Getting off the grid is something my husband and I talk about when we dream about building a house on a little piece of land we have outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. For us, it would be the ideal way to minimize our impact on the earth, not to mention the freedom from oil interests it would bring.
Well, Doug Fine is actually doing it out on his ranch in New Mexico. He’s touring the west for the next few months from California to Alaska and east as far as Colorado. If this is something that interests you, check out Doug Fine’s events schedule. He’ll be at the Tattered Cover in Denver on April 8.
Here’s the official blurb from his publicist:
Fans of National Public Radio have probably heard Doug Fine riffing on his attempts to live “off the grid” on his remote New Mexico ranch—to eat locally, use solar power and erase his carbon footprint for 12 months. Green is the new black, but despite what Al Gore says, regardless of what you hear in the media, Doug Fine has learned one thing: It ain’t easy being green. Fine’s hilarious and inspirational new book FAREWELL, MY SUBARU: An Epic Adventure in Local Living (Villard Hardcover; On Sale: March 25, 2008) offers a glimpse of just how hard it is to go green while “living like an American”—and the rewards that await those of us who make the attempt.
Fine can be hysterically funny—whether hopping out of bed naked with a shotgun at 4 am to scare away coyotes threatening his flock or co-opting waste oil from the local Chinese restaurant in a mad attempt to fill the new “veggie oil” tank in his R.O.A.T. (short for “ridiculously oversized American truck”)—but he also has something to say. In his entertaining narrative, you’ll learn surprising things about solar panels, organic and locally grown food, environmentally safe water pumps, and more. Sometimes, green isn’t as green as we think.
And that is what sets his memoir apart. Fine’s adventures are comical (and on occasion physically painful), but he doesn’t give up and ultimately realizes that despite the hardships, his experiment is worth it. In the process, he allows us to view living green from a new perspective: it may seem next to impossible, but if we all give it a shot, it just might become a way of life we can get used to—or even enjoy.