When people ask me (admittedly not very often) what sort of house I want in the future I usually say “a low impact, grass roof eco-home“. This follow up is usually something along the lines of:
“huh, no way you are an eco warrior”.
And I am not, but I still really really want to live in an eco home.
Why? Well as I see it there are numerous benefits and very few real downsides. The first (to my mind) is that you get to physically build something of your own. There is a definite element of pride in owning things you spent blood and sweat on.
In a practical sense there are other benefits; given reasonable funds (i.e. less than the amount needed to build a “real” home) it is now possible to build an entirely self sufficient house – electricity, water, heating and sewage. No longer are you forced to make big “personal comfort” sacrifices. And by the time I get to building one technology should have gotten even better/cheaper.
Self sufficiency is one thing I particularly desire; think how much you could save if the only regular bill was internet & mobile phone (or to put it another way; imagine what an awesome internet connection I could afford). From a practical perspective you are less susceptible to national disasters (say, oil shortages).
There are other aspects. It’s cute, for one, and very outdoorsy. That’s a good thing to my mind. I love shiny tech but am becoming more and more disheartened by our consumer society. There is an apeal in the quaintness of a small, natural materials home. I’m getting caught up in this and makes me counter productive. Simply “giving up” consumerism does not feel like an option (actually, yes it does – but I would not last).
Friends who have actually made the “leap” tell me life is more relaxing when you can wander around tending a nice, big, lush, vegetable garden in the evening after a long work day. And that is what I mean by escaping consumerism!
The very best thing is that because I am not an eco-warrior compromises are not an issue for me, and I will readily make them. As I see it environmentalism is a great thing to be aware of and contribute too – but going back to the stone age is counter productive. I realise many modern eco-warriors (sorry, ecologically aware individuals:)) are in the the same boat, but my point still stands. From observation I reckon the main drawbacks to eco-living arise out of not compromising on the ecological vision – and, so, I can’t see any downsides!
So, yes, I very much want to live in an eco-home!