28 April 2008
During my biology class this semester I learned some very startling facts. There are approximately 40 years worth of fossil fuels left in the world today and only about 200 years worth of natural gases. With these numbers diving so low, now is the time for Americans to play a part in conserving our resources, but the exact opposite is happening. All over the United States, McMansions are popping up nearly overnight. The unnecessary size, luxuries, and price of these homes have reached an all time high and so has the amount of waste being produced.
In the 1950s the average home was about 983 square feet (Solomon) and the average cost was around $8,450 (“1950”). Homes were usually built with two or fewer bedrooms and children shared bedrooms if needed. Closets were around two feet by eight feet---just big enough for your clothes. Bathrooms were built out of necessity and most homes managed with just one. It was a luxury to have a garage or a carport and the majority of homes in the 50s did not include any protection for a car. Central air conditioning was another luxury that most did without, and only a small percentage of Americans even owned a window air conditioning unit. Fireplaces were used mostly for heating homes instead of being a showy display, and only about 22 percent of houses being built included them. Most Americans built their houses on small plots of land and did most of the gardening, landscaping, and yard work themselves. Also, housework, cleaning, cooking, and decorating were all usually done by homeowners themselves. This is a far cry from the modern American dream home. By most peoples standards today, this type of home would be considered insufficient and cramped (Glink).
Families used to average 3.1 members, and despite the decrease to 2.6 members, the size of homes have continued to grow immensely (Glaister). The average square footage of a house today is in the...