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Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
The Green Life: Tip Sheet

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January 31, 2007

Tip Sheet

As the average U.S. home size increases, demanding more energy and materials, living smaller is a surefire way to reduce your ecological footprint. Whether you're downsizing to 2,000 or 200 square feet, it's also an opportunity to enjoy a simpler way of life and thoughtful design. Here are some tips for making the transition:

  • Study how you use your current dwelling and where you spend your time. For example, do you really need a formal dining room?
  • Give away junk you've had for years. It's surprisingly liberating.
  • Use the vertical. Cathedral ceilings make a room feel more spacious and can hold sleeping lofts.
  • Bring the outside in. Carefully placed windows and porches heighten awareness of seasons, stars, flowers, and animals.
  • Finish your small home with details you'll love--stained glass, say, or walnut filigree. In less space, they're more affordable.

For more ideas and tips, visit The Small House Society, TinyHouses.net, and TinyHomes.com.
--Martin John Brown

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