A smaller home would be easier to maintain in the long run, not to mention cheaper. Some of the benefits of having a smaller home (in terms of sustainability) are:
– less energy would be required to operate the home
– material efficiency – since less raw materials would be used in the process of building the house
– negates the “more is better” mentality – we become more wary of the way we use our resources
I think if you’re really committed to making a sustainable home, you can do it no matter what size it is. However, the “more is better” mentality is a big thing you’re fighting against when you buy a smaller home, and that mentality is something that holds Americans back when it comes to living green. We’re very materialistic as a culture, and our appetite for cheap materials needs to be curbed, because it hurts the world environmentally and socially to produce these goods.
Having a smaller home could make it easier to be sustainable in the sense that less materials would be required to create a smaller home than a larger home, less energy would be required to heat and cool the home, the home would take up less ground cover leaving more green space, and would take less resources to make it energy independent. This is not to say a larger home could not be sustainable, a larger home could get its building materials from recycled resources, use the most energy efficient appliances available, mitigate environmental impacts by planting trees or creating green spaces, and could operate only on renewable energy. You can make a large home sustainable, it might take more work than a smaller home, but is absolutely worth it.
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