On Apartments And Carbon Footprints

March 9, 2008 at 11:26 am (frightening things)

Check out this amazing apartment. It’s only 300 square feet, but, thanks to smart design, the small space is used wisely — it’s beautiful and has everything one needs.

My girlfriend and I are now officially preparing to move into an apartment together, within the next two months. I’ve been pondering what this will mean for my carbon footprint.

On the one hand, it will represent something of an increase in my family’s total impact — from a sustainablity perspective, there is no reason for me to move out and acquire a separate set of heating and electrical costs, not to mention pots and pans, plates and cutlery, towels, etc. (We’ll obtain all that stuff in the greenest way we can, but it’s unlikely to be totally carbon neutral.)

And on the other, it will almost certainly mean a great reduction in my personal footprint. Apartments are a much more efficient use of space than single-family houses and, being smaller, require less energy to heat and cool. We’re only looking at places very close to my school, so I will be replacing most of my daily transportation with walking and biking. Also, my girlfriend and I will be making decisions, instead of our parents — our groceries and other necessities are likely to be much greener.

A mixed bag once again.

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