A hungry musician cruises through town, stopping to fuel up at the nearest Chinese restaurant. Not unusual, until you realize he’s filling his biodiesel car’s tank with used cooking oil, rather than chowing down on egg roles and dumplings.
A second surprise my be the city he’s filling up in. For many, Atlanta may not spring to mind upon hearing the word “green,” but Jill Elizabeth Westfall’s self-published book, Green Matters for Everyday Living,
may make us rethink our preconceptions. Packed with rich photography, it’s a who’s who of the Southeast’s most eco friendly thought leaders, known for making green look glam. But Westfall’s book is at its best when it goes beyond the usual suspects to profile greenies like Will Scruggs, a sax player/singer who tours the country in a van he converted to run on recycled vegetable oil. As for finding fuel when touring, Scruggs says it can get messy. ”Fast food restaurants that use a lot of hydrogenated oils don’t work well
because the oils congeal a lot more quickly. Fresh pure oil tends to be better, so higher-end Chinese restaurants often work best. But it’s hit or miss. I’ve gone to five-star places and found disgusting nasty grease, and I’ve gone to Dairy Queens and found clean, fresh oil.”
Scruggs maintains his veggie van through Atlanta’s Ecological Creations
. Other adventurous small entrepreneurs include Suzanne Agasi, whose Clothing Swap involves professionally coordinated city wide swaps of top quality fashions, accessories, even spa treatments. And Karen Anne Briggs
who designs Green Pomegranate’s
couture children’s clothes by up-cycling and downsizing cast away cottons, silks and surplus factory fabrics. Among the many movers and shakers who grace Green Matters
readers will find: Laura Turner Seydel and her LEED-certified solar sanctuary of a home, EcoManor
; Marie and Steve Nygren founders of the 900-acre sustainable Serenbe
community; Farmer D (Daron Joffe), the guru of organic gardening; Cici Coffee, owner of green day spas, Natural Body
; and dietitian/journalist Carolyn O’Neil, just to name a few. Green Matters is full of aspirational and everyday information, and no southern coffee table will be complete with out it.
Jill Elizabeth Westfall, a bylined Contributor to Money magazine for 15 years, has been interviewedby HGTV’s The Front Door, CNN.com, Glamour magazine (Editors’ Choice for 7th Best Cost-Cutting Tip in 2008), Home Improvement Magazine, E, The Environmental Magazine (cover story), AARP The Magazine, BobVila.com, Creators News Service, and The Publicity Show. She has been a columnist for The Atlanta Business Chronicle and has reported on cover and second-cover stories for People, MORE, and Money magazines.