Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living

Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living

by Doug Fine
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Overview

Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living by Doug Fine

Advance praise for Farewell, My Subaru

“Fine is Bryson Funny.” ——Santa Cruz Sentinel

“Fine is an amiable and self-deprecating storyteller in the mold of Douglas Adams. If you're a fan of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-style humor — and also looking to find out how to raise your own livestock to feed your ice-cream fetish — Farewell may prove a vital tool.” —— The Washington Post

“Fine is an eco-hero for our time..” —— Miami Herald

“An afterward offers solid advice and sources for learning more.” —— On Earth Magazine, Natural Resources Defense Fund

“This is Green Acres for the smart set—: a witty and educational look at sustainable living. Buy it, read it, compost it.”
–A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

“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: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

Like many Americans, Doug Fine enjoys his creature comforts, but he also knows full well they keep him addicted to oil. So he wonders: Is it possible to keep his Netflix and his car, his Wi-Fi and his subwoofers, and still reduce his carbon footprint?

In an attempt to find out, Fine up and moves to a remote ranch in New Mexico, where he brazenly vows to grow his own food, use sunlight to power his world, and drive on restaurant grease. Never mind that he’s never raised so much as a chicken or a bean. Or that he has no mechanical or electrical skills.

Whether installing Japanese solar panels, defending the goats he found on Craigslist against coyotes, or co-opting waste oil from the local Chinese restaurant to try and fill the new “veggie oil” tank in his ROAT (short for Ridiculously Oversized American Truck), Fine’s extraordinary undertaking makes one thing clear: It ain’t easy being green. In fact, his journey uncovers a slew of surprising facts about alternative energy, organic and locally grown food, and climate change.

Both a hilarious romp and an inspiring call to action, Farewell, My Subaru makes a profound statement about trading today’s instant gratifications for a deeper, more enduring kind of satisfaction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400066445
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/25/2008
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 8.46(w) x 5.68(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

DOUG FINE, a contributor to NPR and Public Radio International, has reported from remote perches in Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala, and Tajikistan. He is the author of Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man, and lives in southern New Mexico.

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Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living, By Doug Fine, is a comical yet informative novel that captures the importance of green living while still telling the story of Fine’s life transformation. In this novel Fine tries to lessen his carbon footprint, while still attempting to have all the American comforts. He moves to a ranch in New Mexico where he promises to himself, that he will grow his own food, use solar light as electricity and fuel his car off of used restaurant oils. Fine shows how difficult it really is to make your ice cream and only eat locally grown organic foods. As he raises goats and grows his own food, he realizes that it isn't as easy as it is cracked up to be. Fine made many discoveries and the largest one was that it is not a one man job. In this novel Fine did not once say that he could not do something, as he found many innovative and inventive ways to complete seemingly impossible tasks. He did not make it seem easy or what everyone should do tomorrow, but he wrote an honest reflection of his trials, tribulations, and struggles, while attempting to create a new way of life. By injecting comedic relief to all of his stressful, dangerous, and some inconceivable decisions, Fine allowed the reader to learn, laugh, and just be entertained by his nonsensical happenings. What was most of all impressive, was that he could write a novel such as this, while continuing to breed information and lessons learned ,the easy and hard way. This novel also showed that a community is not only helpful in a situation as such, but it is vital to the success of everyone in that committee. This puts the rest of the world into perspective , not only in an eco-friendly way, but also looking at others and how they react and act in the world.
Hal_Yard More than 1 year ago
I didn't honestly expect much out of this book. I found it by searching for e-books on "solar" (with little success). I was pleasantly surprised by the way that Fine interwove facts, story, characters, and his continually building knowledge of green living. Compared to most environmental books I've read in the past ten years, I didn't have a "were f'd" feeling after reading it. Rather, it inspired me to green up my already green life, which isn't an easy task. Kudos to Mr. Fine for such a great story and the resultant inspiration!
Kristina_Osborne14 More than 1 year ago
Doug Fine’s book, Farewell, My Subaru, is a must read. Doug Fine goes on a journey to Mexico to become the most eco-friendly person he can be. Fine purchases a forty-one acre piece of land that he names, The Funky Butte Ranch. He hopes to do four things within the next year on this piece of land: 1. Use a lot less oil, 2. Power his life by using renewable energy, 3. Eat as locally as possible, and 4. Don’t die. Helping him along the way, he got rid of his Subaru and got a truck. Although the truck sounds worse than a car when trying to go eco-friendly, he changed his diesel sucking ride for a veggie rolling mobile. Along Doug’s journey, he learns about different ways to use solar power, grow food, and maintain a stable farm. Along with some extra things, he got chickens, goats, and an Australian Cattle dog. Although Doug’s life may sound like a piece of cake, he explains the number of struggles he had while going through this becoming green process. Some struggles that he faced were, his truck not starting, where to find vegetable oil, his solar sources not working properly, and finding ways to grow food without all the additive chemicals that other farmers use. Overall, Doug had been challenged, but didn’t give up. I highly recommend this book to anyone. It allowed me to look at a different way of living, and be inspired. Never would I have learned that solar panels are mandatory on all buildings in Spain, that renewable sources will supply nearly half the world’s energy by 2050, or that solar ovens can heat up to four hundred degrees. After going solar on Doug Fine’s ranch, he used 86 kilowatts of grid energy in June 2007. The average American house uses 888 kilowatt hours per month. If Doug can do it, I can do it.
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