Book Review:
Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products, and Services in Canada

UPdate Fall 2007

By Adria Vasil

Thankfully, you don’t have to move to Toronto to get the low-down from Adria Vasil’s spicy environmental column, Ecoholic, in NOW magazine. Ecoholic, the book, is now available country-wide.

In Ecoholic, Vasil looks at everything from carpets to coffee, diapers to diesel, seafood to sex. She focuses her eagle eye on the environmental impact of everything we do, from the time we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed – and after.

But she doesn’t stop there. The book is loaded with environmentally friendly resources and information about where to find them. Vasil has unearthed some unusual options, such as hemp footwear, and provides new insights into old favourites. Who knew that Birkenstocks are made with leftover cork from the wine industry, natural latex and solvent –free glues?

And then there are the useful tidbits sprinkled through the book. “An acre of hemp absorbs five times more carbon dioxide than an acre of forests,” Vasil informs us, and “single use cameras have the highest recycling rate of any consumer product,” although digital cameras are the most environmentally friendly overall.

Ecoholic makes a great holiday gift. Buy this book early, and browse through it. It could lead you to unusual gift ideas, like the Fuel Cell Car Science Experiment Kit, which makes a model car that runs on water ( You won’t see that advertised on TV! In fact, there’s a whole section on toys for kids, steering you away from chewable toys made out of phthalate-laden PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and stuffed toys sprayed with brominated fire retardants, and letting you know what brands are better choices.

Ecoholic, Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada is published by Vintage Canada, It sells for $24.95. ISBN 978-0-679-31484-4