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Simply Living Well

Recipes, DIY projects, and inspiration for a beautiful and low-waste life, from the creator of on Instagram

In this timely and motivational guide, author Julia Watkins shares rituals, recipes, and projects for living simply and sustainably at home. For every area of your household-kitchen, cleaning, wellness, bath, and garden-Julia shows you how to eliminate wasteful packaging, harmful ingredients, and disposable items. Practical checklists outline easy swaps (instead of disposable sponges, opt for biodegradable sponges or Swedish dishcloths; choose a bamboo toothbrush over a plastic one) and sustainable upgrades for common household tools and products. Projects include scrap apple cider vinegar, wool dryer balls, kitchen bowl covers and cloth produce bags, non-toxic dryer sheets, all-purpose citrus cleaner, herbal tinctures and balms, and more, plus recipes for package-free essentials like homemade nut milk, hummus, ketchup, salad dressings, and veggie stock.

Pages: 288

By Julia Watkins


"With the message that it’s not easy to be green, this simple but comprehensive guide from environmental activist and debut author Watkins helps readers eliminate excess plastic, waste, and chemicals from their lives to whatever extent they choose. Emphasizing the importance of setting attainable goals, Watkins cautions that reaching the state of “zero-waste is a process, not an event.” Checklists begin each section, with the kitchen chapter list advising replacing plastic utensils, storage containers, and cooking equipment with wood, glass, and stainless steel. People concerned about the safety of commercially available cleaning products will particularly appreciate the section on making one’s own chemical-free solutions. Watkins often refers to the homemaking methods of an earlier time, as with her “Tips for Line Drying,” where she posits “working methodically with your hands” as a good “way to slow down and be present.” The beauty and wellness section includes recipes for common drugstore staples, including toothpaste made with peppermint essential oil and a hair rinse product made with apple cider vinegar. Whether readers want a smaller carbon footprint or an entirely chemical-free lifestyle, this has all the information needed to get started. Agent: Julia Eagleton, the Gernert Co. (Apr.)" — Publishers Weekly

"The zero-waste ethos—reduce, recycle, and reuse—has been popular for decades; refuse has become more familiar as consumers are encouraged to buy less, with composting now a staple of green living. Popular Instagrammer Watkins (cofounder of Lookfar Conservation) presents a back-to-basics introduction to practices that have been lost over generations and are enjoying renewed interest. The breadth of coverage includes food, cleaning, beauty and wellness, and gardening, with each chapter offering an overview, a list of products or ingredients, and recipes or techniques for all levels of interest and ability. Ingredient lists and recipes range from simple and straightforward (fresh lemon and ginger to make tea) to those more difficult to obtain (pure essential oils and nonedible dried herbs). VERDICT Readers new to the book's concepts will appreciate the detailed shopping and resource lists, as well as the variety of practices they can try integrating into their own homes. All will appreciate the research and the explanations that inform without overwhelming." —Meagan Storey, Virginia Beach — Library Journal

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