Like the consideration of mind, body, and spirit in holistic health, a healthy home must address the spiritual, environmental, social, and economic aspects of holistic sustainability. In our personal pursuit of health we often focus on our body and neglect to see how the state of our mind, emotions, and spirit affect the whole. It can be the same, even with green building, to focus on the environmental issues of our “second skin” and neglect to see how our homes affect our spiritual, social, and economic health. Here are my considerations for the holistic aspects of a healthy home.
Environmental Sustainability addresses the considerations of green building and how our homes affect our personal well being along with the health of the planet. The following areas are the primary three categories of green building:
- Energy Efficiency involves consideration of conservation of fossil fuels through insulation and weatherization, as well providing alternative methods of power through renewable energy sources.
- Resource Conservation involves consideration of the materials and methods we build with, the waste in the building process, the life cycle of our home, and how we design to encourage future reuse and recycling.
- Air Quality involves consideration of the toxicity of the materials we build with, and the ability of our homes to exchange fresh air and deal with mold cultivating moisture.
Spiritual Sustainability addresses the considerations of how our home provides an atmosphere that cultivates peace and serenity, creative expression, and emotional security.
Social Sustainability addresses the consideration of how our home welcomes our family, neighbors, and friends, as well as how it provides optimum indoor and outdoor environments for healthy social engagement.
Economic Sustainability addresses the consideration of how our home will affect our finances now and in the future.