Downton Abbey: The Crunchy Green Version

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. monsanto-with-bates
  • 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.


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