Does Multigenerational Living = Green Living?

Does Multigenerational Living = Green Living?

Stephanie Kinnear
Aug 11, 2009

We've seen some examples of cohousing here at Re-nest, but as far as we can remember, we've never discussed multigenerational living. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle profiling three families got us thinking about the topic and whether or not it's a green way to live.

Multigenerational living is pretty self-explanatory: It's when different generations of the same family live together ... when Grandma and Grandpa move in, or move into the apartment out back.

From the article:

Some might attribute the rise in multigenerational dwellings to the recession, the current housing crisis or the increasing cost of child care and residential care for the elderly.

Of course, none of the families in the article seemed to choose multigenerational living for financial reasons — they all wanted to be closer with their families.

So how might multigenerational living be greener? Well, this is how we were thinking about it: It seems like a perfect opportunity to share, share, share. Share resources, share things, share chores. If Gramps babysits, that saves the gas it might take to go drive the kids to daycare. If Dad mows his lawn, he can quickly mow Grandma's so she doesn't need to pay someone else to do it. The examples seem endless.

We'd love to hear from people who have their parents or other family members living in their home or nearby. Do you think it's a green move? What sorts of environmental advantages do you see in the living arrangement?

Read more: The gang's all here.

Image: Erin Lubin / Special to The Chronicle

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