Shrink the Blueprint, Shrink the Footprint

1 May , 2014  

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average home size in the United States was 2 square feet in 2009, “The average home size has continued to rise for the past four years, from 2,362 square feet in 2009 to 2,679 square feet in 2013, up from 1,400 square feet in 1970.

For a family of four , each person gets 700 sq ft or 65 sq m of space.The Average American Male height is 1.78 m and is 1.632 meters for females(source wikipedia).

Shrink the Blueprint

Bigger homes means more tress are cleared for construction and also for construction materials, which means lesser green cover. It means much higher energy consumption which means more green house gases. More lawn means more water and more energy needed to cut the grass and trim the edges. Further it means more natural resources needed to do the interiors with paint, wood, carpeting , etc- all that for rooms that we would rarely use. More wood, cotton, fabric, foam for all the furniture needed to make it look like a home. Which means more moeny and more greenhouse gases that go into their construction.

Talk about remodeling the home 6 years after you bought it because you need to keep the value of the house at par with the market. You spend twenty thousand dollars in tearing things down that do not look old and those that might just need some repainting or touching up. That is more greenhouses gases and construction materials for the new stuff and the old stuff goes out as landfill.

Home values need to be maintained? Can’t you see the paint industry, the tile industry, the furniture industry, big chain stores hand in glove, convincing you to maintain your home value by remodeling . Can’t you see them changing styles ever so often. And also if you spend twenty thousand dollars it does not increase your home value by an amount greater than that.

The Wisdom of the East – Do not distract yourself

Verse 2.44 of the Bhagavd Gita explains that “A heightened attraction to matter and riches is a distraction from the spiritual path”.

Too much energy is consumed in trying to satisfy our desires.This is called as “prayasa ” or too much endeavor. Stuff takes up time – searching the best deal, shopping, using, storing,organizing. Human life is meant for God realization, and the human being is given higher intelligence for this purpose. Those who believe that this higher intelligence is meant to attain a higher state must follow the footsteps of the spiritual seers. One can actually become situated in perfect knowledge and give real meaning to life.

In Conclusion

I would like to worry less about the mortgage and about cleaning, maintaining and the burden of guilt of wasted environmental energy which is the Lord’s energy on loan to us as caretakers.

I would love to have more time on hand for the essential things I want to focus in life and create less karma by exploiting the environment. People lived and survived just fine before electricity came along and when the homes were smaller. Shrinking the blue print is not only a good way to shrink your ecological footprint but also frees up a lot of time to focus on the Higher Goal. Possess less, store less, worry less, damage the environment less.

Simplify life down to things that really matter – your essence the soul and its need for a relationship with God


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