I’m a Downton Abbey fan in the throes of Season 5. But from my position entrenched in the green movement, I sometimes find it hard to wrap my head around their aristocratic and often excessive lifestyle. Which got me to thinking:
What would it look like if Downton Abbey became crunchy?
- In an effort to reduce their footprint, the family would reside in just a few rooms (changing the name to Downton Cottage). They’d convert the rest of the abbey to greenhouse space for growing vegetables to feed the town.
- Lady Mary and Lady Edith would wear only ethically manufactured dresses in organic fabrics. Their accessories would come from secondhand shops or upcycled household items.
- Lord Grantham would stubbornly refuse to replace his daily newspaper with the tree-friendly e-version.
- Mrs. Patmore and Daisy would each have a unique role in the kitchen duties. One would cook for the vegan members of the family. The other would cook for the gluten-free Paleo eaters.
- Carson would suffer the indignity of wearing a suit made of hemp, and he would be repurposed as the Caretaker of Downton Composting and Recycling.
- Lady Grantham would trade in her baths for more water-conserving showers.
- Lord Grantham would stubbornly refuse to invest in energy-saving solar panels and a vegetated roof.
- Thomas’ backstabbing would involve sneaking high fructose corn syrup into Lady Grantham’s chamomile tea and revealing Bates as a former executive of Monsanto.
- Branson would wear baby Sybil in a handwoven sling to the local chicken pox party.
- Matthew Crawley would not have died in a car accident because he would have stayed by Lady Mary’s side (and cut the umbilical cord) during a water homebirth.
- Cousin Isobel would start a placenta encapsulation business that gives a fresh start to recovering drug addict single mothers.
- Lord Grantham would stubbornly refuse to allow Edith to start a beekeeping business with the homeschooled, unshaven, herb-chomping doula’s son.
- The Dowager Countess would start a blog on which she spewed forth pithy opinions on co-sleeping, rainforest conservation and the no-poo method.
Of course, many elements of today’s crunchy green movement are throwbacks to earlier times. In that respect, Downton Abbey is already eco-friendly in several ways. Some examples include:
- They line dry their laundry.
- They use cloth diapers.
- No bottled water!
- No plastic containers or packaging!
- They telecommute.
- They use basic cleaning products like vinegar, baking soda and lemons.
- The women likely wear reusable menstrual pads.
What are some other ways Downton Abbey is green?
This post is featured on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.