Living space choices can reduce your carbon footprint substantially. Maybe a yurt’s not in your future, but more and more eco-living communities are developing around the country. In our area, think modular home communities (where your carbon footprint is a fraction of what it is in a traditional 1500 sq. foot house), smaller homes with unwatered lawns (less is more for our planet), or even geodesic homes.
The Buckminster Fuller Institute lists all kinds of advantages to geodesic dwellings, efficiency prime among them (www.bfi.org), but the few you’ll see in our region probably won’t be for sale anytime soon. If you’re house hunting, know that green realtors aren’t completely unheard of. Jeff Hoel is a green realtor in Menomonie, one of the very few in a 100 mile radius (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Eau Claire.
If you’re building, there are lots of options (www.ecohome.org) you can consider to reduce the effects your home might have on the environment without sacrificing style and luxury.
Don’t even get us started on thermal mass homes (www.earthomes.net) or underground homes (www.undergroundhomes.com), which use the earth to insulate the home and ultimately save loads of energy. The bottom line: what you choose to live in can make as much difference as how you live in it.