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Sustainable Marriage: How Living Together Sustains Life

Debra Redalia

This post is about how sharing a household as a couple contributes to sustaining life in a way that cannot be done by a person living alone.

About ten years ago I saved this clip. I don’t remember where it’s from.

The fastest growing type of household in Canada is the single person. The new solo-living cohort are young (25 to 44), far more flush than the thrifty jar-reusing widows that once ruled the one-person roost and, the biggest consumers of energy, land and household goods. Now that their numbers are shooting up, people who live alone represent, what a sustainable development professor at University College, London, calls 'an environmental time bomb.' From washers to toasters, singletons burn through just over twice as much energy per capita as those who live in a four-person household. A provocative thought.

But this week, when I searched on “sustainable marriage” I could find nothing. Oh, there were articles with the title “Sustainable Marriage” but they were all about sustaining the marriage itself, not about how marriage sustains life.

It’s just a fact of life that two people living together use fewer resources than one person living alone. And when you add even more people as a family or as roommates, the the sustainability factor gets even better.

I observed this years ago when Larry and I began living together. We each had everything we needed for a household, but when we began to live together we had to go through a whole process of combining all our things into one household. We didn’t need two toasters or two beds or two of anything that could be shared. Even the fact that we lived in the same house saved on energy for heating and cooling since we were sharing the same rooms full of air. Often we would drive to a place in the same car, producing less air pollution and using less gasoline. The list of resource reductions was long.

Today we live with Larry’s Mom and two of his single siblings, all under one roof. So now the savings are even greater because our resource use is divided by more people.

As a couple, Larry and I are continuing to reduce our footprint by owning only one car between us (we go everywhere together anyway) and building a tiny house.

Because Larry and I have a great relationship, we love to be together and enjoy being close and sharing space, we can minimize our use of resources and still get all our needs met.

Welcome to Lifely!

Quite simply, this blog is about orienting ourselves and our lives to Life, instead of orienting ourselves and our lives to industrial consumerism. Here we are sharing our own journey. You come too. Read more...

Debra & Larry Redalia
lifepartners + soulmates

For more than 30 years we have been delving into the nature and activities of life together. Indeed, this has been and continues to be the very reason we are together. With delight, we research, explore, observe, and even wake each other up in the middle of the night to discuss how life functions and how we can function as life—even while living in the modern world. We each are different from the norm, but we are different in the same way, so we have been able to think outside of the ordinary together and find the extraordinary workings of life.

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