I'm sure you noticed that last week was "Green Week" on many TV networks. From what I could tell this basically meant reminding us to recycle our cans before each commercial break. While watching an HGTV House Hunters episode that featured a couple billed as being very green who wanted to rip every surface out of each home they saw to replace it with bamboo or recycled glass I had to ask myself how much of living green is just about dealing with it and living with what is already in place?
I cringed every time the House Hunters walked in a home with bamboo flooring and without knowing anything about manufacturer or installation announced that it was an incredibly green surface. They loved to remark that there was plenty of room in the backyard for their garden but the interior square footage would need to be expanded, or that the perfectly functional kitchen would need to be ripped out immediately. Oh, and don't forget that they were going to paint the entire home that was recently painted and staged with new low VOC shades.
I feel that I'm constantly confronted with this short sighted view of what living green is all about. In fact I don't think it's about being green at all; it's about being sustainable. Living sustainably means living beautifully, living leaner, living smarter and conserving resources.
I can only hope that next year, when "Green Week" begins again there will be a show that demonstrates that living green means keeping those kitchen cabinets and just sprucing them up to match the homeowners' taste. And that adding new bamboo flooring over the gorgeous oak that is already there is nuts. "Green Week" should be about living with what you have and embracing the beauty of what exists.
(Image: Desire to Inspire)