A mean, green landlady (Day 334)…

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m about to become a landlady — my new house is far too big for one measly little person, so I’ll be renting out the basement and sharing my kitchen with a new tenant.

But it can’t just be any tenant — I want to make sure to get an attractive, six-foot-tall, single, male, well-adjusted, funny and intelligent tenant with a kick-ass wine collection, solid but critical familiarity with pop culture and ironic yet kind-hearted sensibilities.

Kidding! Well, sort of. Actually, what’s most important is that I find someone who’s going to abide by all my green rules and appreciate all I’ve done to make this house eco-friendly. I don’t particularly want to shack up with a dread-locked hippie, because while I enjoy the occasional morsel of tofu I really don’t enjoy the smell of patchouli and B.O.

But I do want to live with a person who turns the tap off while brushing their teeth, who recycles anything and everything, who will agree to a couple CFL light bulbs and who will then make sure all those light bulbs are turned off whenever they leave the house.

I’m not really going to be a mean landlady, but I am going to be a green one — maybe I’ll even print up the contract on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based ink — and whoever lives under my (eventually solar panelled) roof is going to have to live by my rules.

26 Responses to A mean, green landlady (Day 334)…

  1. just ducky says:

    “and whoever lives under my (eventually solar panelled) roof is going to have to live by my rules.”

    Childhood flashbacks? Did you hear this often as a youngster? It just made me giggle… 🙂

  2. emily says:

    Hmm, “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”?

    What is your problem with hippies? Did you have a bad experience in 1972, or can you not stand not looking hip? Maybe I’m just not getting your ironic tone, but it should be obvious that “hippie” sensibilities and looking / smelling bad, listening to intolerable music, not working, smoking foul-smelling stuff, and fulfilling a right-winger’s worst nightmare, aren’t necessarily always mutually inclusive. If you weren’t so busy trying to hang on to stereotypes, maybe it would seem clear that you ARE living what most people think of as a hippie lifestyle. Isn’t it the action that counts in the end? You’re questioning dominant cultural mores and have decided to live in a way that is more meaningful. Or is the eco-thing just a charade that you’ll drop on day 367, having gotten famous?

    Sorry if this is rude, but the irrational fear of what you imagine is a “hippie” is getting old and shallow.

  3. gettinggreen says:

    Me, not being able to stand looking hip? Hardly… I don’t think dreadlocks and Birkenstocks are hip at all… and actually, I have far more important things to do than hang on to stereotypes. Yes, I am living a lifestyle that’s intensely eco-friendly right now, but I certainly don’t think hippies can lay claim to that being their own creation. Besides, even if I am living the hippie life, I don’t believe in conventional hippie values (ie. placing no importance whatsoever on aesthetics, protesting anything and everything right-wing, an insistence on burning patchouli oil, etc). So no, it’s not just the action that counts if you’re going to live in my house, you’ve gotta have the whole package. And furthermore, if you seriously think my “eco-thing” is a charade, try making 366 changes to your own lifestyle and get back to me about how easy that is. Honestly, famous? I’m hardly famous. (And please, don’t apologize for being rude; that couldn’t more insincere).

  4. Teartaye says:

    What about the dreadlocked hippies that shower everyday and can’t stand any kind of incense because it gives them headaches? Actually, I’m not a big tofu fan… hmmm
    Too bad I’m not in Toronto! Stuck in the damn oil province.

    (and… in belatedly seeing Emily’s post: I’m just being silly, not angry/mean/rude/etc)

    I wish you luck in finding your handsome, Mr. Right who is green to live with you 😉

  5. gettinggreen says:

    Haha, well Teartaye, I suppose if your dreadlocks are on the shorter side we could work something out… as long as your not averse to deodorant (the all-natural, paraben-free kind, of course!). On another note, though — you must be the only one with that hairstyle in all of Alberta! Awesome…

  6. arduous says:

    Are you going plug the fridge in your kitchen again or will your tenant also be going fridgeless?

