Cheeky but practical advice on how to go green

Adria Vasil has been writing an entertaining and authoritative weekly column called Ecoholic in NOW, a weekly arts & entertainment magazine in Toronto, for almost four years. That's close to 200 weekly articles, including answers to enviro-questions mailed in by readers that help Torontonians live greener lives. She recently released her first book, aptly titled Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada.

Vasil has created a warm, cheeky and practical guide. Ecoholic doesn't urge the reader to move to the woods and eat algae and lichen but she does offer some pragmatic advice. Cleverly illustrated and written with a healthy sense of humour, the book covers pretty much every aspect of everyday modern life. It's been divided into 12 neat categories including beauty, clothes, health, food, kids, home and home improvement, outdoor living, transportation, finances and even "fun & games." You can thumb through the book looking for specific areas or read it page by page.

Vasil doesn't shy away from the ugly truth - she discusses toxins in makeup or in home-renovation supplies, for instance - but she also offers a treasure trove of proactive and positive solutions. Green companies are mentioned in bold with their URLs alongside. There are also hundreds of helpful contacts, as well as a full glossary of terms and a city-by-city guide for greener living across Canada.

It is obvious that Vasil is passionate about environmental issues. There is a final section she calls the really "big issues" like climate change and deforestation, and she deals with these issues with the same care as she does the other, more microcosmic subjects in her book. Adria Vasil has provided a wonderful tool for eco-effective empowerment.

Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada, Adria Vasil, Vintage Canada. 2007 # ISBN-10: 0679314849, $24.95