Sustainability in small spaces

Sustainability in small spaces

Airstream eating

Two years ago, Demi-Brooke Kerr and her husband began daydreaming about downsizing. Together with their two small children, the Kerrs lived in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house — one that felt empty, given how few belongings the family had collected.

They wanted something smaller. Something mobile. Something built for family adventures.

And they found it in a 32-foot, 1987-vintage Airstream, ready to hit the road in the coming months when the Kerrs set out from their home base on Long Island.

“When we were in a big house, we were all together anyway,” says Kerr. “To us, it doesn’t feel smaller in here.”

But tiny living does bring the details into focus. The already-minimalist-inclined family has pared down to the essentials. And increasingly, Kerr and her family are looking critically at every item they bring into the Airstream. That includes packaging, plastic, and other disposables destined to be trash.

“My husband and I both are very passionate about creating less waste and using less plastic,” says Kerr. “Now in the Airstream we’re even more conscious of how much waste we make, because we don’t have space for much. We have a tiny trash can under our dinette, and when that fills up, that’s all there is.”

Bee's Wrap grocery shopping

So Kerr shops in bulk. She swapped out multiple cleaning solutions for one all-purpose, do-it-all bottle of castile soap. And she and her family are using Bee’s Wrap with gusto. They pack it along on their bi-weekly shopping trips, cover baked goods concocted in the Airstream’s tiny kitchen, and pack sandwiches and snacks for playdates conducted in fresh air. When her children — four and two — don’t finish a meal, Kerr wraps the plate in Bee’s Wrap to save for later.

“They’re indestructible,” says Kerr of Bee’s Wrap. The appeal runs beyond pure utilitarianism. “Since we live in such a tiny space, we want everything that we have to be useful, but also attractive.”

Is small living living up to the Kerrs’ daydreams? So far, yes. A few months in to the family’s new tiny living arrangements, Kerr is hard pressed to articulate any challenges. “There honestly has not been a single downside,” says Kerr. As for the kids? “They live like they’re living in a clubhouse.”

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