And the winner is…

April 19, 2009


The other week, I offered an eco-friendly cellphone to the person who could give me the best idea for my next green book. Suggestions poured in and, frankly, I’d be happy to live out my days writing about every single one of them. However, there is only one phone, so after bugging my editor at Wiley to read through the ideas, he finally chose a winner (and a runner-up, in case that person doesn’t want the prize).

Here are his comments:

“Alison’s consumer culture book is interesting, but I worry that it would essentially be a manifesto. I like the idea of not eschewing all technology in the name of sustainability, but she (rightly) suggests the need for some big systemic changes that are definitely beyond the means of just one person.”

“Just Ducky seemed to have the most succinct request for an urban homesteader book, and because I was just reading about peak-oil alarmists (who seem like a fascinating, scary bunch), I think s/he might be on to something there, if the book were less of a “how-to” and more about profiles of these people.”

“Reuel touches on a topic near to my heart: I’m amazed at what’s going on in the developing world … I think there are some exceptional, inspiring stories out there, and they’re not being told. And, additionally, I think that a book about initiatives in the developing world will help us gain perspective when we consider some green ventures too bothersome.”

In the end, he chose Reuel as the winner and Alison as the runner-up — I’ll be getting in touch with you guys to sort out mailing addresses. But in the mean time, let me just say that I’m still a big fan of the green granny wisdom idea (see photo above, featuring the Raging Grannies). Our elders know a lot about living lightly, whether it’s the best recipe for preserves and pickles, or how to live without a fridge, how to darn socks and knit scarves, and even reuse a milk bottle. The new wave of hippies could learn a lot from their grandmothers, and if this wisdom were somehow adapted and repackaged for modern times, all the better.

Anyway, congrats Reuel! And thank-you everybody for the suggestions.