by John Elkington, Julia Hailes and Joel Makower
With a plethora of products on the supermarket shelves now promoting themselves as “ozone friendly” and “photo-degradable,” The Green Consumer is among the clearest of the umpteen handbooks that claim to decode all the eco-slogans for confused consumers.
The information is somewhat random (the authors don’t evaluate specific products-only aerosol hair spray in general, for instance, not individual brands). But The Green Consumer does function as a primer that delivers a basic education about what a “green” product is: It has environmentally sound contents and packaging. There are helpful chapters on evaluating cars, food, garden and pet supplies, as well as the energy efficiency of home appliances. (Penguin, paper, $8.95)