The History of Green as a Thistle

This site is inspired by its beginnings.

Once upon a time back in 2007, Vanessa Farquharson was influenced by the Inconvenient Truth and wanted to see if she could make green choices without resorting to being a hippy.

So, she challenged herself to make one green change a day for a year with the idea of greening your life slowly and gradually would be better than overhauling your life in a day.

February 8, 2007 was when Green as a Thistle became Vanessa’s blog to document this journey. She started the challenge on March 1st and it blew up from there!

Within a year, she made 366 (it was a leap year) green changes and documented each day with a blog post. She did simple things from switching to natural products to more complex things like unplugging her fridge.

After the challenge was over, she got a book deal. Sleeping Naked is Green is her memoir of her big, green year. The book takes you from her initial conversation with her parents about the challenge to the aftermath of the challenge like how she dealt with traveling and falling in love.

It’s a funny, inspiring read. And I so happened to discover it in 2011 around Earth day. I was 16 and 16 year-old-me was really into being green and making the family recycle.

My library recommended it and I read it in 2 days. I loved that it gave me a million ideas on greening my own life. I loved Vanessa’s humor and how real she was.

I love making websites, so when I read that she also had a blog, I went to read it. And I loved the blog as well! I discovered it after she stopped posting, but her blog and book gave me so much inspiration to continue to leave a small footprint on this Earth.

Every two years or so, I like to sit down and read the book and blog. So this December, I sat down to do just that. And… it was gone. Green as a Thistle was gone. My favorite blog was down.

Being a website developer, I could tell that Vanessa stopped paying for the domain name and simply let it expire. I knew that the domain name was available. So, I headed on over to confirm and… IT WAS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE. So many things were racing through my mind. But, the biggest thoughts were:

  • This domain name means so much to me.
  • If I don’t buy this, someone else will and they will tarnish the name.

So… I bought it! I had no clue what I would do with it. I didn’t want another blog because I had Taking it Back a Notch, and I wrote about being green there. I didn’t want to keep it and just let it waste away. I wanted to use it to honor Vanessa and the green challenge.

So after months and months of thinking, I settled on rebranding Taking it Back a Notch to Green as a Thistle.

Green as a Thistle means so much to me. It really was there for me when I was a weird teenager interested in recycling and code. And I believe the name suits my message better than Taking it Back a Notch did. Because let’s face it… Taking it Back a Notch was second best when I wanted a name like Green as a Thistle.

And that’s the story of Green as a Thistle! If you want to see Vanessa’s old blog, I found it! You can see it in all it’s old glory.

Have you ever had something happen that meant so much to you that you just went for it? It warms my heart that I own my favorite domain name. That I can continue it’s journey after Vanessa was done.


4 thoughts on “The History of Green as a Thistle”

  1. I’m so happy you took over Green as a Thistle! I loved the book Vanessa Farquharson wrote about her journey too. I’m glad it has led me to your blog. I also started a blog about many of the same things, recording my journey and also trying to help people living in my area (Toronto) find the best ways to get rid of their stuff with the least environmental impact. (I haven’t got very far yet!) I find is so helpful to be connected, even if in small ways, to people who are following a similar path.

  2. I loved the old blog and read it religiously in middle school. Thanks for saving it, excited to read more of your posts 🙂

    • WOOHOO! Another green-inspired teen! I found Vanessa’s book and blog when I was in high school. I always felt weird being really into green living when my friends weren’t. I’m impressed that you loved the old blog since middle school!

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