The growing popularity of tiny houses is greatly due to the growing interest and active involvement of people in caring for the environment. Living in a tiny house begs the question: what can you live with and what can you truly live without?
This way of living directly impacts what you put out in the environment in terms of waste and carbon footprint, which is why more and more homeowners are opting to downsize all in the name of saving Mother Earth.
Opting to live in a tiny house requires serious commitment, which is why most tiny homeowners are indeed committed to living an Eco-friendly lifestyle. But what is it about tiny houses that are considered as environment friendly? And why is it regarded as such in the first place?
Why and How are Tiny Houses Considered as Eco Friendly?
Living large doesn’t mean it’s a better way of living, especially with the condition of the environment today. This is why more and more people are looking into Eco-friendlier ways of living that can create a better future for the environment — which includes the very space they live in.
Tiny houses, given their size, are without a doubt more Eco friendly than regular sized homes. The fact that it has a much smaller space means that it’s using less energy and has less consumption in terms of materials, wastes, and resources.
Surely, living in a tiny house is not for everyone. However, more people are getting interested in making the drastic shift because of the need to be more mindful of how our everyday living impacts the environment. In fact, some research has shown that tiny house owners do tend to adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Regardless of their initial reason for downsizing to a tiny home, these people have since then grown to take on a more simplified way of living, which not only allowed them more financial freedom, but also made them care more for nature and its long-term sustainability.
You’ll be surprised at just how much less waste production and energy consumption there is from a tiny house compared to an average house. From building the tiny house to its design, to choosing natural energy alternatives and environment-friendly appliances and devices, a tiny house forces you — for the better — to be more mindful of your space, of your material possessions, of what you bring in, and what you take out.
Environmental Impact of Tiny Houses vs Traditional Homes
In a research done by Tiny House Build, an average house (2,598 sq. ft. on average) uses about 28,000 pounds of CO2 per year compared to a tiny house (186 sq. ft. on average) that uses only 2,000 pounds of CO2 on a yearly basis. Now let that information sink in for a bit.
Tiny houses have proven itself to be a radical way of reducing carbon footprint and negative impact to the environment. This is why it’s becoming much less appealing to purchase a traditional house and lot that costs way more and requires more maintenance over time. Still need more convincing? Check out these comparisons below of the real-time environmental impact of tiny houses vs traditional houses.
Lumber: To build a traditional-sized house, you’ll need about seven logging trucks for its lumber requirements. Compare that to a tiny house, which only needs about ½ of 1 logging truck to build it.
Light Bulbs: Do you know that an average sized house has about 45 light bulbs generating around 639 kWh of electricity (assuming these are all CFC's)? On the other hand, a tiny house would only need about 6 light bulbs, which would then generate just 85.2 kWh of electricity per year.
Electricity: Speaking of electricity, traditional houses generate around 12,773 kWh per year. That’s about 16,000 pounds of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. A tiny house would only consume 914 kWh per year, resulting to 1,144 pounds of CO2 per annul.
Heating: An average house also emits 8,000 pounds of CO2 per year, while a tiny house releases 558 pounds of CO2 per year given its minimal heating necessities.
Cooling: When it comes to cooling, average houses release 4,000 pounds of CO2 per year. On the other hand, a tiny house only releases around 286 pounds of CO2 per year.
If you add all those numbers up, an average house is seen to release a whopping 28,000 pounds of CO2 per year. Meanwhile, a tiny house only gives out 2,000 pounds of CO2 for the whole year. What a tiny house emits is only a little over 10% compared to traditional house.
If you manage to bring down your carbon emissions by that much, it would already mean a whole lot in preventing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to increase even more drastically. Even that seemingly small amount that’s reduced from your carbon footprint can contribute in slowing down the pace of global warming.
More Tips in Creating an Eco-Friendly Tiny House
It’s already a given that living in a tiny house is considered as a highly beneficial way of supporting the environment. The mere downsizing of how you live on a day-to-day basis contributes in preserving what’s left of our natural resources and reduces the waste that can destroy its future.
Of course, there are more ways in which you can transform your way of living within your tiny house that can further contribute to helping the environment. Check out these tips below.
Harness Natural Energy
Regardless if you’re building or buying a tiny house, go for a design that has strategically placed windows. These would give a sense of openness and it would allow a natural way of harnessing sunlight to brighten your space during the day.
Instead of opting for turning on various lighting fixtures, you can just leave it off for the most part of the day and just rely on sunlight to fill your tiny house.
In addition to sunlight, you can also make use of wind and the natural breeze from outside. Windows can also help in making this happen, instead of having the AC or electric fans on the whole day.
Better yet, why not set up a space outside of your tiny house like a makeshift patio that you can hang out in to better immerse yourself in these natural resources for the better part of the day.
Opt for More Natural Alternatives
Whether it’s purifying your space, preventing the onslaught of mosquitoes and bugs, or perhaps relieving some stress and tension, plants are a great way of solving these issues in a natural and healthier manner.
Taking care of indoor plants have been on trend these days thanks to younger homeowners who are looking to create a greener space for themselves.
You can likewise do the same for your tiny house by strategically placing these plants all over the house where it can receive ample sunlight during the day. Just make sure to choose the right plants that serve the purpose you want and educate yourself on how to properly care for and grow them.
Use Heat and Cold Air Sparingly
Having a tiny space means that it won’t take a lot for it to warm or cool depending on the season. If you rely on an electric heater or on an air-conditioning unit, you may want to consider choosing the right appliance that’s just enough for your space.
Also consider reducing the duration on which you’re leaving it on given how tiny houses are so small that it gets heated or cooled pretty quickly.
Another thing, look into other ways that you can further reduce your power consumption — perhaps by driving off to a place with better weather or opting for thicker blankets during colder days.
Commit to an Eco-Friendly Way of Living
Ultimately, committing to this mindset is what can make your Eco-friendly way of living a true success. If you’re keen to truly live this lifestyle but feel lacking in knowing how, you may want to connect with communities that can help foster your growth and knowledge in this matter.
Joining these communities will expose you to the reality of this lifestyle, its real impact and benefits, and gives you a first-hand look of how amazing it can be once you fully go all in.
It’s also not too hard to do your own research when it comes to Eco-friendly alternatives that you can use inside your tiny house. Of course, this change cannot happen overnight and there are times that you may lack in certain areas of living sustainably.
The important thing is to stay mindful and aware of how you live your life within your tiny house. Also think hard if every single step you take keeps your end goal in mind — which is to be kinder to the environment and create a more sustainable way of living for yourself.