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Thrifty Green: Ease Up on Energy, Food, Water, Trash, Transit, Stuff -- and Everybody Wins Paperback – April 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Conari Press (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573244856
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573244855
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,707,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Far more than just a practical primer for those with an interest in living lighter on the planet, Thrifty Green succeeds in capturing a true sense of place and presents a compelling case for why living more simply can be the richest lifestyle choice of all." -Jeff Yeager, author of The Cheapskate Next Door and The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches

"You don't have to be rich or a rock star to figure out that living lighter is a lot more fun, healthier, and less expensive than you expected. Thrifty Green lays out the road. And you don't even need a bike or an electric car to drive there (though I'd recommend it)." -Chris Paine, director, Revenge of the Electric Car and Who Killed the Electric Car?

"If you want to stay in denial and apathy, if you want to rationalize self-destructive patterns, this book's not for you. But if you want to know how to reduce your spending and your carbon footprint while increasing the joy and the beauty in your life, if you want to live a low-cost, high-happiness life, you could not ask for a finer guide than this marvelous book." -John Robbins, author The Food Revolution, Diet for a New America, and The New Good Life

About the Author

Priscilla Short holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College in mathematics and a Master of Science from The College of William and Mary in operations research. She spent over a decade in the corporate world working as a systems engineer developing software to optimize the resource usage of government satellite systems. She lives in Colorado.

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More About the Author

In October of 2006, I quit the stressful corporate job I had held for a decade, broke up with my boyfriend, sold my conventional house, and moved full-time to a small, solar-powered, strawbale house in the vast sagebrush outside of Taos, New Mexico. I had no central heating, no source of electricity beyond what the sun provided, and no water supply other than what I caught on the roof. Living on savings, disconnected from both mainstream America and the national power grid, I adjusted my life throughout the next four seasons to accommodate the quirks of the house and drastically downshifted the amount of electricity, water, and other resources I consumed. By the end of a year, I discovered that what was good for me was also good for the planet, that consuming less and conserving more helps us all.

Living for a year in this kind of house meant I could see very clearly the effects of my consumption of energy and other resources on my quality of life. As I was also living on savings, I had to make choices that involved spending as little as possible as well. What I realized was that resource conservation and frugality were one and the same. With no TV, internet, computer, washing machine/dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, trash pickup, or snowplow service, I kept my food out back in a cooler, read by candlelight when the electricity cut out, stayed in when it snowed too much, and checked my email at internet cafes. Yet I didn't feel deprived. I felt exhilarated.

Ultimately, I decided that living simply does not have to mean living out of the mainstream. Besides, by the end of a year, I had drained my savings and had to move and take another corporate job. After returning to a conventional lifestyle, I resolved to continue to practice my minimal carbon footprint way of living for the sake of the planet, my bank account, and my health. But reality caught up with me. Having to go to work each day cut into the time I could spend running my life in an eco-friendly way. The tradeoff between convenience and green living stared me in the face, and I had to make some realistic compromises, as most Americans do. My book, "Thrifty Green," contrasts my spartan year of living environmentally in Taos with my adaptation of lessons learned to my new mainstream life and how they can serve as a blueprint for others.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
If you're like me and find all the noise about sustainability, climate change, peak oil, peak water, and trash gyres overwhelming, this is the book to read. The tone is friendly, as if you're sitting down for a chat with a very knowledgeable and experienced friend. The author has clearly walked her talk and although a few passages are a bit smug and preachy (which the author willingly admits), I came away with the growing conviction that I could definitely make less of an impact on and more of a contribution to our poor planet. A air of positivity runs throughout the text, with tons of suggestions for how any one person can shift just a little and save a lot.
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