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Whether we are owners or renters, a home is one of our biggest expenses—and biggest environmental impacts. The choice of a home also affects other household costs, including energy and transportation.

Green cottage in the Cleveland EcoVillage

So we really need to think about the implications of our personal habitat. The big issues are:

  • Location—Are we close to the frequent destinations in our lives? In a walkable neighborhood that offers convenient choices (like biking and walking) for getting around?
  • Size—Is your house big enough to meet reasonable, daily needs, but small enough to conserve as many resources as possible?
  • Efficiency—Is it designed and operated to minimize waste?
  • Building new—Is it built from the start to reduce impacts and create enduring value?
  • Renovation—Will your updates adapt gracefully over time?
  • Landscaping—Are you surrounded by grounds that provide habitat for other species, and lower maintenance costs?

Major decisions about our homes do not happen every day, so it’s important to think about them ahead of time. What do you value? What are you responsible for? How can you be the best possible steward of a residence during the time you are living in it?

The sustainability of the larger world starts with our own nests.


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