How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days

Sleeping Naked is Green? Sexy. Tell me more… 

First, let’s back track to dread-headed hippies bragging about how they don’t use toilet paper.  

As an arts reporter and film critic for the National Post, Vanessa Farquharson has a pretty cool job, but like all of us there are days in the office when the fluorescent lights just seem evil; escape is necessary!  For me, these days call for irrational applications to work on a BC Ferry. For Vanessa it was either flee to Africa to nurture baby elephants or start a blog. (Hey, don’t knock the power of a blog! In her case it got her from Palestine to Portland, book deal and back…in my case free vodka) 

She’s willing to give up delivery but not the occasional organic burger

Dishes by hand, but left in washer to dry = water for plants. Suzuki would give her an A+ for enviro multi-tasking.

Too bad we can’t knit up the hole in ozone layer…but hey, every little thing counts.

Get creative with your coasters! Vanessa uses a floppy disc – awesome.

Sometimes trees require more than a hug.

Photo courtesy of Private Ale on Flickr

It’s a jam slam in green year!

Pets can be green too you know.

Building a house for worms and Chinese food.

It’s a green clean smackdown!

Vanessa posing next to thistle. CONGRATS ON YOUR BOOK!

Wanting to carve her own green path, that didn’t resemble that of a politically radical smug hippie, and destined to make a substantial change in her lifestyle, Vanessa started She spent every day of one year making a green change to figure out what was doable and what was too hardcore. (E.g. pooing without wiping).

What happens when an average girl throws herself into the murkiest depths of the green movement? Does H&M get replaced with hemp? Does the hummus breath vegan boy suddenly become crush-worthy?  

Boombox of 2009

Not only is her writing wry, relevant, honest and sincere but her experience allows us to easily decide what substantial changes in our lives we’d be willing to make. Vinegar shampoo anyone? 

She may have relinquished the Veuve, electric heating pad and America’s Next Top Model but this lady did not sacrifice her savoir faire!  

Vanessa contemplating life without a fridge

”…after all, if I’m going to unplug my refrigerator, cut my bed sheets into handkerchiefs, sell my car, and construct a compost bin in my living room, I’m sure as hell going to have a drink afterward.” 

Ditching the VW – a bold move.

So moved by her wisdom and sensibility that beside our office list of dirty–but-not-dirty words (Dictaphone, McCain hot pocket, Spadina etc.) we constructed a new list: Sleeping Naked and MORE! Inspired by Vanessa’s journey, here is what we plan to do:  


Invest in environmentally friendly cream and body lotion (any excuse to test out new beauty products but this time we swap Shoppers for The Big Carrot)
Join  (finally we can get rid of that bloody organ we wheeled in drunk at 3AM)
Shower in the dark (this can be completely romantic)
Out with the paraffin, in with the beeswax!
Instead of buying a car, choosing to book a red mini cooper from Zipcar – HOT DAMN!

We aren’t sure we will unplug the fridge just yet, but Vanessa sure makes a solid case on how to cope without it. And the idea of worms in the living room is a tad squeamish but perhaps we could pretend they were sea monkeys.  

Unlike most green reads, that are actually gray, full of unattainable demands and doom and gloom prophecies Sleeping Naked is a hilarious self-deprecating diary that will show you how a young woman took a plunge to make a difference and not only had the experience of a lifetime but found love along the way.  

START YOUR JOURNEY NOW…after all, sleeping naked is green but it will also heat up the sheets.  


This is the perfect summer read – which is why it is in our Muskoka Must Have contest – check it out

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