I’ve come to realize I don’t give Canada the credit, or coverage, that it deserves. Even though I’m a Brooklyn-based blogger for an Atlanta-based website, I make an effort to tackle international events. I wouldn’t say I fail at doing this — I frequently discuss green goings-on in the U.K. — but when it comes to giving props to our friends to the north, I admit that my performance is lackluster.

This is particularly conflicting for me since some of favorite things are Canadian: the city of Vancouver, Catherine O’ Hara, poutine, totem poles, and Tim Hortons. I can now add Toronto-based journalist Vanessa Farquharson and her blog, Green as a Thistle, to the list. Quite simply, she’s awesome.

To promote her book, Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days (out next month from Houghton Mifflin), Farquharson invites Green as a Thistle readers “on a mini tour of my house in order to point out all my favourite eco-contraptions, from the vegetables-in-a-vase trick for the fridgeless folk to the water-bottle-in-the-back-of-a-toilet-tank idea to save water.”

Just like her writing, Farquharson's video home tour (below) is pretty entertaining and the added bonus: we get to go in the house of a real, live Canadian. How novel!

Now, after you've watched the video (and perhaps pre-ordered Sleeping Naked Is Green), take a few minutes to check out the back-posts on Green as a Thistle. Recent entries include a tour of a recycled paper towel/toilet paper factory and “A green report on my very ungreen trip to Tunisia.”

Long story short, after finding herself “amongst a group of eco-hipsters drinking hemp beer at an anti-styrofoam party,” Farquharson decided to perform one environmentally forward lifestyle change per day for an entire calendar year. Lucky for us, she decided to chronicle it on Green as a Thistle, hoping to prove that “being an environmentalist doesn't necessarily mean being a smug hippie, nor does it have to mean compromising aesthetic values or good wine.” 

Farquharson's full-time gig is as a journo with the National Post but continue to keep an eye on her ... with so many eco-voices out there shilling oft-shrill and intimidating advice, Farquharson and her dry sense of humor stand out.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Tour a Toronto "eco crib"
Meet — and tour the home of — Vanessa Farquharson, the fierce (non-smug) Canadian wit behind the blog, Green as a Thistle.