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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 – June 11, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 Original edition (June 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547073283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547073286
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Canadian journalist Farquharson takes readers on her 366-day journey to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, making one positive change each day. While a few changes are worthy (the author sells her car), some seem a bit bizarre (she turns off her fridge and freezer—though she doesn't divulge exactly where her food is coming from after that point) and many are superficial or symbolic efforts rather than well thought out and executed commitments. In her first month, for example, she pledges to check her tire pressure and opt for natural glass cleaners, while three months later she's promising to fill the kettle with exact amount of water needed, recycle her wine corks and forgo Q-tips. While the details of her environmental crusade can weary, her griping about the efficacy of chemical-free shampoos and deodorants and the ugliness of sustainable footwear is fresh and funny; in these moments, Farquharson's appealing candor and nonsanctimonious attitude make other ecowarriors seem dour by comparison. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Toronto-based arts reporter Farquharson decides to take the green plunge and live as ecologically as possible for a year while blogging about her daily efforts and conundrums. Young and single, she worries about losing her hipster cred by acting like a hippie, so she begins her greening with “baby steps” while imagining Al Gore looking over her shoulder. Writing anecdotally with friendly candor and blithe humor, Farquharson makes each of her carefully considered attempts at reducing waste, pollution, and her carbon footprint entertaining and informative. Many of her strategies for sustainable living involve shopping, whether it’s using tote bags or selecting phosphate-free soaps and organic produce, and the very ordinariness of her choices drives home the fact that every aspect of our daily lives has an environmental impact. After she unplugs her refrigerator and gives up pajamas to cut down on laundry, Farquharson’s green year ends, and she discovers that her eco-practices have become a natural part of her life. Lively and specific, Farquharson’s forthright chronicle of the ups and downs of green awareness is the perfect book for eco-skeptics. --Donna Seaman

More About the Author

Vanessa is an arts reporter for the National Post in Toronto, Canada, where she also writes a regular environment column called Sense & Sustainability. She made 366 eco-friendly changes to her life -- including unplugging her fridge, selling her car, constructing her own compost bin (with worms) and showering in the dark -- and compiled her experiences in the book Sleeping Naked is Green. Vanessa has been featured on CBC Radio, Breakfast Television, Body and Soul magazine, Intelligent Life, Martha Stewart Living Radio and more.

Customer Reviews

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To read about, that is - Vanessa certainly seems to have had her ups and downs over her year of making a new green change in her life every day.
Denise Patterson
I like her personal approach to becoming green and I also like her genuine, humorous, hip way of sharing these green and sometimes very off beat, whacky, experiences.
Karen Teeters
It took me towards half of the book to understand what it was that I disliked, but in the end I realized that it simply feels like the author is trying too hard.
Kristine Lofgren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By GLBT VINE VOICE on June 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The concept behind "Sleeping Naked is Green" is pretty clever; the author found one way to make her life more "green" every day for 365 days. The purpose of the book, we are told, is not to lecture the audience on the need for more eco-friendly lifestyles but rather to show how a "normal" person tries to change her life and which things worked and which were a big drag.

It's a neat idea.

The book itself is a bit disappointing, however. First of all, it consists almost entirely of blog entries that the author posted at the time. A more cohesive narrative would have been MUCH more interesting than a series of disjointed, one page blog entries.

Also, only about half of the blog entries are in the book. So, at the beginning of each "month" there is a list of what changes were made on which day. For example:

March 1: Switch to recycled paper towels
March 2: No more electric heating pad
March 3: Ban all styrofoam
March 4: Switch to an eco-friendly toothbrush
etc.

But we only see the blog entries for Days 1 and 3; we never hear about Days 2 and 4. That seems a little odd. I suppose the reasoning was that the book would have been too long if it had included all 365 entries, but that's precisely why a narrative style of writing, summarizing the changes made each month, would have been much more interesting.

As it is, this book is essentially an incomplete collection of mildly interesting daily blogs.

Definitely not a must-read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Denise Patterson VINE VOICE on June 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
To read about, that is - Vanessa certainly seems to have had her ups and downs over her year of making a new green change in her life every day. This book chronicles her 'greening' year, episode by episode. Each chapter covers a month, with a list of what changes she made that month first, and then a few select changes are highlighted with some commentary. (One of the few disappointments I had with the book was that a lot of the changes I was interested in weren't the ones chosen for commentary, alas!! But of course the book would have had to be a thousand pages long to include everything...)

Let's start with the lists at the beginning of each chapter - for one thing, if you are looking for some new ways to green up your own life, you are bound to find several things new to you here - Vanessa covers the gamut from, yes, selling her car and unplugging her fridge (which oddly enough she makes sound almost doable...) to tiny changes like 'eat ice cream only from a cone, not a cup' or 'shower in the dark' (she MUST have a window in her bathroom! I'd kill myself falling over something!!).

The commentary is great - no super-pious, greener-than-thou here! Sometimes she'll talk about some of her many misadventures along the way (worms from her compost bin on the living room floor), sometimes she'll talk about how something that sounds hard wasn't, or something that sounds easy, wasn't. Sometimes she takes herself seriously, sometimes not - which all in all, makes for a better read than a book that just takes one side or the other. It almost reads like - dare I say this for a 'green' book? - chick lit. If you enjoyed Julie and Julia, you'll enjoy Vanessa's similar tone (but not quite so many disasters!).
Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. Wiley on February 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book chronicles the author's year of making 366 mostly trivial changes to "green" her life. The writing is breezy and entertaining, and she is fun to spend a year with. Anyone hoping to come away with ideas for how to reduce their own impact on the planet will be disappointed. The book constantly focuses on the minutiae such as what kind of toilet paper to use and the sensational such as whether to use toilet paper at all, but completely misses the big picture such as how much long-distance travel is compatible with a lower carbon foot print lifestyle. One of the last changes she makes captures this nicely, "use bathroom before boarding plane". In the end Vanessa Farquaharson's impractical approach to environmentalism does more to set back the movement by making it seem bizarre and inconvenient such as "shower in the dark" while missing easier and more important changes everyone can make such as flying less.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kristine Lofgren VINE VOICE on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
From the first few chapters, something about this book rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn't the "Is she green enough?" question, although the author does make some dubious choices about her challenges. Nor was it the hypocricy (deriding those that judge others "greeness" and then judging others for not being green enough). I recognize that this book is a journey, not a manual, so mistakes and judgements are to be expected. It took me towards half of the book to understand what it was that I disliked, but in the end I realized that it simply feels like the author is trying too hard.

Too hard to appeal to the young, hip single gal. Too hard to be witty. Too hard to relate. And as a result, the conversations in this book ring hollow, the situations are flat and the author is not at all relateable. It reads more like a diary entry than a story and I had a difficult time finishing this book (and I admit that I did a lot of skimming to get to the end). I wanted to like this book, and it definitely wasn't all bad. I felt challenged to become more conscious of my impact on the planet and got some great ideas from this book, but as a story, it simply isn't engaging.

Perhaps as a companion to her blog, which I checked out after I finished reading this and I enjoyed, this book is more interesting. But as it is, I felt like I was missing out on the real meat of the challenges and I had a difficult time really getting into her story. As such, I wouldn't recommend this to someone wanting to learn how to be more green or even to someone wanting to read about the challenges of being green to an extreme. I would, however, recommend this to anyone that enjoys the author's blog. All in all, I would give this one a pass, save a tree, and just read her blog (Green as a Thistle) instead.
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