How to Build a Sustainable Lifestyle On 3500 Square Feet

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Could you live sustainably on 3,500 square feet? This family is making their sustainable lifestyle dream a reality…

It’s not much. Some homes have more square footage than this small Ocean Beach property, but 28-year-old computer scientist, Brian Bloom, was determined not to let size determine sustainability when he purchased their 890-square-foot home in 2014.  What they have done since – on less than 1/10 of an acre – is impressive, to say the least.

Although the family does not (at least so far) produce all of their own food, they are making great strides in that direction, with the majority of their fruits and vegetables grown on their own property, plus fish from their aquaponics system.

They provide more than their electricity needs with solar panels, while all of their waste water goes to water the garden. They also collect rain water, and compost all of their food waste.

Here’s a bit more about how the Blum family is building a sustainable lifestyle on their little piece of property:

All water used for washing dishes, showering and laundry is piped outside of the house to water 18 fruit trees, growing figs, mulberries, apples and Asian pears. The water — safe for plants because the Blum family only uses biodegradable soap — also waters a garden that grows bok choy, goji berries, chard and squash.

All food waste is put into worm bins to break down and turn into compost for the garden.

Solar panels on the house are producing 30 percent more energy than the family uses and, despite all the apparent water usage, they pay very little for water. Blum estimates the family only uses 80 gallons of water a day. The average American family of three uses 300 gallons a day, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

Read more about the Blums at SanDiegoTribune.com


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