You don't have to be a homemaker to appreciate Sophie Uliano. In her latest book, "Do It Gorgeously," she teaches women how to be eco-friendly and not go over their budgets.
The book is full of DIY tips that teach women how to use common sense solutions to cutting back. Her projects include everything from sewing to making homemade skin care products.
Drawing on basic measures her grandmother used to take to, Uliano offers a new perspective on the three R's -- reuse, reduce, and recycle.
You can read an excerpt from the book below and then head to the "GMA" library to find more good reads.
You can also CLICK HERE to see some recipes for Uliano's favorite homegrown skin care products.
INTRODUCTION Clueless Is In, and Crafty Is Out
I am absolutely not your average DIY type of girl. I have to make this disclaimer before we begin, because I suspect that you may be the same way. I've always secretly wished that I could be one of those really crafty moms, who can turn a group of obnoxious kids into affable angels, just by pulling out some old egg cartons and non-toxic paints. I wish I had the time to spend hours in my kitchen making jellies, breads, and cute menu charts for my daughter. I've had visions of building plank-by-plank the garden shed that I dream of having in my yard. In short, I fancy myself as a bit of a homestead type -- but substituting the loaf-of-bread shoes for a pair of Manolos.
Having trodden the green path for a few years now, I've realized that a green way of living has less to do with eco-chic iPhone covers, and more to do with plain old common sense. The most important changes that I have made in my life are things that my grandmother also did and she obviously didn't call them "green". My grandmother, Belle, was a regular type of girl, who through necessity, had to recycle and reuse just about everything she could. Socks were darned or transformed into baby toys, stale bread was ground into breadcrumbs, and slivers of soap were balled together to make another bar. Of course, back then the "reducing" part of the dreaded 3 R combo, (reduce, recycle, reuse), didn't come into the picture, because conspicuous consumption wasn't what it is today.
Many of us are getting a bit fed up with our disposable society. It just doesn't feel that good anymore to be an obsessive shopper. As we become aware of barges of hazardous trash making their way to Brazil, maxed-out landfills, and dwindling natural resources, we're starting to think twice before clicking the "add to cart" button. Do we really want to deal with the packaging and transportation, much less the cost? Can we go without? Ugh -- I hear my mother right now: "Do you really need it?" Much as I fight against it -- because honestly, I want what I want and I want it now -- I find myself yearning for something different. I'll always love shopping, but I find an even deeper satisfaction in actually making many of the things, that I used to whip out the credit card for.