  7. Emma says:

    It’s like when girls in middle school would say “no offense BUT..” and then rip into your self esteem. And I agree being eco-friendly is certainly not all thanks to the hippies….It’s thanks to Al Gore if anyone!! And as sister to the green-machine at question I can whole-heartedly say that she will be environmentally aware well after those 366 days are up. I can’t think of anything ruder than insulting the severity of a persons beliefs.

  8. pat says:

    Hippies grew their hair as a protest against the social values of their time. Same with the adoption of eastern mysticism, drugs, communes and dress. It was an experiment in tipping the balance away from the conservatism of the past. In subsequent decades people have found more meaningful ways to make their mark on the world by challenging the status quo and the word ‘hippie’ has become more synonymous with an ‘opting out’ lifestyle. Being raised with a strong work ethic is not very ‘hippie’ and yet this is what will drive Vanessa to push herself and her readers into new directions. It takes hard work and dedication. And a job. And no drugs.
    Vanessa quit her TV job (doing movie reviews) as she didnt have time to do the blog so I know that fame is not what drives her.
    And, yes , we all use terms like beatnik, hippie, rocker, to denote a particular image.
    And those organic deodorants dont work!
    And my house had lotsa rules!
    That is the end of my rant!

  9. Emma says:

    It doesn’t matter what drives you or even for how long you intend to ‘be green’. The point is she’s making a difference right now to inspire people. And it’s working.

    and that hippie deodorant sucks.

  10. sloanbuller says:

    A calmer answer to ’emily’ was probably in order, from the whole family. I gotta say, the hippie comment turned me off a little bit too. I’m glad that all of your defenders want to distinguish you from a group they perceive to be unemployed and unclean but why are you hurling the word hippie around as an insult? I would take a second and look at the assumptions and prejudices that lead you to use that word this way.

    Moreover, a lot of the ‘hippies’ you are to quick to disassociate yourself from are good friends who have dedicated many years to living a green lifestyle, long before Al Gore and blogging about it made it cool. And for what it’s worth, I’ve never known one of them to have an ‘ungreening’ party.

  11. gettinggreen says:

    Oh for gawdsakes, people — it’s called taking things with a grain of salt! Lighten up! I have never once said that I perceive all hippies to be unemployed and unclean (and neither has my mother or sister — my mom WAS a hippie in the 60s and still maintains some of those values). The point of this blog is just to do all these green things, often extreme green things, but from the perspective of someone who lives in a condo, not a commune, and who is honest about which parts of a typical hippie existence suck and which parts are actually pretty cool.

    And of course you’ve never known any of your friends to have an un-greening party — maybe because NONE OF THEM HAS MADE 366 CHANGES TO THEIR LIFE in the name of Mother Earth. Yeesh. Can’t hippies learn to make fun of themselves every now and then?

  12. Hellcat13 says:

    I think the majority of your long-time readers know your sense of humour by now – I took your comment as nothing more than an amusing off-the-cuff joke…a stereotype that you were playing into to be funny.

    I’ll toast you from Ottawa on the night of your ungreening party 🙂

  13. gettinggreen says:

    Thanks for the support Hellcat13!! As a long-time reader and frequent commenter, your opinion means the most to me…

    Speaking of which, I can’t believe I’ve left four comments on my own blog… maybe I should be writing tomorrow’s post instead of procrastinating like a lazy hippie.


  14. Trix says:

    Although I can see how new readers can be offended by your use of the word “hippie”, I know that it is used in a cheeky tone.
    I totally understand how you wouldn’t want to have a “hippie” move in with you, it’s your preference, just like I wouldn’t want ummmm…a lazy person living with me. Lifestyles and personalities will clash and make life at home miserable. At least, that’s what I’m getting from this post.
    And the ungreening party is an amazingly ironic way to cap this challenge off. Who knows, maybe I’ll hear your party rocking the streets of Toronto that night.

