Farewell, My SubaruPosted: January 26, 2011
This is a darn funny book. Even funnier to me, given that I own a beloved Subaru, and that this guy is recording his attempts at opting out, just as I am. But that’s where the similarities end, thankfully for Doug Fine.
Fine is a single guy with a decent amount of disposable income to drop on a new chunk of land, a significant amount of solar panels, and a truckload (literally) of other gear to “go green”. If that strikes you as a bit hypocritical, it strikes Fine the same way. He does a great job of relating his journey towards a carbon-neutral life, even the woes of purchasing “plastic crap from Wal-Mart” and thinking about the significant amounts of oil it takes to manufacture and deliver his stereo system.
And the whole time, he makes you laugh.
I appreciated the insight from his website about how all the aspects of his life are affected by his decision to living better on less oil:What I’ve realized is that my attempts to start living a less oil-dependent life are inextricably linked to my personal life, my spiritual life, and, I’m sorry to report for those who aspire to Green living but aren’t in the Republican tax bracket, my financial life. I guess what I’m saying is that, for personal and planetary reasons, I hope this experiment works out, and maybe even serves as a Regular Human guide (even if it’s a guide as to what not to do).
I also learned a bit of green geek wisdom from his book. For instance, did you know it takes 4.8 acres of agricultural land to maintain an American family of four on a mainstream diet? And significantly less land if they are vegetarian? We’re not vegetarians, and in addition to our nuclear family of four we house two additional adults full time plus lots of regular weekend guests. It makes me think that we need to make our 2.5 acres work very, very efficiently.
But most importantly, Fine taught me that all good books (and lives) should include a love story. His book does. My life does. Just as Fine learned an experimental adventure like his is best done as a two-person team, I’ve learned the same. Not sure what I would do without my best friend / wife. But it sure would not be this.
Highly recommended book, as is his first one I read a few years ago, Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man.