There are many who dream of owning the smallest home they can find; a strong reaction to those who dream of owning a two-story mini-mansion. Here is a CNN profile of a young couple who did just that – moving their two kids, cat and dog into a 168 square foot home (on 3 acres of land):
“The things we have are beautiful, enriching our tiny space. We got rid of so much and kept the beautiful things,” Hazi Berzins said. “Freeing ourselves from consumer debt and living mortgage-free has cleared the clutter to help us see what is truly important: our relationships, our happiness, each moment.”
And Mayor Michael Bloomberg agrees – or he wants to improve the city’s studios – as he announced a contest to design and build 1.8 million studios in Manhattan. Each unit is to be less than 300-square feet and contain a kitchen and bathroom.
New Yorkers love their studios, young quirky families love their tiny homes, how about you – do you enjoy your small or large space?
The more I research toothpaste the scarier it becomes. Not only does it contain sweetener and chemicals, but it may not even help our teeth:
As a Periodontist, I get asked about recommendations for toothpaste all the time. What most people don’t know is that plaque is removed by the mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles against the teeth and gum whether toothpaste is used or not. Much to the toothpaste manufacturers chagrin they have never been able to prove that using toothpaste increases plaque removal, it simply makes for a better experience by adding some flavor, thus the title.
Which is Toothpaste is just a spoon full of sugar.
If we could only get more dentists and periodontists to go on record and offer support for alternatives, like this mom received when she took her family off toothpaste.
The first thing to say is that she had dentist approval. She also had her kids stop eating processed sugar. And that might’ve been the reason the cavities stopped, but she was a healthy mom to begin with.
The results were a big success, from No Toothpaste, No Cavities:
Before we stopped toothpaste, and before we eliminated processed sugars, one of my children had a small cavity between two molars — not big enough to drill out, but enough for the dentist to watch.
At our first six month check-up post toothpaste, no cavities.
A year later, no cavities.
Eighteen months later, still no cavities.
Two years later, you guessed it, no cavities.
In the full article she describes what they used instead of toothpaste, how her own teeth improved, and that they still included weekly Sunday Sundaes in the diet. Well worth the read!
And, if you’re interested in learning more:
I propose a new way to think about the Great Recession in America. Instead of the middle class is dying, how about the dirty middle class is dying. The way of life where overconsumption and gas guzzling is more American than recycling or biking. If our energy supply can be both dirty and clean, why not our lifestyles?
Consider the average family spends 20% of their budget on transportation. That’s 10 weeks/year just to pay for car and gas. But what about the big gas guzzlers, the kind that cost $80 to fill-up. No one wants to pay $100 for gas but that is where we are headed. And yet there are plenty of them on the street. As those gas prices tick up I think they will slowly disappear and be replaced by bikes and EV’s.
Food is another area in slow decline. You might’ve heard that 69% of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s a lot of extra money spent on food, especially when times are tight. A new report shows our consumption of candy and processed foods has doubled in the last 30 years. What if a family were to save money by committing to healthy portion sizes, cutting out processed foods, and putting that savings towards college.
Last, think about the basic rule of disposable goods. They only work once and you have to buy more every week. Not only is this horrible for the environment but it costs a lot of money. Families could go broke following the jingles in commercials. And those who are pushing hard on – reduce, reuse, recycle – are again finding themselves with extra money to spend on family vacations.
After all, isn’t that what being in the middle class is about, family vacations? Being able to work, have fun, and save a little money for college or retirement. I thought so, but somehow that dream became owning an SUV, overeating, and buying something to throw out. But take solace in knowing that this dirty way of life is moving towards extinction. To be replaced by green families who ride bikes and have vegetable gardens.
It gives new meaning to the saying, there goes the neighborhood.