  15. Esme says:

    Ye Gods, people get their knickers in a twist easily around here! I didn’t see the hippie joke as offensive either, don’t worry. I knew exactly the type you were talking about. I’m with ya, thistle, I’ve had more than one hippie try and move in with me, take over my couch, leave b.o. smell everywhere and eat all the food in my fridge! Just joking of course (so as not to offend, gods forbid!)

  16. Emma says:

    gawd i can’t wait for that party.

  17. just ducky says:

    I just want to go on record saying I wasn’t attacking your family Vanessa! I’m pretty sure you understood that with the smiley face I added on…but things got so heated shortly after that…I wish you could see me sitting here reading and screaming “It’s not me! I was teasing! Mama Farq. don’t hate me!”

    BTW…EMMA…when you mentioned the girls in Jr High/High school who say “no offense BUT”—that is totally and completely the stage that both of my daughters are in right now and I am trying to get it through their heads that just because you preface something with “no offense” doesn’t make it OK or non-offensive…so that made me smile quite a bit! 🙂

  18. Teartaye says:

    “… if your dreadlocks are on the shorter side we could work something out… as long as your not averse to deodorant.”
    Alas! For mine are long locks. But at least deodorant and I are inseparable best friends!

    (For the record, I know exactly what kind of hippie you were talking about and they drive me nuts too!)

  19. gettinggreen says:

    No worries, I am just trying to use logic to hide my over-protectiveness!
    The words shallow and famous set me off.
    I will shut up now.

  20. Pat says:

    OOOPs, that was me and not Vanessa. She was on this computer earlier and it thought I was her and I’m not. It was me. I’m sorry.

  21. Audrey says:

    I just wanted to say, A+ on being an eco conscious future landlady! I wish my landlord would get on the ball…

  22. Brian LeBars says:

    Can you settle for 5ft 9?

  23. Emma says:

    sure she can.

  24. blah says:

    Oh for crying out loud! People are really in an uproar over the hippie word aren’t they? Being overly sensitive is what makes a lot of people so resistant and annoyed with the green lifestyle. Lighten up. It makes me want to microwave a piece of “sad meat” in styrofoam.

    One way to eliminate any uncomfortable situations is to justaddress everything in your lease. Sit down and thoughtfully contemplate things that you simply could not tolerate. You don’t want to have to constantly stand behind someone and say “Um, don’t you plan on putting that plastic bottle in the PROPER bin?”. That way there are no surprises on anyone’s part.

  25. blah says:

    BTW, virtually all of the people on this site are very cool, but once in a while the lone horse comes in and kills my buzz. My post was directed at those who choose to retaliate with insults when they don’t get the humor.

    This is a question that I know people on here will know something about (greenpa, I’m looking at you), is there such a thing as eco friendly anti-perspirant? I know all about deodorant, I staring at a wall of it at Whole Foods today, but there is no anti-perspirant.

  26. gettinggreen says:

    Haha, wicked — let’s just change the whole thread of this conversation as of now and work our way up to 50 comments! Is there any blog post out there on the Interwebs that’s just ongoing like that? Anyway, to answer blah’s question — I could be wrong, but I don’t think there are any all-natural, non-toxic anti-perspirants on the market. Part of the reason is probably that most eco-conscious or health-obsessed or New Wave hippie or WHATEVER people are against using anything that blocks your pores (anti-perspirants are classified, after all, as over-the-counter drugs). If you want to stop the sweating as well as the odour, you could try what I’m doing now, which is sort of a two-step process:

    1) I use the rock crystal thing, which is pure alum or salt or whatever mineral; that really cuts back on the sweating;
    2) I then throw a couple swipes of Green Beaver’s wild yam-scented deodorant on.

    (I tried Avalon Organics’ lemon verbena one when I first made the switch on this blog, but it didn’t really do anything)

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