Great question! Yes, building smaller homes reduces the environmental impact of your shelter in a variety of ways. First off, smaller homes require fewer materials, so whether or not you are using virgin materials, recylced ones or even “earthen” materials (such as clay and straw) using less of them undoubtedly puts less strain on the natural systems that are the sources of such materials, and less fossil energy is required to process few materials. Also, a smaller building footprint means that less earth is disturbed around your home, lesscarbon is released from the soil and fewer trees or other vegetation is removed. Finally, and perhaps most importantly smaller homes require less energy to heat and cool. Heating and cooling requirements are perhaps the single largest continual energy drain in a modern home and so living in a smaller space minimizes these requirements.
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