It takes trust and agreement to jointly decide to reduce a collective carbon footprint. Shared sacrifice and shared gratification, commitment and follow-through. It’s tricky to find all of that among neighbors in our transient, insular society, but a family is a good social building block toward a more widespread collaboration.

This post from Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth blog in the NY Times describes a family of five in Oregon that has decided to shrink its per capita footprint by a full 80% through home renovation and changes in their practices and habits.

Hello from Oregon — We’re a family of five in Eugene, involved in rehabbing an older, inner-city house for maximum energy efficiency. We were inspired by the 2,000 Watt Society in Switzerland, and are hoping to cut our per-capita energy use down by 80 percent or so, to a globally sustainable level — without losing a lot of quality of life. I guess you could say we’re looking at the same issues covered in Dot Earth (a favorite read) but from a bottom-up perspective, seeking single-family, real-world contributions to big environmental problems. Please let us know if you’re involved in similar efforts (you can track our family blog at thinhouse.net ).