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Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days [Paperback]

Vanessa Farquharson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Paperback, April 14 2009 --  
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Book Description

April 14 2009
No one likes listening to smug hippies bragging about how they don't use toilet paper, or worse yet, lecturing about the evils of plastic bags and SUVs. But most of us do want to lessen our ecological footprint. With this in mind, Farquharson takes on the intense personal challenge of making one green change to her lifestyle every single day for a year to ultimately figure out what's doable and what's too hardcore.

Vanessa goes to the extremes of selling her car, unplugging the fridge, and washing her hair with vinegar, but she also does easy things like switching to an all-natural lip balm. All the while, she is forced to reflect on what it truly means to be green.

Whether confronting her environmental hypocrisy or figuring out the best place in her living room for a compost bin full of worms and rotting cabbage, Vanessa writes about her foray into the green world with self-deprecating, humorous, and accessible insight. This isn't a how-to book of tips, it's not about being eco-chic; it's an honest look at what happens when an average girl throws herself into the murkiest depths of the green movement.


“A humorous, self-deprecating tale of the crazy things that happen to normal people when they take the green plunge. Vanessa Farquharson will have you wanting to try your own experiments, too, because she shows how easy some of these planet-saving changes can be.”
Alisa Smith, co-author of The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating

“By spending a year putting the planet’s needs as a top priority, Vanessa Farquharson’s search for love and connection leads her to happiness she never thought she could know. An entertaining approach to ‘greenlightenment,’ Sleeping Naked Is Green will surely inspire other skeptics to find their inner environmentalist.”
Gillian Deacon, author of Green for Life

“One step a day doesn't seem like much, but over the course of a whole year it adds up to a world of difference. This isn't just a well-written and fun book about going green, it is about watching a personal transformation. Being inspired was never so entertaining.”
Lloyd Alter, TreeHugger.com

Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Vanessa Farquharson is an arts reporter and film critic at the National Post, based in Toronto. Her blog, "Green as a Thistle," tracked her year-long green adventure. She has been published in Eye Weekly and the Ottawa Citizen, profiled on Treehugger.com and featured numerous times on CBC Radio.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bridget Jones Meets Al Gore May 5 2009
Love this book! It's a highly entertaining fun look at a real person, in a real city with a real job making real changes. Some so brave, I don't think I could actually do it. This book gives real details on how and why simple changes in our everyday lives can help us make a positive impact on the earth instead of a negative one...and isn't that really what we all want to do?
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3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts... May 4 2014
By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER
After watching "An Inconvenient Truth," journalist Vanessa Farquharson feels compelled to become more "green." She decides that she will make one environmental change per day for a year and blog about her progress. Her changes run the gamut from the simple (changing to recycled paper towels) to the slightly silly (sleeping naked to reduce laundry loads) to the extreme (turning off her refrigerator and oven). "Sleeping Naked is Green" doesn't read like a compilation of blog posts but rather like a diary. Each chapter opens with a chart of the author's changes for the entire month, then journal-like entries for especially interesting or pertinent days follow. Along the way, readers learn about her green changes, their impact on her days and a great deal (perhaps too much) about the inner workings of her personal and professional life.

Farquharson displays her skill as a writer; readers will laugh as her cat accidentally dives into a 'fermenting' toilet bowl and as her homemade worm compost bin accidentally falls apart on the living room carpet. The author marvels at the internal changes to her own body when she adjusts to life without much heating and air conditioning and subsequently notices "hot flashes" in other people's homes. As such, the book provides an entertaining read even without such interesting green information as the fact that many non-organic beekeepers kill their bees at the end of each season, whereas most organic beekeepers do not because of the expense of getting a hive certified as organic.

But the book certainly bears its flaws. A self-described cynic, Farquharson maintains a careful lightheartedness but also maligns the green movement in shallow and childish ways.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip it, read No Impact Man instead Jan. 11 2010
The (mostly) negatives:

- I hate her snide and snarky attitude. She is trying to come off as funny, she comes off as an uppity bitch. Did you know she isn't one of THOSE hippies. Cause she isn't just so you know. NUH-UH.
- Half her "green" tips are so ridiculously stupid that she is obviously just going through the motions because it's bound to be a nice paycheck. Eating ice cream from a cone instead of a cup is not exactly what I would call that mindblowing. The majority of the 'tips' she pats herself on the back for having are things the average person may do once...maybe twice a year?

- The majority of the book deals with the fact she feels so alone without a man. You can imagine how I feel about that. I am not into reading about some random's love life when I am more interested in green changes.

- The 'tips' have no rhyme or reason. She gives up her car in the first few weeks (guarenteed she did this for financial reasons had planned to do this already but it coincided with her 'green year' and made good fodder) but doesn't give up her vaccum cleaner (in lieu of sweeping her small condo) until the end so that she didn't have to go long without it.

- She spends the majority of the year traveling by plane all over the world and assuages her guilt by paying for carbon offsets. She doesn't even consider not traveling despite the heavy environmental costs associated with air travel.

- She buys a large house and sells her small condo mid-year even though she spent the previous part of the book bitching about how big her condo seemed without a maaaaaaaan in it.

- The entire project comes off as flippant and totally not serious at all while she critisizes other people who have done the same thing, only better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Sept. 25 2009
This is a book that makes you want to do better. And even better than that, it makes the goal of "being green" seem attainable...one step at a time.
I have recommended this read to all of my eco-minded friends and will continue to do so. Not only is it a great story, but it's a great reference too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Little things that make a big difference Sept. 19 2010
I loved this book. Yes, some of the things she did were obvious and maybe she could have done the simpler things first but all in all, this is a great book about a real woman who jumped into giving her life a green make over. It is a funny, inspirational book full of great ideas of things we can all do to make a difference in the environment. Some a little more extreme than others (unplugging your fridge for example) but a lot of simple things like making your own compost, using a diva cup, eating (and drinking) locally and more. It's a quick, easy, amusing read and I would definitely recommend it.
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