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11 Small Eco Homes That Live Large (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 01/14/11 08:49 AM ET   Updated: 09/28/11 05:38 PM ET

From The Daily Green:

These exciting and comfortable designs from the new book "Small Eco Houses" show what's possible, and sustainable, in 1,500 square feet or less. Efficient light bulbs, non-toxic furniture and Energy-Star certified appliances can certainly reduce your family's environmental impact. But as population rises, we have to start paying more attention to the fact that the more dwelling space we provide for each person, the more resources we are going to use.

Click through to see what's possible in a smaller size, selections from this collection of 18 amazing small green homes.

Small is Beautiful
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In 2009, the average American home was 2,343 square feet, well more than double the average in 1950. While new home sizes have dipped slightly during the recession, it's also true that more and more architects and builders are recognizing that small really can be beautiful. We see this in efficient, affordable modular design, and some folks are even going so far as to move into repurposed shipping containers. Some small green homes are envisioned as rustic cabin getaways, while others are on the cutting edge of style and amenities.

The new book Small Eco Houses (Universe, $35) by Cristina Paredes Benitez and Alex Sanchez Vidiella is a wonderful survey of beautiful small homes that are packed with sustainable features, from use of recycled and local materials to natural lighting and landscaping. Many are inspiring examples of what's possible if we think outside the old mantra that bigger is always better.

Related: Amazing Homes Built from Shipping Containers
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This Small Eco House
I'll keep my own home, thank you very much.
I want to live here!

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Filed by Zoe Triska  |