Eco Home in the City

If you read the last post you know Tyler and I have embarked on the great adventure of home ownership. Being an environmentalist I of course have a desire to live in the mountains in a completely green home. Yes, I fantasize about green architecture. I can daydream all day about how wonderful it would feel to live in a home that is off the grid and self sustained. A home that creates it’s own energy, is made from recycled materials, is furnished with organic, sustainably harvested and fair trade items. My dream home would also have a big garden, where I would grow an abundance of organic veggies and have access to open space that I can hike and spend plenty of time in nature. My green home list seriously goes on and on but I think you get the point ;)

Since going off the grid was not in our cards right now, I started to think what really makes a home green? Yes all the things listed above but really one of the greenest things I can do is choose to live in the city. An eco-lifestyle is not only about having and using “green” products but about reusing, recycling, living simply, making choices that cause less pollution, living healthier and happier lives.

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Our home although new to us is 90 years old, it was built in 1924, is a small 2 bedroom (700 sq. ft.) and in a very walkable neighborhood. It’s a little hard for our family to understand why we didn’t buy a newer, bigger home for the same price out in the suburbs of San Diego but to us our little craftsmen style home is perfect and just what we were hoping for. Living in a small place not only lessens your physical *ecological footprint but it also reduces the amount of waste produced, products needed for the home, the amount of energy and water needed for your household, it’s also a wonderful physical reminder that we don’t need a lot of “stuff” because frankly there just isn’t the space for it.

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There are also countless eco benefits of living in the city that range from walkability (which was one of the main reasons for us) to a greater sense of community. Being able to walk to the grocery store, local restaurants, bars, yoga studios, farmers markets, entertainment centers, parks, etc; lessens our impact on the environment by not needing to drive everywhere. Walkability also increases our health by walking way more and reduces the stress of driving and having to find parking. Some of the other perks of city living are; new land is not needing to be developed, shorter commutes cut down on pollution, better access to public transit and the money you spend stays in your neighborhood. Owning this home is going to be a wonderful adventure in navigating an urban environmentalist lifestyle and I hope you will stick around to contribute your ideas and learn from mine. I have already begun working on a long list of “green” improvements to make to our new home. I’m going to love sharing them with you all and hope it will inspire you if you rent or own. Greening our living spaces is key to enjoying and loving our guilt free eco lifestyle.

What are your thoughts about city living?

Peace & Love,

Alyson

*If you have never calculated your ecological footprint I totally recommend giving it a try. It’s a BIG eye opener.

 

BIG News from March!

Well as promised in my last post, the reason I was a bit MIA in March was because Tyler and I bought our first home in North Park San Diego!

March has always been one of my favorite months because it’s my birthday month and the start of spring! This year I turned the BIG 3 0 and if that wasn’t enough change and reason to celebrate six days before my birthday we got the keys to our new home :)

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It has been a whirlwind of an adventure moving into our new old house (Our home was built in 1924 making it 90 years only, 30 doesn’t sounds that bad anymore ;) ). We have so many projects to customize our little slice of paradise that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed. Needless to say I’ll have plenty to post about now. Look forward to some great articles about green home improvements and of course how to balance it all while living an eco-lifestyle filled with fun.

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In the midst of all the moving and house buying craziness my wonderful Mom, Sister and baby niece came down to San Diego and took me out to the Hotel Del for a beautiful gluten free vegan lunch complete with champagne! It’s kind of hard to believe I’m 30 but I must say this next decade is off to a fantastic start!

Peace & Love,

Alyson

Bring Your Own Tupperware – BYOT

Sorry for the long delay from my last post. I have some exciting news that will explain my absence in my next post. Thanks for understanding and I hope you enjoy this one! xox

Do you ever feel guilty when you’re out to eat and you need a to go box then they bring you the huge white styrofoam clamshell with a plastic bag to up it in? Well I do! The thing I dislike the most about being an environmentalist is the guilt that seems to come with it from time to time. I want to care for our wonderful planet and live in joy while exploring all it’s beauty. I think living in joy does not include getting upset when I want to take leftovers home.

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My husband and I were out last month when this happened to me and I remembered that in college (yes my more radical days but some good solutions nonetheless) I carried a medium size Tupperware with me when I would go out to eat. We gave it a try again, and you know what, Bringing Your Own Tupperware totally fixes the guilty dilemma! I know it might sound over the top but hear me out. Not only are the to go containers an unnecessary waste they also don’t keep your food fresh or air tight. I have been guilty of coming home and repacking leftovers in a Pyrex or Tupperware to keep it fresher longer. Why not just skip that step and do it right at the restaurant?  If you don’t want to eat the same thing two days in a row you can throw it in the fridge and not worry about it getting all dried out. This past month was a learning process for me trying to BYOT, but that’s what it’s all about; making small easy changes that add up in the end. Unlike my collapsable grocery bag that I always keep on me, I have been much more forgiving if we have forgotten a container when we’ve gone out to eat. We are both learning but we are already getting more into the habit, and Tyler loves the time it saves at home not having to repack food for the next day!

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What I learned from BYOT:

  1. You will not always remember to grab your Tupperware on your way out and that’s OK.
  2. You might get some strange looks from your waiter while you are packing up your leftovers in the container you brought.
  3. The times I did remember to BYOT, I felt like an eco badass!
  4. I loved having my lunch stay fresh, packed and ready to go for the next day or two.

Give BYOT a try! Its a simple way to cut down on some unnecessary waste and it eliminates some of the unneeded guilt that sometimes comes from wanting to care for our planet.

Peace & Love,

Alyson

Green Grapefruit Cold Buster Smoothie

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I LOVE green smoothies! I love the way they taste and the way they makes me feel. I don’t have any intention of turning SimplyAlyson into a food blog, but I will post recipes from time to time (I hope … Continue reading 

An Earth Lovers Valentines Day Gift

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Even when I was single (and trust me there were a lot of years I was) I still loved Valentines Day. Honestly I love all holidays, pretty much anything to spice up normal life and give a reason to celebrate … Continue reading