ok – hey i’m on a hot streak… I haven’t read this many whole books in more than 4 years!
So, the most recent one – just finished 20 minutes ago – is “Sleeping Naked is Green” by Vanessa Farquarson. [amazon_link id=”0470155108″ target=”_blank” ]Buy it online! buy it electronic![/amazon_link]
I’d passed it over the first time I saw it at the library, frankly… i was altogether too serious in my search for books to help me change my outlook & habits. So on the third or fourth visit, having mellowed somewhat, I picked it up and actually read the back cover. Hm… canadian, cynical, skeptical, but open to the idea that there might just be something to all this green sustainability stuff. Kind of like me. I don’t consider myself overly skeptical, but i think i have a healthy enough dose of cynicism to keep me realistic. (and well, i have ian 😀 <3)
The premise of the book? Ms. Farquarson makes a pledge to make one daily “green” change in her life for a full leap year. Sounds exhausting at first, but once you get a look at the list you’ll be amazed at green changes that are relatively effortless to enact. Switching to recycled toilet paper & towels, cancelling the cable and signing up for your local Freecycle network (it’s reading & deleting all the email you’ll start getting that requires the effort on that one!) are all pretty simple. In fact, switching to natural, recycled, low-emission, chemical-free for ALL your non-food consumables is pretty simple – they are plentiful and easy to find.
As the year progresses, certain “greenings” may seem a little frivolous or made up, but you have got to give her credit for even coming up with 366 different things to do.
More than the “things” she did, though, are her anecdotes & essays about the more notable ones. It’s easy to understand why she was able to secure a journalism position for a national newspaper (and keep it while she executed this year-long experiment) – she’s an excellent writer. Forthright, honest, intelligent and very entertaining but not verbose nor over-intellectual. Too often I’ve found, particularly as i’m delving into this new (to me) territory of sustainable living, things can get awfully highfalutin. 😀
This is greening for the rest of us… those of us who weren’t brought up hippies, or who rebelled against it; who think green is for everyone else and their little life can’t possibly have a noticeable impact; who like our meat and won’t watch Food Inc. for that reason alone; who didn’t pay attention in biology or geology or physics and missed the lesson about our planet losing it’s grip on our reality.
Read it. It’s not a heavy read, it’s entertaining, touching, thought-provoking, inspiring… and you might get some great ideas for low-impact changes you can make that will actually make a big impact.
Learn more about Vanessa Farquarson and her year of going green at her blog: www.GreenAsAThistle.com
Here are a few other cool places I discovered while reading her book:
- www.goodsearch.com – an alternative to google (powered by yahoo) that donates 50% of ad revenues to the charities of your choice. I’ve signed up to donate to Kiva.org
- www.bullfrogpower.com – renewable energy you can buy to offset your hydro usage
- www.greenmap.org – a very cool, user generated map of green living around the world… and of COURSE there’s a Comox Valley one!