Big Home or Green Home?

Do you have to live in a tiny house to live an eco friendly lifestyle? I suppose not, but it obviously helps a bit!

One of my favorite blogs about living green is The Zero Waste Home. This family moved from a larger home to a smaller home in the effort to reduce their eco footprint, among numerous other lifestyle changes. From what I gather, I think they were living a pretty comfortable lifestyle, and it seems they are still living in a bigger home than we are (ehm, 1000 sq ft of living space for a family of 4, soon to be 5), but the point is their choice to downsize for the sake of the environment. Wow. How many of us make that choice? How many people say, “Yep, I can afford something bigger and better, but I’m choosing the simpler route to be more earth conscious.”

It is people like this that I look up to when I am dreaming of new home plans and looking at properties. We feel pretty tightly packed in our current home, especially given we are at home more often than most families because of homeschooling. Does a 4,000 sq ft house sound amazing, with a sitting room off the master bedroom? Yes! Besides the fact that we can’t afford it without me going back to work (and putting kids in daycare and public school… a total change in lifestyle, all for this grand sitting room!), do we need it? Absolutely not.

A bigger house is more to clean, so using more water, more cleaning supplies, more electricity vacuuming, plus the energy and money to control the temperature! You are also using more land space for this home instead of having trees, grass, or garden in its place, plus the amount of materials used to build and keep up the home… you can see how this snowballs quickly.

I will probably always dream of the house with a sitting room, library, and solarium, but realistically, a 2,000 sq ft house would fit us just fine, inshaAllah. When Hubby and I think about it, we know we won’t die if we live in our current home forever either. We have a nice back yard we can keep a decent garden, and our heating and air conditioning bills are smaller than any other place I’ve lived. Yay for great insulation and newer windows! Now just to remind myself of this when I’m searching online for a new place to live.

Does your wish to live with a smaller eco footprint color your decision in a home?

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10 Responses to Big Home or Green Home?

  1. Lesley says:

    It wasn’t the reason we moved to our small home, but it factors into why we stay. I never imagined moving in that we would stay in this 2 1/2 bed/1 bthrm/1200 sq ft bungalow house as our “forever home” for our family of 5. Over the years though I have come to need and want less. I also am much more aware of how our lifestyle choices effect many others beyond ourselves. So no, I can’t imagine ever leaving our small house…it’s home.

    • middlewaymom says:

      It’s amazing how some choices in our lives can bring about such awareness of what we never imagined before! You know, and who wants to be an empty nester with 4,000 sq ft? Thank you for sharing!

  2. My husband and I just talked about this a week or two ago. We used to want a big flashy house but, as we’ve learned about the environment, we’ve come to want a smaller house with more land.

    • middlewaymom says:

      That’s very smart! We’re praying to get acreage one day. What do you want to do with the land?

      • Well… if we’re just dreaming and money is no object we’d like to have a few horses, a milk cow and some chickens and a nice big garden. We have also talked about how fun it would be to host old fashioned barn dances and the hubs would live to build a stone labyrinth.

      • middlewaymom says:

        How cool! So funny how so many people are reverting back to the way things used to be! I’d love to get chickens, and in our city we can, but we own a duplex and rent one side, so I think it would limit the number of interested tenants! hehe

  3. Alicia S. says:

    We’re a home schooling family of five, living in a small house. We have had to get creative to make living comfortable. In fact, we turned half our den into a master bedroom – otherwise, we’d have run out of space to keep all of our kids, lol! I’ve dreamed of a bigger house down the road, but both my husband and my parents keep me grounded. My husband’s always been fond of having less space to heat/cool with a reasonable mortgage, and my parents downsized bigtime just because the upkeep of the large house I grew up in was such an incredible strain. Now our dream has evolved to just owning more land, if anything, so that we can have a real garden.

    • middlewaymom says:

      Hehe, we are looking at how to put all the kids in our two bedroom home, too! Right now we are looking at a bunk bed with trundle to just stack everyone up! 🙂 It’s great you have people around you to keep you grounded!

  4. I prefer to live in a smaller space… we used to always live in big houses when I was younger, but living in Europe opened my eyes and made me realize that I like the coziness that a small space offers. I’m actually going to do a blog post on living in a smaller space really soon, too!

    • middlewaymom says:

      Now that we own instead of rent, the small space isn’t as hard as it used to be because we can make changes if we want. I saw your post today about small bedrooms, which is great! I look forward to getting more tips!

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