The funniest book I’ve read this year.
And it all started because SOMEONE felt the need to go green for a year.
And guys. I read a lot of books. Not just because I think Christians should read fiction.
This page contains affiliate links – they don’t cost you a penny, but they sure help to pay off those student loans! For more information, please see my disclosure page. Also, I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. Is giving me books like giving a drunk a drink?
One more thing: make sure you read to the bottom for the giveaway!
I’ve always wanted to live more sustainably. But would I go green for a year?
I’m not extreme – I’m a “people first” person. But I think there are ways that we can gradually work towards doing a better job with our resources. “Go green” doesn’t have to start with big dramatic measures. It’s all about small changes. So when I moved earlier this year, I tried to go green a little more than before. I started using cloth napkins on a regular basis. I got a microwave cover to use instead of covering food in the microwave with plastic wrap. I had several dishwasher-safe reusable sandwich pouches (kind of like these ones), and I started using them on a regular basis…not for everything, but for most things. I’ve been leaning towards using bar towels to clean instead of paper towels when it makes sense. And I signed up for OhmConnect so I could get cash back for saving energy. (By the way, here are 7 easy ways to go greener on a budget).
But THIS girl.
Cassie. She doesn’t do small steps. When a friend jokingly tells the Disposable Queen she couldn’t go green for a week, Cassie sets a New Years Resolution to go green for a YEAR. And she doesn’t start by making little changes. Each week she tries to add one more BIG change to go green. We’re talking no packaging, people. And the results are both eye-opening and hilarious. I have loved going on this journey with Cassie.
I think I love Cassie because, in some ways, we are a lot alike. We are trying to bring our faith into conversation with all the other things in our world…and sometimes getting it right, sometimes getting it wrong. We go “all in” to things. Even though I teach people to make small changes (because I know that’s what really works), so many times I jump headfirst into everything. We enjoy challenging ourselves, and we enjoy writing about it. And sometimes folks don’t get why we share things in public. And other folks don’t think we share enough. We are working the day job while we try to build up to the dream job. And we DO care about taking care of God’s resources, even if it isn’t the #1 most important thing in our lives.
I think I’m a lot lower-drama than Cassie. And in person, she might overwhelm me a bit. But on the pages of The Vintage Wren (which is FREE on Amazon through Tuesday 10/23/18), she keeps me up cackling in the middle of the night.
The Vintage Wren is a serial novel that is released weekly via email, so after you catch up with the chapters that are published, you can sign up to receive future chapters via email for free as they are released. Do I need to tell you that I watch my inbox to see when the next one will come in? Yeah, of course not.
If you decide that you, too, want to go green for a year, you HAVE to tell me about it. I might do it myself…but not Cassie style. Lol!
Also, I think I might need a Think. And to understand that you’re going to have to check out this book.
The Vintage Wren is On Tour with Celebrate Lit!
About the Book
Book Title: The Vintage Wren Volume 1
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian / Fiction / General / Romance
Release date: May 25, 2016 (still in progress)
The Vintage Wren is a serial novel released in episodes on Amazon. However, subscribers can get FREE weekly installments (a chapter in length) delivered right to your inbox every Wednesday(ish—life delays it now and then). To sign up for weekly installments, click HERE. To read past installments visit The Write Chatterings group on Facebook.
The Vintage Wren is a serial novel released in several chapter episodes. Volume One contains the first four and a half episodes in one full-length novel.
Meet Cassie Wren.
Legal assistant. Convenience queen. Thrifter extraordinaire. If there was a “green police” she’d be a fugitive from eco-friendly justice.
But when a friend’s teasing feels like a challenge, Cassie accepts it. The result? One year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three hundred sixty-five days–of green.
It seemed simple enough. Cut back on paper plates, plastic forks, and straws. Easy peasy. But when her competitive side wars against her desire for convenience, Cassie finds it’s not so easy to be “eco-friendly” and “Cassie-
Shopping for Cassie’s annual New Year’s Eve party sparks an innocent comment that Cassie can’t forget. So, during their New Year’s Day goal planning session, Cassie’s friends tease her about her lack of eco-consciousness, and Cassie determines to change one new thing in favor of the planet every week. For a year. Even if it kills her.
She’s confident it will.
Cassie’s first month includes eradicating the extraneous paper, glass, plastic, and metal from her life. However, she finds that it’s not quite as easy as she thought. Paper and plastic cover everything manufactured or packaged–even water, produce, and restaurant food! Glass is great, but you can only have so many “reusable jars,” and metal reduction means her hair may end up a nightmare of uncontrollable frizzies!
She doesn’t even want to talk about her water reduction plans.
