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Is HGTV's Green Home in Serenbe Guilty of Greenwashing?

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There’s a good chance you’ve returned home from a day at Serenbe and thought, “Gee, I’d give my pinky toe for a home there, but that probably wouldn’t even cover the down payment.” The chance to win the HGTV 2012 Green Home at Serenbe starts at 9am tomorrow, and after reading through the contest rules we can confirm that no appendage donations are required! This marks the fifth year of green dream home giveaways for the domesticity-obsessed channel; the previous locales have been in Florida, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Colorado. We’ve got to admit, we’re feeling a tinge of hometown pride with such a bright spotlight shining on our lil’ ole New Urbanist (Ruralist?) paradise.

Not only that, but this year’s house takes green living to “a new dimension” according to HGTV’s general manager Kathleen Kinch. Cue the screeching record: let’s play eco-purist for a moment. Wouldn’t the most green home be in an urban area where the majority of everyday needs could be met by walking, biking, or transit? Serenbe is great, but it’s sort of in the middle of nowhere. And don’t they say the greenest structure is one that’s already built and reused? Not to mention the grand prize includes a GMC Terrain SUV, which gets decent gas mileage for such a vehicle, but Prius-level efficient it’s not. We’re not saying that Serenbe isn’t absolutely wonderful and the Green Home isn’t stunningly gorgeous, but someone who’s wanting to live a new level of green may be better off taking the $400,000 cash option and buying a condo in Midtown. That sound you hear is our entry form hitting the wastebasket.