law of the Iroquois-

The Imperfect Environmentalist is not a book I needed to read, I have been reading up on beneficial environmental and health data for years. So, this really was a “speaking to the choir” book for me. But, I do think it would greatly benefit anyone new to leading a less toxic life or someone always looking for ways to improve.
Feb 23, 2017 Melissa rated it it was ok
Meh. Didn't like the structure of the book
Aug 26, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it
I was already a burgeoning enthusiast when I was given this book as a gift, but I was (and still am) far from an environmentalist. Why? It's a process that doesn't happen overnight (which my family is thankful for- they can only take so much change at a time). This is actually a great book for the beginner and those going through the slow conversion process.

This is a great book for not intimidating the beginner. It tackles one small topic per page and advocates a lot of taking on a change at a n
Apr 23, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
You would think a book about little things we can do to save the planet would be, at best, an important but dull read. Somehow, though, Sara Gilbert managed to write a book about going green that also make me laugh. (This may be because I heard Darlene Conner's voice reading this in my head the entire time, who knows.)

There is one page per topic, and it's broken down into three sections depending on your interest in that subject. The section headers made me giggle every time:

1) Cut to the chase,
Oct 28, 2013 Chantel rated it liked it
This book had some interesting environmental advice for the real world. Each topic took up just one page so it was a quick read as the author intended. I like that it had sections to allow you to read only one paragraph on the subject if you weren't interested (cut to the chase, hippie, what's the least I need to know?) and then a bit more if you were (intriguing I can handle a little more) and then it provided even more information or discussion in the next section (I need some facts to bore my ...more
Alyssa Davis
Feb 26, 2015 Alyssa Davis rated it liked it
Good book for an introduction to environmentalism.The style of writing it witty and easy to read, but can get a bit repetitive after awhile. The first five chapters were definitely the most interesting while I skimmed a lot of the info in the last part of the book. Yet, that could be based on personal preference. Overall, I picked up some great tips for chemically free DIY all purpose cleaners, hand sanitizer and dishwashing detergents, container gardening and how to find out which beauty produc ...more
May 16, 2016 bluertide rated it it was amazing
also on
This book is essential for any hard-core environmentalist as well as folks who want to simply live cleaner but just don’t know where to start. Sara Gilbert perfectly breaks down and organizes every facet of detoxing your life and helping the planet. She gives you a starting point from where ever your financial or personal situation is right now and stresses that while we may not be able to live a picture perfect toxin free, zero footprint life, we CAN make an impac
Sharon Chance
Sep 17, 2013 Sharon Chance rated it it was amazing
“The Imperfect Environmentalist” is filled with great information from eating local, living off the grid, tips on how to care for dogs and cats the “green” way, container gardening, saving money, and parenting. For those who are rabidly interested in saving the planet, this book might be too simplistic. But for those of us who are busy, but want to do our part to save the planet, Gilbert passes along some great tips and facts that make being “green” a little bit easier.

And the book is printed on
Jul 14, 2014 Dori rated it it was ok
I'm one of the greenest people I know, and even I found this hard to get through. It was a major drag! It just felt "extremist" to me and made me feel like I'm WAAAY behind the curve in living an eco-friendly life. Definitely a downer considering the title is "The IMPERFECT Environmentalist." Thought this would be full of lots of great ideas for little things one could do to be more green, but the suggestions she presents seemed overwhelming to me, not to mention uninteresting. Just not what I w ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Holly rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
An enjoyable book that walks you through the basics on how you can green your life. Being pretty green myself, a lot of it I was already aware of, but I don't know everything, and it was an easy read. Knocking off a star for complete lack of citations (what recent study? I want to read this recent study!), and another star for telling people cats can be vegan (cats are obligate carnivores!) or that essential oils can be good for them (some will kill your kitties, so beware).
Jul 19, 2013 Steph rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm excited to make my lifestyle greener. I've always been concerned about the environment, but have always thought it too daunting a challenge. This book really helps break it down and make it easy to begin. In fact, I started before I finished reading the book. It's going to take some time, but this book has given me hope and directions in how to make a difference and be more green. (I've at least being doing one thing right. I get my books, including this one, from the library)
Jul 30, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
This is a really good book. I think people should have this as a hard copy in their homes. It gives a good overview of many ways we can help ourselves and planet be more healthy. There are many topics covered but what is great is that there are levels of information that each reader can decide to get. One topic might be of more interest than another so each reader gets to choose how deep they want to learn about the topic, thereby not feeling so overwhelming. Nice work, Gilbert! Important book.
Nov 06, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
This was a really fun read. Sarah divides up the book into categories to discuss the environmental impact of choices made in each category (food, health and beauty, home, transportation etc.) What is really great about the book is that she lays out each topic with just the basic information and if you want to read on she goes into more details. If you don't then you can move onto the next topic. Many of the topics were not new to me but it was a great review.
Heather Hale
Aug 20, 2014 Heather Hale rated it really liked it
This book is a great family resource that I'll turn to again and again as I try to make healthier decisions for my family. I don't like the lack of references, but Sara's writing is personable and funny. I really loved how this book didn't make me feel guilty for even a minute. Perfect for eco-newbies.
Dec 12, 2013 Sonya rated it really liked it
I really like the format of this book and how she broke each topic into basic, intermediate, and more in-depth tips depending on the readers' preference. I also like that it is exactly as the title suggests, very practical and that Sara owned up to her own imperfections as an environmentalist. Kuddos to Sara!
Jan 06, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it
This is a comprehensive book about everything environmental that doesn't sound either preachy or lecturing. I consider myself an environmentalist, but there were still things in this book that I didn't know. Lots of tips to do your share (some of the organic stuff just isn't practical in a small town in Iowa) but the main point of the book is to do what you can, where you can.
Jan 16, 2016 Gilly rated it really liked it
No citations, but you can get that information yourself. This book is just a cliff notes of how to start your journey in becoming an environmentalist, and choosing where you want to start. No need to read front to back just start where you want to start changing your life. I loved reading this in Sara's voice.
Aug 13, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
More of a "reference" book than a read-through book, so I skimmed over certain sections. But very accessible, 1 page per topic on everything from transportation to childcare to diet. It inspired me to:
-actually remember to use my re-usable grocery bags
-buy (and use) a bamboo cutting board
-buy (and use) re-usable sandwich bags

So that's good. Plus, it's Sara Gilbert. Awesome.
Jan 20, 2014 Rebecca rated it liked it
A nice guidebook; Gilbert really does try not to get too "preachy" but fails when discussing topics that seem less "green" and more about her personal lifestyle beliefs (ie. attachment parenting and yoga). I do appreciate that in each section, she gives advice based on income; she does not insist, for example, that everyone be able to buy all organic all the time.
Jan 18, 2014 Tamara rated it liked it
I don't know; the format just seemed way too clunky. The whole point, as described in the introduction, was the be easily digestible, but the section headers, obscure icons and overly wordy text implied otherwise.

Plus, it didn't tell me anything I already know. Meh.
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“American restaurants throw away an estimated six thousand tons of food every day. All that food rotting in landfills contributes to global warming—see, when it decomposes, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas twenty-one times more damaging than carbon dioxide. So no matter what you’re eating or where you’re eating it, be conscious about how hungry you really are.” 1 likes
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