Almost Green: How I Built an Eco-Shed, Ditched My SUV, Alienated the In-Laws, and Changed My Life Forever
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One man's irreverent and hilarious chronicle of his ambitious but clumsy efforts to tread lightly on the planet.
In Almost Green, James Glave demonstrates that the journey along the path to a greener life is not always easy but is frequently hilarious and always enlightening. Glave -- a writer and stay-at-home dad -- describes his experiences building a green writing studio in the front yard of his home on Bowen Island, British Columbia, a not-so-green paradise where suvs still outnumber compost boxes. While coping with the many frustrations and small victories of this undertaking, Glave also dabbles in grassroots neighborhood activism. He visits a truly green family living in the concrete jungle of the city and decides he must divest himself of his hulking suv, so generously given to him by his father-in-law, without offending his benefactor.
large on my list of concerns. To me, it had come to symbolize our damaging attachment to the past. The guidelines are a testament to the profound power that the idea of “heritage” still holds over our culture. You can build an Arts and Crafts bungalow out of sustainably harvested lumber, you can dial back on its toxic finishes and insulate and ventilate the place like crazy, but so long as it ignores the sun—which it probably would—in my mind the building won’t be “green.” In slavishly supporting
inched up. Just before the kids—who had been playing upstairs with a babysitter—began their daily prelunch meltdown, I interrupted Slickpane’s canned script. “Look,” I blurted out, “to be honest, I don’t care about all that stuff. I want to know how well your windows work. What are the R-values? Do they leak air? If so, how much?” He smiled. But I wasn’t finished. “What I need from you is hard data on performance, in a format I can understand and compare with the other guys. And if you don’t
Uh-oh. After a couple of months of aggressive online marketing, the Lexus was still sitting on Lot 55, and part of the reason had nothing to do with fuel economy. In the eyes of potential buyers, my fully loaded rig was of questionable geographic origin. I had imported Padre’s rolling palace when we moved up from Santa Fe a couple years back. It easily passed muster with the Canadian authorities. But that wasn’t good enough for my gun-shy prospects. In recent years, a number of my fellow
original Mr. Good ’Nuff—reluctantly walked away from my Eco-Shed. He’d expected to finish the project by now but, as feared months ago, the endlessly delayed windows had idled the critical path. Galpin had another job starting up the Fraser Valley in a week or two, and he couldn’t push it back. “We both knew this was coming,” he said, clearly feeling bad for moving on. He offered a few names of guys who might pick up where he left off, but he might as well have promised to find me a hot date at
“CONGRATULATIONS, EVERYONE,” said Master Tony Kook, a fifth-degree black belt with the World Taekwondo Federation and the owner of our island’s training studio, or dojang. “You did really well tonight.” Here in the dojang, Elle and I—along with six of our fellow students—had just passed our fourth Tae Kwon Do belt-promotion test. We were all lined up on the mat, standing tall in our sweat-soaked uniforms, feeling proud and strong. Getting to this point had involved considerable effort,