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Farewell, My Subaru: Adventures in Green Living

abstract:"In Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living, Doug Fine writes about his hilarious adventures in green living and some surprising facts he discovered about energy consumption; such as, it takes several thousand gallons of jet fuel to fly an organic banana from Honduras to Silver City, NM, or three times the amount of fuel he uses in his car each year. After graduating from Stanford, Doug Fine strapped on a backpack and traveled to five continents, reporting from remote perches in Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala and Tajikistan. He is a correspondent for NPR and PRI and the author of Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Wired, US News and World Report, Christian Science Monitor, and Outside magazine. A native of Long Island, he lives in an obscure valley in Southern New Mexico alongside many goats and coyotes. Visit his web site at


April 20, 2008
The details of Doug Fine's experiment in green living are great fun — but more important is the spirit, the dawning understanding that living in connection to something more tangible than a computer mouse is what we were built for. It'll make you want to move!"-Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and The End of Nature.

Excerpt from author's website

This is a book of carbon-neutral carnage, about my attempts to kick oil while still living like an American. Farewell, My Subaru is the account of everything that can go wrong (and then right) when a regular guy tries to get oil out of his life. It details, among other embarrassing (but, my editor insists, inspiring) realities: coyotes eating my chickens, my near-death due to clumsiness during solar panel installation, and my suffering from Extreme Munchies thanks to the exhaust of my new carbon-neutral, vegetable oil-powered R.O.A.T. (Ridiculously Oversized American Truck). Hence the title of the book – I had to ditch the ol’ reliable Subaru in favor of a diesel. But for all the mishaps, I have reduced my electric bill by 80% and no longer need gas stations to drive. All while keeping my Netflix, my Internet, my fridge, washing machine, and most of all, my booming subwoofers.

Here’s the publisher’s summary:

In Farewell, My Subaru, Doug Fine vows to grow as much of his own food as he can, use only the sun to power his ‘Net surfing and sub-woofer, and consume little to no fossil fuel for an entire year — never mind that he’d never raised so much as a chicken or a bean. Or that he had no mechanical or electrician skills. Or that coyotes and mountain lions would like to treat his Funky Butte Ranch like a buffet line.

Beginning with a near-Biblical flood that makes Doug’s ranch in New Mexico resemble Noah’s Ark, and ending with a hilarious farewell to his beloved Subaru, Fine struggles at every turn with the contradictions and challenges of going green as his shopping list changes overnight from things like “wasabi” and “pineapple juice” to “shotgun shells” and “goat syringes” (for the mischievous Pans he found on Craigslist).

Including practical resources for regular Americans who want to live greener and funny sidebars with facts you never imagined about the clean, local life, Farewell, My Subaru is both a hilarious romp and an inspiring call to action; it’s a book for the reluctant environmentalist, the armchair traveler, and anyone who has ever wondered: do I really need that four-dollar frappuccino from Kenya?

Let us know what efforts you make in your life to live "green." Write to with "GREEN" in the subject line.



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