Whenever there’s nothing to watch on TV, it seems like there’s always an episode of “House Hunters” showing – which is great, since I’m always up for shouting at the TV – you know, things like, “Ugh, look at that place” or “Good taste costs no more”… (Though I also love the new show “Bang for Your Buck” – especially since the gay couples always win.)
At any rate, the house hunters are occasionally looking at cool city houses or lofts – but more often than not, it’s a couple (or even a single person) trying to choose which hideous and inappropriately large McMansion they should buy – they usually choose the one with the three-car garage and the best interior paint colors (God, that drives me insane – they’re always going on and on about how they don’t like the colors… Because, as we all know, that is something that is completely impossible to change… )
Or else it’s some newlyweds buying their first place in the ‘burbs of Cincinnati and spending $125K on a charming three bedroom with hardwood floors, original molding and a fireplace. Chris and I always have a good laugh/cry over this, since $125K in SF is maybe a down-payment – and only if you’re lucky and willing to live in an “up and coming neighborhood” (i.e. the ghetto).
Last night, I was watching and it was some young couple buying their first place up in Davis/Sacramento. And they really wanted a “green” house with all the eco-friendly extras. And what drove me absolutely insane was that they seemed to have no idea of what actually constitutes an ecologically friendly house – they seemed to think that as long as there were a couple of solar panels on the roof and low VOC paint on the walls, then all was well.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I think any steps one can take to live a greener life are a good thing. But the husband in particular kept going on and on about how “green” everything had to be – but never once commenting on the fact that a 2500 square foot house is going to have double the carbon footprint of a 1200 square foot place – regardless of how many “green” features are built in… It drives me insane when I read about somebody constructing a “green” 6000 square foot residence. Sorry! If it’s that big, it ain’t green – I don’t care how much water is being reclaimed or how many recycled glass counter tops there are. But I digress…
So this annoying couple finally settles on the place in Sacramento – meaning they’d both be commuting by car to their jobs in Davis; they nixed the house in Davis, which was in biking distance of work, preferring the larger place in Sacramento. All of which would’ve been fine, if they hadn’t been going on and on and on about how important the environment is…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: do what you can, large and small, to minimize your impact on the environment… But don’t be sanctimonious. It’s not cute.