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Monday, November 4, 2013

being smart, being "green"

Not long ago, there was a program on HGTV called  HGTV's Green Home... Now it's called HGTV's Smart Home.
Home building and decorating "green" style. Not the color green, but the latest societal buzz word "green." In this program, builders created their most energy efficient home and interior designers shared the ways we could be eco-friendly when we feather our nests.

Can we talk? 
The green home decorators were proud to use  salvaged materials. Salvaging...using furniture and parts that have been discarded and given a new life. We've been doing it for years! We have thrifted, antiqued, dumpster dived, trash-to treasured, flea-marketed and garage-saled. In fact, most of our  house is decorated with a "reusable resource!"

Energy efficiency. I'm sorry, did the planet just take notice of the "Energy Star Rating" that is on every appliance since 1992?  We have always looked for the most energy officiant appliances, along with putting plastic on our windows and a towel under the door  if we have to stop a draft. We don't have central air, but we close the windows until a certain time of day and open them for maximum airflow and coolness, just like generations past. I've hung my laundry to dry. We take advantage of shade trees and landscape to encourage habitation of birds and butterflies. In fact, it wasn't like a (compact fluorescent) light bulb went off in my head when the Green Home suggested we have birdhouses in our yards! And speaking of compact fluorescent...I'll tell you why I won't use them. I'm more concerned about the impact the mercury in them would have on our health and environment should they break or need disposal!

We already have low-flow toilets, and by golly, when I was growing up with a dug well and a septic tank in the back yard, my dad made us conserve flushes, if you know what I mean! And we didn't do laundry when the well was low. Period. We had a cistern! Imagine that! An actual, working cistern! We also had a rain barrel, and we have one at our  house. My old house, and the house we live in today has one and a half baths, not one for each bedroom. I raised a decent sized family with one shower in the house! If a kid wasn't done in 7 minutes, we would slowly cut back the hot water at the shut-off valve so they would move it along!
And by the way, who doesn't insulate to keep your energy bills down? We also wear layers in the winter and wear warm socks....we've done that for years!

I had to laugh at the part about dirt control. ...removing shoes at the door contributes to the "greenness" of your home! But seriously, didn't you grow up hearing their mother yell constantly,"Take your shoes off!!!!"
It's just interesting to me that many of us and many before us have been economizing and being sensible about our homes for years and years, and somehow, now it's called being "Green." I guess it's more trendy these days to be better stewards of our environment and our personal resources? I wonder sometimes if we're just plain spoiled by having too much?  The fact is that most of us will never be able to afford all of the bells and whistles of that $850,000 green home. But I guess the good thing is, it's now smart to be green, and wise to be thrifty, and we can all do our share to conserve.

That's smart living.

That's all I have to say about that.

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