The Good Life, Greenified

Danny Seo's Books

Danny Seo is usually referred to as the ‘green’ Martha Stewart, but that’s not really true. For one thing, Ms. Stewart is no slouch in the ecologically-conscious department. She always promotes farmer’s markets on her shows and in her magazines, she frequently advocated for organics, is pro-open space, and uses mostly non-toxic cleansers. I’ve watched her show more than once when she’s mentioned an environmentally sensitive garden fertilizer, or she has covered the plight of an endangered animal. But I digress; she’s no Danny Seo, who is 100% about making home and garden, entertaining and dinners ecologically sound and attractive from start to finish. Seo also makes most of his projects pretty easy and accessible, unlike Stewart’s zilllion-step cakes and eleaborate brunches.

You can check them out in his new books: Simply Green Parties and Simply Green Giving. The parties book has been out for a few months now, and it is filled with really fun ideas if you’re into throwing fiestas (I am!) It’s divided up into chapters that focus on various types of parties, like a baby shower, a houswarming, a birthday, and summer and winter dinners. There are so many good ideas here! Bring a stylish but unwanted vase or bowl to a housewarming and swap, make candles out of soy wax and old jewelry, make an eco-pinata, make a quilt out of old scarves, make a basket out of an old shopping bag. Love it!

The Giving book will be out in September and it is broken into 4 sections: cards and tags, boxes and bows, gift wrap, and handmade gifts. The latter features really gorgeous ideas like filling a used chocolates box with vintage jewelry, putting together edible gifts like a cookies and milk crate or a mimosa set, and making a mini-spa kit for people on the go. The ideas are inexpensive and utilize recycled or reused items. The giftwrap chapter is equally amazing and filled with ‘why didn’t I think of that!’ ideas. My favorite is giving a bottle of wine wrapped up in an old scarf as wrapping, or making ribbon out of old vhs tapes. There’s also a section on ‘giving back’, and a portion of the books profits go to the Humane Society.

I’ve already given the parties book as a gift, and the giving one would make a great one too. Seo’s books make me realize how little creativity there is in modern life when everything is made for you. After leafing through these books I’m inspired to create something gorgeous. And it’ll be better for Mother Earth too.

Note: The books are printed on recycled paper and made without dust jackets.  

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.