Sunday, October 14, 2007

Considering the Environment

As a way to celebrate Blog Action Day, I am writing down a list of things that we do here at the Tinybungalow in the hopes that in some small way we will impact the environment in more good ways then bad.

1. Live small.
I am not suggesting that everyone should be living in an 800 square foot home but it is worth considering why people in our country seem to need so much space. Regardless of how energy efficient your home is, an extra two or three thousand square feet per home is just not sustainable.2. Live in an old home.
If you don't have to build it, you don't have to use resources to manufacture it and you will create less waste during construction. The greenest building you can build is the one that you don't build at all.
3. Get off your butt and walk.
I hate driving so this is an easy one. When we chose this home, we knew we wanted something near public transit and within walking distance to park, school, and village. Burning off the last meal you ate will do yourself and the environment much more good than burning fuel in your car.

4. Recycle.
It doesn't take a lot of time to have an extra garbage can for recyclable items. If we could find the space for it, then anyone can. If it can be used again, help to put materials into the recycling pipeline.
5. Re-use and Re-purpose.
We love Craig's list and e-bay. Old stuff is usually cooler than new stuff anyway. Now, we don't buy everything used but there is so much that you can buy and sell so why not do it? An old piece of furniture will do more good in your home than it will in the area landfill.
6. Compost.
A lot of people think composting is rocket science. We do not have a composter - I prefer to layer stuff in a big pile. The result is great. If it can help out your garden then why would you throw it away?7. Repair, don't replace.
I am a fan of our old plaster walls, the wood windows, and just about every part of this old home. There are some good reasons to update particular items in old homes but why create waste and use resources when you have something that works and is currently in your home.
8. Go bottle-less
It is tough to avoid them - this is one item that we have had some difficulty embracing but so far, so good. To help the water taste better, buy a water filter and instead of buying several cases of water a week, use refillable bottles. The nice part is that we save money.9. Put in some CFLs.Look, they even have holiday ones now!10. Install a rain barrel
Putting in a rain barrel is not the easiest thing to do and it does add a little more maintenance to the house. We love them though. Why pay for water when it's free?


Anonymous said...

Excellent examples.

Jennifer said...

We, too, live in a nice small old house... our friends are aghast at the cheapness of our utility bills (of course, we do freeze ourselves out in the winter).

It is amazing what people "think" they need as far as space!

Mabel Sugar said...

What a great post. Cheers from across town ... Jen & Jay