By Randy Veraguas
Because it’s March, you might be thinking of the Irish, four leaf clovers and green beer, but I’m referring to leaving behind a smaller footprint (and ha, not from a leprechaun!) Every time I sit down to write this article I get very excited with all the thoughts flowing through my head. Outside activities influence me. The weather influences me. Hot news topics influence me. But the month usually dictates what I write about. Let’s enjoy that play on words and think Green in the month of March while contemplating downsizing.
Lately if you’ve been reading my column you know I’ve been living at my parents’ house while my new smaller house is being renovated. So we are still on our land yacht! We are still putting things into perspective, too.
We got another opportunity to put things into perspective during a recent three-day freeze! Lucky us. My son and I are now feeling like royalty because we have working indoor plumbing. You see, for three days the pipes in my parents’ house were frozen. Nothing like having something that you take for granted taken away! Boy do I get excited now over indoor plumbing! I had to remind myself a few things, #1, when I put on social media what was happening, there was an outpouring of help offered to us. Please don’t ever hesitate to ask for help if you need it. That goes for packing, donating, moving, renovations, etc. It feels good to help somebody so feel free to give that opportunity! #2, it’s great to live near a support system. We relied on my sisters’ generous hospitality to use their homes to take showers. #3, Consider the location of your move. Maybe the smaller home isn’t ideal itself…but the location, the proximity to your support system, can far outweigh any negatives. #4, Indoor plumbing is the bomb! We lost heat a few times last winter in our HUGE house. We had to close in our living quarters to the kitchen and keep a pot of water boiling for heat. After what we just experienced with no water, we hands down decided that we’d prefer to lose heat any day over losing indoor plumbing. So guess what, I’m 99.9% certain that your smaller home is going to have indoor plumbing. How cool is that!!!? Lucky you!
Now, with my parents snow-birding in Florida and my son practicing the piano three hours a day, books and meeting have been keeping me busy. My latest book, Sapiens, has my mind spinning. Not only has my recent experience given me a new profound love for indoor plumbing but reading a book about the entire history of mankind also reminds me how remarkable that achievement is and how I should feel very grateful for having running water and working toilets. Who knows what the future will hold for us but at the rate mankind is growing I think what we should be focusing on is natural resources. The author stresses the abundant sunshine and energy we could get from our closest star but he also warns us that if we’re not careful everything that we take for granted today could easily be gone.
As a member of Sustainable Greener Hull,and we take this issue very seriously. We’re trying to plan ways that Hull can be free from relying on fossil fuels. We want to leave behind a smaller footprint and healthier planet, starting from our little seaside town perched on a peninsula just five miles south east of Boston. If you’re into downsizing you might be interested in joining a local Sustainable Greener group or starting your own. As a downsizer, you’re not only getting more time, more freedom, more savings, but you’re leaving a smaller footprint. Here are some other ways, besides living in a smaller place, that you can think Green and help your planet no matter what size home you have:
EASY and Cheap
Use LED light bulbs & only use when needed
Set Water Heater to 60 degrees
Wash laundry in Cold and Line Dry
Stop buying plastic bottled water
Unplug whatever you’re not using
Drink shade-grown coffee with a “Fair Trade” label
Eat a plant based diet
Big and $$$ at first
Install Solar Panels
Build a Power wall (to store energy)
Drive an Electric CarDig for & use Geothermal heat
Install a tankless water heater
Buy Energy efficient appliances
About the Author: Randy Veraguas, Community Sales Director at Atria Marina Place, is an expert on down-sizing. Her energy and enthusiasm translate through her writing. Randy is also the Creative Producer of the TV Pilot, Dare to Downsize.
Randy’s contact information: Randy.Veraguas@AtriaSeniorLiving.com 781-635-5414 www.DareToDownsize.weebly.com
Article reprinted from the March 2019 issue of the South Shore Senior News.