Sunday, September 19, 2021

Don't Be Trashy: A Practical Guide to Living with Less Waste and More Joy


Don't Be Trashy is an engaging tutorial guide with tips on decluttering, streamlining, upcycling, and living with less waste curated by Tara McKenna. Due out 4th Jan 2022 from Crown Publishing on their Rodale imprint, it's 256 pages and will be available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

The author is passionate about the subject of trash, pollution, conservation, and creative things we can do in our individual lives to change the comprehensive destruction of our planet. Exactly how much impact we can make by upcycling empty bottles is another matter. The book is not just upcycling of course; the author has made an effort to be compendious in her efforts and includes a laundry list of what, how, and why. 

The chapters are arranged thematically and organized well: basics (how, what, why), decluttering & minimalism, conscious consumption (LOTS of good info here), pantry, bathroom, clothing, saying no (to stuff), family & friends (don't be *that zealot*), find your tribe, frugality, no-buy month (do-able), and a sensible conclusion/wrap up. When I read the author's intro, I had some trepidation that this was going to be a wide eyed gung-ho manifesto. While the author is, admittedly, engaged and passionate about the subject, she's not wrong, and we do have to make changes. The ideas she presents aren't extreme and are (mostly) implementable for most people. 

The book is full of sequentially numbered bullet lists and worksheet tables. People-who-make-lists will be in heaven here. The tone is very politely insistent throughout - and if I'm being 100% honest, to me it channels that one passionate friend who is always engaged in a cause and wants everyone to Feel Deeply Too. That being said, she takes pains (a whole chapter) to explain how NOT to be that friend, so it could just be me. 

Graphically, it's extremely spartan. There are no photos or illustrations (they're not really needed). It's more of a taking notes and making lists type book. There is also a subtle presumption of readers having access to (and money for) larger metropolitan areas and food co-ops for buying in bulk and re-using containers.The chapters on disposable clothing, "fast fashion", and makeup/toiletries are spot on and probably worth the price of the book.

I found it worthwhile and thought provoking. Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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