WaPo Notes Some D.C. Locals Driving Loved Ones Batty with Eco-nuttiness

NBC News has had its over-the-top Green Week and ABC has seriously chronicled the ludicrous exploits of "No Impact Man" and a Los Angeles man who composts his own garbage in his basement.

But rarely if ever do the mainstream media present green enthusiasts as, to put this delicately, difficult people with whom to live under the same roof.

So on behalf of NewsBusters, here's kudos to the Washington Posts's David Fahrenthold, for today's front-pager, "D.C. Area Families Take Green to the Extreme," in which he documents, among others, a man who harangues his sister to bathe with a bucket to catch the shower water for reuse for laundry loads:

"The American way of life, as we've come to know it, just uses -- wastes -- too many resources," said Sat Jiwan Iklé-Khalsa, 31, a green-building consultant who lives in Takoma Park. Iklé-Khalsa said he wants his home, where he lives with his wife, his 2-year-old daughter and his sister, to be an example to others that "you can have a pretty normal and happy life by making these small changes." 

"I drew the line at keeping a bucket in my shower," said his sister, Ava Khalsa, who lives in an apartment in the basement. She was refusing her brother's idea to keep a five-gallon bucket in the shower to catch the water that bounces off her and then use it to do the laundry. "He was like, 'It's simple.' And I was like, 'No. I'm just not doing it.' " 

While empirical data is hard to quantify, Fahrenthold found an attorney to recount how environmental extremism was the catalyst for at least one divorce case he's seen:

Grant Moher, a family law attorney in Fairfax County, said the case is at least four years old. He represented a husband who had been married for about a decade and had no children. The husband wanted to move to Arizona and live in the desert in a trailer, with only an experimental kind of air conditioner to keep cool.

His wife was with him until the experimental air conditioner, Moher said. Then she wasn't with him at all.

Indeed, some measure of marital or familial strife is bound to ensue when one spouse or parent is radically committed to eco-idolatry than another. Granted, Fahrenthold admits, he's found some of the more "extreme case[s]", but even in the more moderate instances "spouses and children say they support what the family environmentalist is trying to do...but they're not above snickering as he does it."

Now if only the broadcast media would follow suit, and find some humor in the more extreme attempts at "going green" that some liberal Americans pursue.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.