But it’s not all been bad. She’s saved a lot of money, has prospects for a new business, her impromptu blog is gaining traffic, and she even has a new boyfriend. Add to that, a few great friends who keep her going when things get rough, and the realization that there are only eleven months to go, and Cassie just might make it.
Now only if her car would cooperate and make it, too!
Click here to purchase your copy!
The author of dozens of books in a variety of genres, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to nudge her readers to the feet of the Master Storyteller.
Guest Post from Chautona
How Writing about Cassie’s Eco-Challenge Has Changed My Way of Living
I didn’t think it through—not really. I mean, how hard could it be? All I had to do is give Cassie my own reactions to things like giving up straws and having to use tote bags at the grocery store. I just needed 52 simple things she could change in her life—one new one for each episode.
Piece of cake.
I should have known better. I don’t do things halfway when I get into them. Yes, I’ve discovered that Cassie is more like me in some ways than I ever imagined. And as I’ve researched things for her to freak out about, I’ve done a bit of freaking out myself. Certain questions and thoughts won’t go away.
For instance, in 2017 1.26 BILLION dollars were spent on plush toys. Just plush toys. Stuffed animals. And I don’t know how many weren’t purchased. Those are just the ones that were. That’s… a LOT of stuffed toys. If each toy cost 20 dollars (and we all know most are half that or less these days), that’s 63 million of those toys purchased and brought home.
In one year.
Shampoo, conditioner, and laundry soap bottles. Not sure why this one bothers me as much as it does. I think, actually, it’s the huge amount of water as much as it is all the plastic.
Look, we no longer have eight females in our house. But we do still have four there at all times—five on breaks. That’s a lot of shampoo bottles every year. A big portion of both laundry soap, shampoo, and conditioner is… water. We pay for a big bottle (lots of plastic and water) and to ship that to us—either because we had to have it shipped to a store for us to buy it or we had to have it shipped to our house.
I am paying extra for water that I could add myself at a fraction of the cost.
And the things go on and on. The lake that almost disappeared in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan because of how much water it takes to grow and process cotton.
See, the thing is, I’m not a green nut.
I don’t think it’s as easy to “destroy the planet” as we like to say. I do think, much like we do with our bodies and such, that we can reduce the quality of the world around us, however.
And while I’ll never jump on Cassie’s bandwagon—certainly not for life, I have made a few changes in how I do things. And as time goes on, I find myself making even more.
Like what, you ask?
I’ll tell you.
Here are three small ways I’ve changed how we do things in our house.
- I started buying Dropps. They’re an automatically-shipped laundry pod. Each one is tiny—just a little smaller than the average “pod” and a whole lot cheaper. Also, there are no extra dyes or other things that are supposed to be bad for you and the planet.
I don’t really care about that. I just care that they work. And they do. And they’re cheaper than my Tide. ?
- I got a shampoo bar for my birthday. I thought it would be like washing with regular soap—especially after I started rinsing my hair! It freaked me out. One idea down the drain… I thought.
But no, after the second or third use, it still felt weird while wet, but it dried beautifully, and I didn’t need to use additional conditioner. It’s in the bar or something. I even tried the old way again to compare after-shower tangles. Identical.
- Dryer balls. Those felted wool balls really do work! A wonderful reader of mine sent me some, and it made my day! My youngest daughter and I are now trying to work with felted sweaters to try to turn them into dryer balls—or maybe even into sheets! (although, I think the balls bouncing around also kind of pound the clothes into submission or something. “Sheets” might not work, but I’m tempted to try it!
Look, you’ll never find me standing in front of a case in a mini-mart, freaking out because I want a Coke and can’t justify it. That’s not going to happen. But if I can choose a reasonable alternative to what I already do, well… it’s time to consider that.
There you have it. Three ways my life has changed since writing Cassie’s crazy story.
Blog Stops: Make sure to check them out and enter the giveaway below!
The April Journal , October 16
Among the Reads , October 16
Inklings and Notions , October 17
Lots of Helpers, October 18
Carpe Diem, October 19
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 19
Real World Bible Study, October 20
A Baker’s Perspective, October 21
The Lit Addict, October 21
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 22
Janice’s Book Reviews, October 23
Aryn The Libraryan , October 23
Bigreadersite, October 24
Mary Hake, October 24
Cultivating Us, October 25
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations , October 26
Multifarious, October 26
Bibliophile Reviews, October 27
Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 28
Texas Book-aholic, October 29
The Mimosa Blossom, October 29
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize package that includes 5 Shopping totes, a Shampoo Bar, a Foldable Straw, and a $10 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4eb/the-vintage-wren-celebration-tour-giveaway