Mike and I have been talking lately, about a few different things. One, when we build our house in a few yeas, we want to go much smaller than originally planned. My goal would be not to spend more than would allow us to be able to pay all our living expenses with only one income. That way our second income would be for retirement, vacations, helping our kids with various purchases, and emergencies. While I would still like a few acres, 3-5, I am brainstorming on ways to make our house smaller, while still providing us with what we want. Examples include a separate office/music room for Mike, and a Japanese style room. I'd also like a guest room, but I think a guest area would work if I did it right.
Mike has been reading lately about the monumentally horrendous amount of plastic we generate as a planet. Only 3-5% of this is recycles IN ANY WAY. This is not good people. Many types of plastic are extremely poisonous. You know the little numbers on the bottom? That indicates the type of plastic the item is made of. #'s 1 and 2 are the only ones that get recycled to any degree. #'s 3 and 7 are the most hazardous. Recently, a tangled mass twice the size of Texas was discovered floating in one of our oceans. This mass is completely unable to be recycled or destroyed in any way. SO. We are going to try to buy and use less plastic! From the food packages I buy to my appliances and utensils, I'm going to make an effort to be more aware of what's made of plastic and try to avoid being a part of it's use.
We'd also like to make the house we build as Green as possible. This means using building materials that aren't hazardous to the environment, as well as appliances that are eco-friendly and energy efficient. I'd like to use solar panels, but in the Pacific Northwest, I feel that would mean we'd be going most of the year without power!
Another goal, more near in being put into play, is our goal of bringing less into the house. This will be the most hard for me! I love to shop, love to buy things, love THINGS. After we move and have more money this will be even more difficult. But I feel so much calmer in a room that is clear and clean. Not to mention it's easier to keep that way! Our first step in this is to go through each room, which we will be giving a week per, and editing out what is unnecessary, as well as organizing what's left. The kitchen will be the hardest to do, as I plan to go through each and every cupboard. We're also going through our storage areas again, and both plan on being brutal! Nothing that is not necessary or LOVED will stay. My clothes are difficult for me to get rid of, since I always feel that some situation or other will come up that an item I haven't worn in years. But not anymore.
So, in short, our current plan is to live simpler, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly-like. Wish us luck, and feel free to offer suggestions or remind me when I go to purchase that really, really cute whatever-it-might-be!