- I enjoy the productive activity of moving walls, running electrical or plumbing work, building new floors, etc., and doing it well. My standards of perfection are much higher than a contractor's. And it's a great weekend contrast to sitting in front of a computer screen all week.
- Everyone in the family benefits when the rooms are more open, updated, and usable.
- I save a shi'ite load of money sourcing the materials myself, and not paying labor or permitting fees. And yes, I'm smart enough to read a book on good construction practices and install an electrical circuit without government oversight, thank you.
But there are still plenty of great ideas to work from, and many of the problems TOH's subjects have are similar to my own. I look forward to the magazine every month. But lately, I've noticed a disturbing trend.
TOH is turning green.
Over the past year or so, I've noticed an uptick in the number of environmentalist-related articles. But in October 2007 they had an entire issue dedicated to Green Remodeling, and since then it seems like eco-friendly building crap has taken up a good 30-40% of the magazine each month. With TOH Magazine, you can now learn about how your choice of sustainable bamboo flooring will impact your "carbon footprint". As annoying as this infiltration of environutjobbery is, the magazine is still worth reading. I just skip those parts. But if the magazine starts to follow this TOH-online article, I may just have to cancel my subscription:
I have to say, this is not what I'm looking for when I open a home remodeling magazine. However, the worst thing about this is...
Growing Up Green
Technology, politics, economics. While the future of the green movement might be shaped by these large, complicated factors, the question of whether sustainable trends can be sustained themselves really comes down to the next generation of homeowners—children. And as parents and educators can attest, the outlook is promising.
"We actively cultivate sustainability awareness with them, and they are quite receptive to the messages," says Michael Klug of his two children. "My sons rail against SUVs even more than I do."
There is a market for this stuff.
TOH isn't stupid. They are responding to market forces and putting out content that their customers want to read. Assuming they are shifting their focus based on customer data and feedback (a reasonable assumption), this means that people are clamoring to find out how to 'live green', even in their simple bathroom updates. This is depressing.
And while the case can be made for conservation of energy in your house to lower your bills -- I do it too -- TOH is trending away from the Good Ol' Yankee Thrift of keeping your costs down, and instead the undertone is the tired old environmental moralism. "Not only will you reduce your bills, but you can sleep easy at night knowing that your greed and materialism is not killing the planet."
Well, This Old House, I'm letting you know now that you are on notice. Keep this trend up, and you'll lose my $12 per year. So shape up.