More than 30 years after the television series The Good Life preached the virtues of self-sufficiency, Solihull's well-heeled middle classes are being urged to dig up their lawns and grow vegetables instead of grass.
The town is the focus of report by a leading environmental group which says that families are unwittingly helping to destroy the planet because their houses are not eco-friendly and their lifestyles are wasteful.
Among the tips for better sustainability in the World Wildlife Fund report is the suggestion that Solihull's ample back gardens should be given over to growing crops – a practice with which Tom and Barbara Good managed to annoy their snooty neighbours in the popular 1970s BBC series.
The WWF study said that heat from housing contributed 30 per cent of the West Midland's total CO2 emissions.
WWF's "One Planet Living in the Suburbs" report urges individuals, councils and national government to work together to make houses more sustainable.
Householders are urged to buy energy saving devices, switch their lights off when out of the room and use gardens and allotments to grow vegetables – thereby cutting out car journeys to the supermarket.
Pointing out that two-thirds of the houses that will be standing in 2050 are already in existence, the report says it is critical to develop ways to "retrofit" existing buildings to make them more sustainable.
The report demonstrates both the problems and potential for more sustainable living in suburbia, using Solihull, with a population of about 200,000, as the main case study.
Solihull is described as being financially and socially stable but having features that can be unsustainable and carry a high ecological footprint due to a large percentage of detached and semi-detached housing, high car use and high energy use.
The report, which was co-authored by sustainable community specialists BioRegional Consulting, looked at ways to significantly reduce the ecological footprint of an average resident.
Improved recycling facilities and the promotion of locally grown food are two of the recommendations. Council tax rebates could be used as an incentive for increased energy efficiency and enhanced environmental performance of homes.
Places like Solihull provide opportunities for sustainable living as detached houses are easy to adapt and with a large percentage of owner-occupied homes, residents will benefit directly from energy efficient measures.
Mark Driscoll, WWF development officer in the West Midlands, said: "It is clear that we need to retro-fit homes and communities across the region as the WWF report indicates.
"House building has been high on the regional agenda recently and WWF is working with local authorities and the regional assembly to explore a number of options that could lead to the West Midlands becoming a One Planet Region.
"In general it must be made easy, attractive and affordable for individuals and communities to choose more sustainable options."
Mr Driscoll added: "The participation and support of local authorities and local businesses in developing relevant, workable strategies cannot be underestimated. It is now important that our regional assembly and local authorities take up ecological footprinting as a critical indicator and actively promote the principles One Planet Living."
Julian Wain, strategic director of community and economic regeneration at Solihull Council, said: "We will be examining the report with interest and will certainly be taking reports to elected members in the future."