Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Going Green-The Smart Way
The other day while watching a HGTV special about how to "Go Green" with home decor I was struck again with feelings bordering on disgust. What appears on the surface to be a plea to save the environment by making wise choices is in fact, nothing more than a sales pitch to buy earth friendly, but expensive and often unecessary "green" accessories for your home.
Before I am tarred and feathered for speaking out against ecologically friendly choices, consider--since granite is a nonrenewable resource is it better for the earth to rip out your granite countertops to install new ones made of renewable hemp as the programme suggests? Your existing granite countertops will last into the next eon, to be excavated by archeaologists of the future. Or, you could chuck them in the landfill and get some "green" ones made of hemp. Don't sweat the money you will spend (or the money you wasted on granite), after all hemp ones are renewable and manufactured with clean energy.
Tell me I am not the only person seeing the irony here? If you are building a new home, or refurbishing one that is beyond repair, making earth-friendly choices is smart and conservative. If you are simply remixing your home for the fun of redecorating, replacing useful and timeless accessories and fixtures is wasteful and pollutes the environment; even if you replace them with something ecologically friendly.
The woman whose home was featured on the programme was thrilled to demonstrate the chairs that were "leftover" from her previous home's design, and how they were "recycled" by replacing their covers that were manufactured detrimentally to the earth, to ones with fabrics created with little environmental impact. The chairs were clearly relatively new, sturdy pieces. It's hardly recycling to recover a chair that was built within ten years for the sake of good "green" taste.
At the end of the show, was the prompt, "For more ways to make your home green, go to..." with the implication that the responsible thing to do is to convert our homes to "green" ones. This is something advertisers can truly value, consumers being pushed to revamp their entire homes for no reason other than to make them Earth conscious. They see the money rolling in with entire homes being converted from long-wearing plastic, metal, stone and vinyl to expensive and less durable seagrasses and Brazilian drift wood. I see the landfills piling up with still useful things, replaced to jump on the trend bandwagon.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Unless of course you can immediately replace it with the more environmentally sound counterpart. Then you are doing your duty to make the world a greener place.