The final home zone recognizes the importance of our behavior. Living responsibly extends beyond our physical spaces into our daily actions. We must design1 the way we live as carefully as we design our rain gardens and ground-source heat pumps. In the end, we must fine-tune ourselves to become active participants in the operation of our homes.
If you truly want to reduce your impact, you’re going to have to upgrade your own operational software. Use your cranial mass to understand the delta between the resources you’re consuming now and what you actually need in order to live well.
Size matters when it comes to home efficiency. If you’re building new, build small. If you’re renovating, renovate small. If you’re not building or renovating, then just live small. Or move.
Buy a calendar.2
Map out the maintenance actions you will need to respond to seasonal changes. It takes time to batten down the hatches, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed, but plan ahead and execute your steps one project at a time.3
Expand your comfort boundaries a notch or two4 by tweaking your thermostat a few degrees. Self-insulate or self-ventilate as required.5