This post is my contribution to the September APLS Blog Carnival which will be hosted by Tina on her blog.
I have a confession to make. I’m not as eco-friendly as I’d like to think. There’s one thing in my life that is set in stone (well maybe concrete) and I refuse to change it.
Our house, our dream house, is 3731 square feet. Shocked? So was I when I saw the number on the appraisal, because it doesn’t look that big from the outside or from the inside. We designed it to look quaint, country, unique, and special. We wanted our house to have character. We didn’t want a McMansion or a cookie cutter house.
The space is largely unused right now. We have two empty bedrooms and an empty room over the garage. We don’t have a lot of furniture in the rooms we do use, and the house still echoes. We could have opted to leave the room over the 3-bay garage unfinished, cutting down on the livable space and our taxes, but we decided to finish it when we finished the rest of the house.
The square footage isn’t my only confession. We have 5 bathrooms… well, 2 full and 3 half bathrooms.
Why did we build such a big house, you ask? I ask myself that sometimes, too. Like when we pay the mortgage, or in the winter when it’s so cold inside, or when I talk on the phone and people ask me what the echo is. So why? The answer is simple…
We built our dream house. The house we imagined ourselves living in until we die. Raising children, visiting with grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren. Granted it’s on 1.7 acres and not 50, but nonetheless, it’s our dream house. We plan to live here forever, and we took that into account when we designed it.
So what does this mean for our carbon footprint? It’s not good. Two people in this big house means lots of living space per person. If we had 5 or 7 people living here, for example, our carbon footprint would decrease dramatically. But we do our best to conserve resources and live sustainably in other ways to make up for it.
Even if I had realized how the size of our house would impact our carbon footprint when we were designing it, I still wouldn’t have changed it. We have room for children, our parents if they need to live with us, or even our grandchildren. It doesn’t seem like the house fits us now, but we designed it to fit our future. And with a baby on the way, I’m sure it will fill up sooner than we think.