How much do we use? How much do we need? Rethinking resources…

“We treasure what we measure” goes the saying.  But often times we don’t really measure “it” at all.

The “it” here is about resources in this discussion, and they should be measured so we understand the usage, saving and values.  I’m not a tree-hugging, penny pinching miser- but do I advocate for sensible usage of resources? Hell yes!

Some basics:

Average house size? In the USA is is approx 2400 sf, with an average household is 2.7 people in that house.  Look at the numbers below , given that people are more or less the same size- It really means we have more space than needed. Meaning – this requires more resources to build, maintain, heat, clean etc.


At the risk of alienating some potential clients who want a bigger house- let’s take a look at making the best use of the available space first- then decide how much bigger the house needs to be.

Simply by having rooms perform different tasks -we can shrink the size of our homes, use less materials and energy to maintain them. consider at home Office that doubles as a guestoom/exercise room.

Power Usage?  Look at your electric bill – our homes use approximately 1000 kwh each month, Gemany about 500 and China closer to 350. What is a kwh? A 1000 watts for an hour…for example…You will use 1 kwh of electricity if you watch a 50″ flatscreen for 2 hours.  We can subsitute LED light bulbs for the incandescent type and save dramatically on our energy bill, have better lighting color and not need to switch out the bulb as often.

Water Usage?  Each peron in the US uses about 100 gallons of water per day. Think of those big industrial barrels-each holds about 55 gallons- so we use about 2 of those everyday, Wow. How about if we turn off the faucet when we brush our teeth and save a couple of gallons here and there?  Possibly replace your shower head with a flow restricted device – same water pressure just useing less- not a bad idea!

energy use1

Look at the energy use chart above and see how much energy we use heating and cooling our homes. Small improvements to your homes insulation (especially at the roof where heat loss is highest) are affordable and have tremendous return on investment.

The point here, is that some minor changes can yield big results- ones that save money, resources that really belong to our kids and theirs.  I have some other ideas.  Please call Steve at 914 980 5532