December: During December, Vanessa stops shaving her legs, quits downhill skiing, drinks only fair-trade tea, goes cold turkey with her vacuum, stops using paper towels and makes her own cosmetics and beauty products.
Although this chapter was somewhat light on the green changes, I found it an interesting statistic that one toilet flush on an airplane equates to over fourteen pounds of carbon dioxide, which is enough to power an average-size car for six miles. Now I have one more reason to avoid the airplane bathroom besides my fear of getting sucked out.
Vanessa also describes her meeting with Colin of No Impact Man fame, her rival at a year-long green challenge. She tries to sneak out of him more details about his toileting habits (which lack any TP), but he remains elusive on the subject. Apparently, he switched back to toilet paper after his challenge ended. Vanessa, to her benefit, still uses cloth wipes. Go Vanessa!
January: The new year brings with it no new plastic, switching to organic cotton produce bags, taking a butchering class to confront her meat-eating and switching to Bullfrog Power, which uses alternative energy sources.
Vanessa also buys a used mattress for her new place and ends up buying it from the guy working at the U-Haul rather than from the person she intended to on Craigslist. The reason for the used mattress was to avoid off-gassing. In the end, she only paid $120 for the mattress, boxspring, love seat and transportation. I'd say she also got away with her life. Really, Vanessa, taking up some guy named Fred's offer to test out a used mattress in the back of a U-Haul office sounds rather sketchy.
February: In February, Vanessa installs a dual-flush toilet (I'm jealous!), sets up a rain barrel to collect water for the garden, stops using makeup, restricts food to only that grown in the Ontario region and provides for an eco-friendly funeral in her will. In addition, she also switches over to eco-logs in the fireplace.
Epilogue: The epilogue contains a follow-up of the number of changes that she's stuck with. She doesn't go through which ones have worked out and which ones haven't per se, but she does mention a few and calculated that about 74 percent of the green changes she continues to do.
She also had Zero-footprint run the calculations (as best they could) on what kind of impact the changes made. They were able to do so on about 26 percent of her total changes (some things like consumer consumption are difficult to translate into carbon) and it resulted in approximately 11.02 tons of CO2 saved. Not bad for a cynic, eh?
Random discussion questions:
Sleeping Naked Is Green: Discussion 1 (Spring)
Sleeping Naked Is Green: Discussion 2 (Summer)
Sleeping Naked Is Green: Discussion 3 (Fall)