Cool Green Stuff

By Dave Evans

Cool Green Stuff is a guide to finding all types of fantastic items made from recycled materials. Even if you don't purchase any of the featured goods, this book will certainly inspire you to recycle materials found around your own home and perhaps even prompt artsy types to try making some interesting pieces themselves.

The “Fashion” section includes jewelry made from materials such as rubber bands, computer keyboard keys, and candy wrappers; clothes made from recycled rubber, umbrella components, and old Tupperware; and bags made from seatbelts, vinyl advertising billboards, and retired skateboards.

The chapter titled “Stuff” includes gadgets, electronics, and stationery. Especially interesting are the wooden toy helicopters made with solar blades, the computer monitor and mouse incorporating bamboo in the casing, and a wastebasket made entirely, and appropriately, from reused paper.

In the “House” section, you'll find dècor, kitchen items, lighting, sculptures, and more. The bike chain bottle opener, candy wrapper place mats, coasters made from computer motherboards, bowls born from can tabs and from vintage records, and hanging lamps made from recycled mini blinds all would make terrific gifts.

The section on “Furniture” includes chairs made from shopping carts and wooden pallets, stools fashioned out of bamboo, and tables made from a washing machine drum or from compacted aluminum window frames.

The final chapter includes items you would use outdoors, such as an all-solar electric bike.

Web addresses for the companies manufacturing the pictured items are included. Note that not all of the items are vegan, such as those made with leather or silk; however, many are.

Cool Green Stuff (ISBN 978-0-307-39557-3) is published by Clarkson Potter. This book retails for $14.95. Order it online or purchase it in your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Barbara Storper, MS, RD

Janey Junkfood's Fresh Adventure! is the story of Tobe Fit and her best friend Janey. Janey wants to be the world's greatest juggler, but she keeps dropping the balls. Tobe figures out the problem. Janey is living on junk food, and it's hurting her juggling. Can Tobe help Janey make the National Junior Juggling Team?

Janey Junkfood's Fresh Adventure! is a delightful book, written in scrapbook form with appealing illustrations. Concepts like label reading, the health effects of sugar and junk foods, the benefits of breakfast, and eating to win are cleverly presented in ways that will keep kids reading. The book includes 14 fun snack recipe cards for treats like Veggie Robots and Apple Smiles. Recipes spotlight fruits and vegetables; some include cheese and yogurt but can be easily substituted with vegan products.

This book makes healthy eating fun! I highly recommend it for kids of all ages, especially for 8 to 12-year-olds.

Janey Junkfood's Fresh Adventure! (ISBN 978-0-9642858-5-9) is published by FoodPlay Productions. It has 32 pages and retails for $15.95. Order this book online at or look for it in your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.

The Sunny Side of Cooking

By Lisa Rayner

This book caught my attention for environmental reasons, and sky-rocketing energy costs made it even more appealing. Solar cooking has been around for a long time; however, this book focuses on vegan recipes. (Note: A few recipes include honey but also offer vegan alternatives, such as maple syrup or agave syrup.)

After reading information on how to select a solar cooker and learning the basics, you'll find some wonderful solar-based recipes, including Quinoa Tabbouli; Scalloped Potatoes; Marinated Tofu, Tempeh, or Seitan Cutlets; and Brownies.

The Sunny Side of Cooking (ISBN 978-0-9800608-0-5) is a 122-page book published by Lifeweaver LLC. You can order it online at or from your local bookstore. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.