Sleeping Naked Is Green

Sleeping Naked Is Green

How An Eco-cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days

Book - 2009
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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,

Publisher: Mississauga, Ont. : Wiley, c2009.
ISBN: 9780470155103
Characteristics: xiv, 267 p. ;,21 cm.


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staceyb123 Mar 03, 2015

Had funny parts
Had some informative stuff that I researched and tried right away
con was that I felt some of her daily changes repeated themselves.

ksoles May 04, 2014

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. She deems others too idealistic ('eager beavers'), too serious ('serious activists'), and too fashion-impaired (she hates Teva, Birkenstock, and Gore-Tex) while spending and entire pay check on one pair of pants and frequently bemoaning her lack of a boyfriend. Her casual approach can also sometimes undermine her message: she pledges to drink local alcohol, organic produce, and "happy meat" but admits to eating out more frequently on purpose because restaurants provide an exception to her rules. And, while she offsets her travels with carbon credits, she does a LOT of flying to Europe and Israel to visit friends and relatives. I somehow doubt that going to the bathroom before boarding to save the extra gasoline required to carry her full bladder makes much difference on a 3000+ mile haul.

Some of the author's supposedly green choices may raise eyebrows. She continues to eat meat and signs up for a butchering class to raise her own awareness of where her food comes from, but she shuns any rennet-based cheese because she finds the process "horrifying." Indeed, Farquharson can come across as endearingly shallow, too metropolitan, and too willing to bend her rules when it suits her. On the other hand, she does make countless serious and brave changes, including giving up her fridge and living with vases filled with carrots. She laughs at her own mistakes and foibles while supplying readers with thought-provoking ideas; bio-degradable pens, kitchen scrubs made from recycled plastic, organic honey to save the bee population, Diva Cups, and corn-based cat litter are just a few suggestions from this ultimately clever read.

Violet_Lion_31 Aug 01, 2013

This book was great. It is great to view the ways that an environmentalist tried to change her lifestyle to help save the environment. This book is excellent because it shows us that we can try a variety of differentiating approaches to saving the environment, then you can see what lifestyle choices worked that you would like to perpetuate, and what didn't work. No matter how simple the change, you can make a difference.

VaughanPLDaniela Jan 17, 2013


Jul 15, 2012

Wasn't quite what I expected, but was an entertaining read. Thought there would be more tips and information about going green.

Apr 20, 2011

Quite a funny, self-deprecating look at attempting to live a less environmentally harmful life. And in addition, there are a lot of useable tips. But ultimately, it's a good read, and funny.

Sep 21, 2010

I didn't think I'd like this book, but I found it hilarious yet sincere. Some things she did were very practical and simple, while others a little off the wall and probably not sustainable for most people in the long run. A good read!

Apr 21, 2010

Recommended by Jim Harris through FB. Looking forward to reading it.

chiennoir Sep 08, 2009

A refreshingly self-aware and very practical guide to living a more environmentally-conscious life.

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