So this week has been a busy one. Wednesday I ventured to New Bedford for the Ocean Explorium “Solar Decathalon” event. The event was a showcase of a team building a unique solar home that would compete in an event overseas. It was interesting to see the team of young women from Brown University explain their home, which claimed a 90% energy efficiency and a design that promotes the use of solar for the changing seasons in France, where the competion will be held.
This inspired me a bit. We watched “The End of Suburbia at this week’s team meeting. Since I’m studying Urban Sociology, I was already quite aware of how problematic our suburbs are, particularly in their energy consumption. I had to wonder where our motivation for a big house, big yard, and fancy cars came from. No doubt the prevalence of suburbia enforced these desires, but I can’t come to terms with them considering their impact. I have begun looking at alternative ways to live.
I have discovered the tiny house movement, which promotes small houses that are sustainable and efficient for heat and energy use. Obviously the smaller the house, the easier it is to heat/power. Responding to the issue that suburbs present will require a re-assessment of our most basically held assumptions about a desired life, especially if we want a sustainable future. Here’s a link to an article about tiny houses