Shop Green Online with thepurplebook

thepurplebook Green EditionUnless you live a Compact-like lifestyle, you are going to be shopping on a somewhat regular basis. Whether it be home improvements, gifts, furnishings, crafts, gardening, fashions, babies, sports, pets or anything else you have going on, there is a green option to be found.

But where do you buy from? I’m all for promoting local businesses and buying from small stores right in your own town. Unfortunately, depending on where you live, you may have little to no options in that category. The easiest thing to do is log on to the internet (and you already have since you are reading this) and partake in the massive variety it has to offer.

After the runaway success with their first thepurplebook: the definitive guide to exceptional online shopping in 2000, authors Hillary Mendelsohn and Ian Anderson have released a number of specialized editions. Hitting book shelves in January 2008, thepurplebook Green: an eco-friendly online shopping guide is the latest of their incarnations.

Whether you’re new to the eco-lifestyle or so sustainably settled that you have a composting toilet and solar panels, thepurplebook Green Edition has something to offer everyone. Though the book is about shopping, it continually reminds readers to reuse what they already have. “The greenest thing you can do is to extend the lifespan of the products you already own,” says Hillary in the book’s introduction. “When it comes to shopping, it’s usually a matter of buying eco-friendly versions of the same products you already use.”

A simply worded, yet somewhat extensive, chapter on The Green Lifestyle covers everything from buying organic and conserving water to renewable energy options and avoiding petroleum-based products. The next chapter, Eco-Shopping 101, gives an informative overview of what it means to buy green in all areas of life, including food & drink, household goods, health & beauty, apparel, babies, pets, furnishing, gardening, home improvement and more. As a fashion maven, I was impressed with Hillary’s coverage of sustainable fabrics by including their drawbacks and lack of regulation.

After the useful introductory chapters, we come to heart of the book – the Green Shops. Listed alphabetically by the shop’s online URL, each listing includes the website’s customer service number, an amusing yet useful review, and a collection of applicable icons relating to the store’s customer service and green options. If you are looking for a particular product or company, you can check one of the three indexes included at the back of the book.

Personally, I think the book is great and an ideal resource for all eco-minded consumers. Of course, being a website directory, thepurplebook Green Edition will need to be updated and republished now and then – I already spotted two or three new online green shops that weren’t in the book but are great resources. I think that very reason is why there are notes pages included in the book, so hooray for that.

I can only imagine how long it took Hillary and Ian to put this green edition together but I must say kudos to them for doing such a good job. I look forward to seeing future editions that continue to help consumers find more sustainable options for their daily needs.

  1. Nicholas

    This is very cool. Thanks for sharing.

    Do you know if it has listings of chemical-free products? I’m working hard to eliminate as many chemicals from my daily life and am finding it quite difficult.

    In particular I’m having trouble identifying soaps, shampoos and detergents with less chemicals in them.

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