When I ran across Vanessa Farquharson’s book, Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days, I was intrigued. While I don’t think I’ll be unplugging my fridge anytime soon (is that even possible in this heat?), selling my car (sorry, Jnai!), or looking for love (my husband wouldn’t approve), I am interested in living a greener life without going insane (or appearing that way).
I have tried to make small changes at home to be more green. My husband and I haven’t done anything too drastic–although our families think our recent decision to cloth diaper our twins is a little extreme–but we’ve made minor adjustments here and there that (we hope) will reduce our carbon footprint and maybe save a polar bear or two from extinction. We changed all our lightbulbs to compact flourescent bulbs, swapped to cloth napkins for everyday, replaced paper towels in the kitchen with dishrags and towels, and put a bucket in the shower to catch the water as it heats (which we then use to water our garden). We also recycle and compost when we can. But do we really have to stop eating at restaurants that use styrofoam take-out containers or stop using antiperspirants?
Although afraid of losing her cool hipster status and being mistaken for a hippie, or worse yet, a blogger, Ms. Farquharson took the plunge and began a daily blog about her changes in an effort to provide a humorous real-life view on the effect that living green might have on a regular everyday person. All the while bearing a tiny, imaginary Al Gore on her shoulder, she makes changes both small and large: “Switch to recycled paper towels,” “Lower the temperature on my water heater,” or “Sell my car.” Some changes are a little more unusual (or just plain odd), such as “Skip gown at doctor’s office” or “Drip-dry dishes in dishwasher rack above houseplants.”
If you’d like to follow Ms. Farquharson’s continuing journey on the road to being green, check out her blog Green as a Thistle. Interested in finding out your own carbon footprint and your impact on the environment? Go to the EPA’s Household Emissions Calculator or The Nature Conservancy’s Carbon Footprint Calculator and get a personalized estimate. Then maybe you, too, will decide to carry a totebag and give up on pajamas…