Choice Earth or Suburbia (From NYT Blog)

Posted on February 11, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The NYTimes examines the environmental costs of suburban life, which evolved around the highway system, cheap oil, and the automobile and now typically consumes several times more energy per person (and thus fossil fuels) than urban living. There’s all that driving. There are the chugging mowers and fertilizers and pesticides used to keep all those lawns lovely. Lighting, heating and cooling those ballooning homes consumes vast amounts of energy compared to a city apartment — or a house half a century ago.

The End of Suburbia,” an award-winning 2006 documentary, provides a fascinating overview of how the sprawled lifestyle evolved, the hidden — and not so hidden — costs, and what lies ahead.

The Sustainable Home Blog recently described just how much the American home has changed:

In 1946, when the American post war housing boom started, the average house was 1,100 square feet and housed 5 people. Fifty years latter, in 1996 the average house would grow to 2,200 square feet and house 2.6 people and by 2007, fueled by easy credit, the average American home would would become the equivalent of a Hummer, “weighing in” at super-sized 2,400 square feet.

Read More By Andrew C. Revkin Here

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