Minimizing Waste & Maximizing Space For The Green Homeowner
Many prospective homeowners are finding themselves wanting to live in a smaller space for both financial and environmental reasons. Buying or building a smaller home can mean much less waste of materials, lower energy costs, and a smaller footprint on the environment as a whole.
Making the most of the space that you have is fairly easy today, with the myriad of choices available for smaller spaces. For the laundry, there is the choice of smaller, stackable washers and dryers that can fit into a closet. Another great option for studio type apartments and small houses is the highly customizable Murphy bed. They can be built to fit your lifestyle, such as a design which works beautifully as a bookcase during the day, then can fold out into a bed at night. My in-laws have their spare bedroom set up with a custom Murphy bed which works double duty as a craft table and computer desk. Then when guests come over the queen size bed pulls down. In case comfort is a concern, Murphy beds are nothing like they used to be; the beds made now have a regular pillow-top mattress!
There are many other ways to maximize a small living space such as finding a table that can double as a dining table and a desk. Nesting tables are a great alternative to the regular side or coffee tables, and can be pulled out and used around the space as needed. See through cabinets give the illusion of more space as do mirror surfaces. . If possible, remove walls which will create a great room or loft effect. Keeping clutter to a minimum will help to make a space look larger; use small collections sparingly around the space to make a greater impact rather than miscellaneous stuff on every surface.
Minimizing waste is another way to make your lifestyle more “green”. There are several ways to do this, such as donating old clothes or furniture to a local charity instead of throwing them away. Old socks work great as cleaning cloths and for dusting.
Making a list before grocery shopping is a good way to eliminate buying unneeded food. Composting solutions are available for every home size, even apartments and can do wonders for your garden. Composting also lets you see how much food waste you are creating which usually leads to less food waste.
Going paperless is an excellent way to reduce waste, but with the plethora of paper advertisements in our mailboxes every day this seems almost impossible. There is something that can be done to reduce the unwanted paper; it just takes a small amount of effort. In regards to unwanted credit card offers, simply call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT to request to be removed from credit card mailing lists. When you receive an unwanted catalog, call the company and request to be removed off of their mailing lists. To be removed from marketing lists that are national, contact the mail preference service of the Direct Marketing Association. You can even pay the post office not to deliver “junk” mail to your home.