The fastest growing segment in the home market is single person households and that of course means that we need to consider how those households can be as sustainable as possible.
While we will often see single person households being occupied by an elderly widow or widower in regional areas, the fastest growth in one-person householders is among people between the ages of 25 and 44, particularly among men aged 35 to 44 who have never married. Every week, these relatively young single men spend 39 percent more on household goods than one-person householders over age 60. And every year, they consume 13 percent more energy and use 6 percent more space than their older counterparts.
It is probably no surprise to anyone that living along is more expensive than sharing. People who live in one-person households are the biggest consumers of energy, land and household goods per capita. They consume 38 percent more products, 42 percent more packaging, 55 percent more electricity and 61 percent more gas per capita than four-person households. In households of four or more, each person produces 1,000 kilograms of waste annually. Those who live alone create a massive 1,600 kilograms of waste each year.
So how can you make some cost savings and be more environmentally sustainable?
Think about how much space you really need to live in. Larger homes cost more to heat and cool, so a design that allows you to close off areas that are not being used will save money. Smaller spaces also mean less cleaning as well.
Appliances, in particular whitegoods like refrigerators, are another extra cost issue for singles. Make sure you get one that suits your size needs. Do you really need a family size fridge, or can you use a smaller fridge with a decent size freezer? That way you can still freeze any extra food portions from meals you cook or longer use items like bread.
If you have ever been to the supermarket to shop you will know that many items are designed with families in mind. Obviously fresh fruit and vegetables you can buy in the appropriate quantities but many packaged items are more difficult – and of course smaller packaging sizes tend to attract a premium price too.
You can make more sustainable choices in your single living lifestyle by choosing more carefully and thinking about what you really need.