buttefly
kqedquest

We are down with your carshare, your rainwater harvesting system, your non-toxic building materials, your bike storage facilities, your rooftop garden, your solar thermal heating system, your energy-reducing windows. We think everyone should have those things. We want those things.

But, a protected butterfly habitat? COME ON.

This, really and truly, is one of the amenities that a San Francisco apartment building is offering its tenants, along with all the wonderful stuff I mentioned above and an on-site Whole Foods (which, we have our issues with Whole Foods, but OK, sure, sounds nice). Here is how the building’s website describes said butterfly habitat:

A spectrum of blue, a fade of orange, and a patchwork of red, the Mission Blue, San Bruno Elfin, and Bay Checkerspot butterflies are protected and nurtured at their habitat. The habitat is a living representation of the sustainable lifecycle at the core of 38 Dolores’ philosophy.

That’s nice. It is! It’s nice. It’s also kind of bullshit. As far as we can tell, the “butterfly habitat” is some butterfly bushes on the roof. Again, nice. I guess we’re just less excited about “living representations” of sustainability, and more … actual sustainability. Are these butterfly bushes helping butterflies? Or are they helping market the building and associate sustainable architecture with total rich-hippie self-congratulatory nonsense?

And we mean REALLY rich hippies. The cheapest apartment is $2,950 a month for about 500 square feet; the most expensive is $8,100. With that kind of money, why not just let dollar bills flutter around and settle prettily all over your body instead of butterflies?

Then again, you should see what the butterflies are paying. Rent in San Francisco isn’t cheap for anyone, especially not with such a convenient Whole Foods.