by Beth Rush
Sustainable living is all about doing more with less. The goal is to maximize your limited resources while minimizing your carbon footprint. Tiny homes are the perfect living environments for you to achieve this goal and maintain complete sustainable wellness. Here are the main ways these small abodes promote a sustainable lifestyle — plus some tips to help you implement those changes in your own tiny house.
Tiny homes promote sustainable living from the moment of their inception, starting with the construction process. They reach 600 square feet at most and are usually less than 100 square feet, which means they require much fewer materials, equipment, tools, laborers and other building resources.
The environmental benefits of using fewer resources go far beyond the construction site. There is less need to transport supplies, which means there are fewer vehicles on the road causing harmful emissions. The entire local environment indirectly benefits from tiny home projects because of the smaller footprint they make on the community.
Plus, building a tiny home is generally more cost effective than buying an existing one. You can ensure your new lifestyle starts on the right foot by keeping the square footage under 300 feet and choosing a reputable builder that follows the principles of sustainable living.
In addition to using fewer construction resources, tiny homes are almost exclusively made of eco-friendly materials. Here are some of the most popular alternative materials used in tiny house construction:
Some tiny homes take their eco-friendly materials to the extreme, using recycled shipping containers or rammed earth as the main structure. Sustainable living is all about getting the most from what’s available. You don’t have to go to these extremes, but you should incorporate as many eco-friendly materials as possible.
Using these materials also promotes sustainable wellness. Instead of using a bunch of artificial materials with harmful contaminants, you can use ones that will improve your tiny home’s livability. One of the foundations of sustainable wellness is physically connecting with nature, and building your house with primarily wood and stone is a great place to start.
Tiny homes have microscopic energy costs compared to larger houses. The average small house consumes 920 kilowatts per year or 63 kilowatt hours (kWh) from its utilities, while many homes go through more than 1000 kWh in just one month. Size is the biggest factor, but getting sustainable versions of these appliances also lead to huge savings over time:
Most tiny homes use solar panels to stay independent of the local power grid. This decision gives homeowners 100% control over their energy usage, which is a huge responsibility. Investing in green energy is a good step toward sustainable living, but you need to use that energy wisely and avoid abusing it.
Consolidating your energy expenses will not only make your tiny home more eco-friendly, but also help alleviate your anxiety symptoms and contribute to sustainable wellness. Spending less money on electronics and reducing your carbon footprint can work wonders for your mental health.
Living in a tiny house requires you to pack a lot of items into a small space, so you can’t just buy whatever you want. Every purchase you make must have a functional purpose. In other words, sustainable living forces you to stop buying unnecessary things. Fewer purchases leads to less waste accumulation and a smaller ecological footprint.
There are also several common lifestyle choices among tiny homeowners that help reduce waste. The most impactful choice is to start growing and eating more natural food instead of buying junk food from the store. Your garbage decreases, your diet improves and your environment flourishes, making it a win-win situation.
Other simple decisions can significantly reduce your tiny home’s waste. Start by focusing on reusable and compostable items, and avoiding single-use items. The longer your stuff lasts, the more eco-friendly your tiny home will be. You should also donate or repurpose your old belongings wherever possible rather than throwing them away.
Most tiny homes promote sustainable living by providing a mobile workspace. Only a small fraction of tiny homes have fixed locations. Most of them are portable houses on wheels you can transport wherever you want. This kind of flexibility allows you to hold down a full-time job while maintaining a minimalist lifestyle.
Studies of various remote work positions have found working from home can be significantly greener than commuting to work every day. If you get a promotion or change jobs, you can easily relocate. You also have more time to check off your travel bucket list and explore other hobbies that contribute to your sustainable wellness.
Building a tiny house is a great first step toward sustainable living, but there are many more steps to go. You can unlock your home’s potential by using eco-friendly building materials, investing in efficient appliances, making smart purchases to reduce waste, and adopting a hybrid or remote work schedule. These foundational steps will lead to sustainable wellness for yourself and the environment.
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