Although there are, of course, a lot of things that make up a green home, one of the simplest- and therefore often overlooked- components is the continued care and maintenance of a home. People are less likely to love and maintain a home that they are not emotionally vested in. For instance, it is common in certain (most) suburbs to drive in and not be able to tell “your” home from your neighbor’s. All the homes look identical, and the reality is that they were not built for you- your unique needs and wants were not a factor, and its probably not even in a location that you really care about. That home was built as part of that development, you live there and if you did not someone else would. That sort of disposable attitude is detrimental to our quality of life.
Now on the flip side is the “New Urbanist” principal of building “Homes that are built to be loved and cherished for generations.” The reality of this statement in South Main puts a smile on my face almost daily. As I said earlier, there are other factors in having a green home. Obviously the quality of the materials and construction are huge factors, along with the choices we make for the interior (reclaimed wood, efficient appliances etc…). The biggest green item being the location of your home in proximity to the amenities that you use everyday… I had to put these things in here, but again that’s not what this post is about. Its about what happens once you have all those other things.
There is not a weekend (or week) that goes by that some home in South Main isn’t getting some “love,” if you will- aka maintenance. Since I am usually doing the same on those days, whether I go out on my front or back balcony, out the front door or into the back yard, I can hardly avoid seeing one of my neighbors working on some part of their home, whether it’s finishing up some painting, washing the windows, building a fence or planting a garden, it’s a buzz of activity and community. I am definitely struck by the sense of pride in the ownership of these homes. Also the sense of responsibility to not only each persons investment, but also the consideration of their neighbor’s. It seems like everyone wants to make their homes and yards (public and private spaces) as beautiful as possible for themselves and for the people around them.
It is a lot of work (time and money) to design, build , landscape and maintain a home. This process evolves over time, distributing the financial load and the time required for such projects sometimes requires patience on our own part and also on our neighbors’ part.
I will speak for myself, although I think I am not alone when I say that I not only enjoy seeing this process evolve but also that I appreciate all the love and effort put into each person’s home, and, in turn, into the neighborhood. It is truly becoming and interesting and vibrant place.
Thanks to everyone…
- New Home Draws Inspiration from New Orleans
- Why Urbanism Matters- South Main & Sustainability Part 2
- A New Home and a New Baby for the Pucketts in 2011