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The Green Life: Downsize Your Domain: 3 Simple Habits

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October 30, 2012

Downsize Your Domain: 3 Simple Habits

Own Less

Could you live in a 500-square-foot house? If the answer is yes, kudos! For the rest of us, it can be a struggle to consume less energy, buy less stuff, and keep the house clean and green. Fear not. This week, we'll show you how to simplify your life and maximize your space.

3 Simple Habits for a Smaller Footprint

 1. Own less.

It's easy to get caught up in race to buy the latest and greatest gadgets or fashions. And let's face it -- while it's nice to receive compliments on a trendy sequin sweater or new palm-size camera, there's a lot of stuff in our homes that we don't need or rarely use. To simplify your life, take inventory of what you have and think about what you really need. Reduce your wardrobe from seven pairs of jeans, countless sweaters, and dozens of shoes to a few solid, comfortable items you know you'll wear. Donate the rest to your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or shoe recycling program. This way, you'll not only clear space and get rid of clutter, but you can give your neglected belongings new life in homes in which those items are necessities rather than extras.

Soap Dispenser and Refill

2. Buy in bulk.

This advice may seem to contradict the previous tip, but sometimes bulk shopping is actually the least wasteful option. Avoid extra packaging by refilling household staples like liquid soap, shampoo, grains, nuts, and spices in the bulk aisle. For example, instead of buying that plastic 5 oz. soap dispenser with candy-apple-scented soap, using it in its entirety, throwing it away, and then buying another 5 oz. candy-apple-scented soap dispenser, purchase a large 20 oz. soap refill bottle and refill the original dispenser accordingly. For these basic food or toiletry items, buying in bulk is a convenient way to save money and reduce the amount of waste that unnecessarily ends up in landfills.

 Lending Libraries

3. Create lending libraries. 

This last tip really exemplifies what it means to borrow sugar from your neighbor. Lending libraries help the members of your community save money and storage space, while building a rapport among neighbors. Great items to share are tools, books, solar gardens, gardening supplies, or even an internet connection. Rotate supplies among homes or find a central location where they can all be stored. This way, you once again helping the environment by not over-consuming while simultaneously having what you need.

By changing the way you think about your possessions and the way you utilize your stuff, you'll find that downsizing your home isn't only good for your budget and the earth, but also the feng shui of the soul and the home.

--images by istock//klenger, dimdimich, HeikeKampe

Read More:

Repurposed Balcony Planters: Shoe Gardens

Green on a Budget: Your Shovel is My Shovel

Book Roundup Wednesday: Books About Living Simply

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