When is Going Green Socially Unacceptable? 5 Green Red Flags

From on September 14, 2009 in Green Remodeling

Since when is saving the Earth a social faux-pas? Ironically, some of the most environmentally friendly things you can do also cause quite a stir, upsetting the delicate balance of human society. For those of you who always play by the rules, live by the book, aim to please, this is not the article for you. For the rest of you rule-breaking, boat-rocking hooligans (present writer included), here are some terrifying ways to go green.

long-grass-dark-green.jpgPhoto Credit: mystical XVI

#1 - What Can Brown Do for You?

Save the world - let the lawn go. For millions of years, nature (or God, as I like to call him) has made the grass green and lush in the warmer weather and brown and depleted in the cold. Who are we to mess with this? While many foolish homeowners are out there watering their lawns in the winter, I’m cuddling in footy pajamas with hot chocolate. Pretty sure I win. Why are we so willing to shorten our showers and low-flow the Toto but not save water on the lawn?

#2 - Growing Like Weeds

Speaking of the lawn, using power mowers also means battery power and gasoline. We’re anti-SUVs but cool with mowing once a week? I say: let it go, let it grow. While your neighbors may hate your lackadaisical lawn, you’ll find that really awesome weeds grow pretty flowers when left undisturbed, and lots of great wildlife will flock to your unruly bramble. It’s fun creating new habitats for creatures and the best part is, it takes absolutely no effort.

#3 - Wash Your Hands of Your Dryer

clothes line dark greenPhoto Credit: tracitodd

Our mothers and grandmothers did it every week, and yet we’re called white trash and such when we hang our laundry out to dry. Laundry lines cause quite a controversy; Several HOAs have actually banished the practice from their properties, claiming it disturbs neighbors and drags down property values (this is the absurdity that keeps me from living in manicured neighborhoods.) If you aren’t under threat of lockdown, abandon your drying during nice weather and hang it up instead. And don’t worry about the neighbors - the lawn trolls will keep them away.

#4 - Bring Back the College Decorating Days

Remember the old college dorm, decorated with such high-quality items as the cable spool coffee table, milk crate stools and the sofa you found chillin’ on the curb? Well, like it or not, that was the greenest home you ever created. You furnished your living space by making something out of nothing. Guests may say, “Eeeeewwww!” when you tell them that the dinette set was acquired a la curb du jour, but you don’t have to go quite that far. Thrift and consignment shops sell great used furnishings, and buying second-hand and recycling is as green as it gets. If you’re feeling adventuresome, though, trash days in posh neighborhoods can yield some fascinating treasures. I won’t tell if you won’t!

dark-green-recycled-dorm-couch.jpgPhoto Credit: Tostie14

#5 - Rotate and Balance

I’ll never admit it openly (and if you tell on me, I’ll just deny, deny, deny), but whenever my house needs a makeover, I just start swapping furniture from one room to another. It’s amazing how reorganizing home furnishings can make it look like you’ve completely remodeled - all without spending a dime. Just last week, I rearranged the living room and dining room and ended up with more space, plus a music room for the kids’ trumpet, piano and guitar practicing, which just so happens to have a dinner table in it. I don’t know if this counts as socially unacceptable, but among the nouveau riche, it would be a ghastly error against humanity.