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