Each person partakes in sustainability in their own way. Some work to make the most environmentally conscious decisions with their diet. Others focus on making eco-friendly consumer decisions. Some may focus on recycling and being as sustainable as possible. Many do a little bit of everything. Though some may prioritize environmental issues in smaller areas of their life, others make sustainability a much more prominent issue. For those who choose to live in a tiny home for eco-friendly reasons, they take their responsibility to be environmentally conscious very seriously.
In truth, each eco-friendly decision is a great one, not matter how small. But for those who make bigger gestures towards sustainability, they are making a large impact on the world and on how we perceive sustainability as a whole. Living in a tiny house is not a small decision — no pun intended. It’s a lifestyle that isn’t feasible for everyone. But for those who live this way, a tiny house has many sustainable perks that are helpful for the environment.
They Require Fewer Materials
Tiny houses are just that — tiny. Therefore, they require far fewer materials in order to build one. For one, a tiny home requires less lumber to build. It takes about half of one logging truck worth of lumber to build a tiny house, whereas the average size home requires about seven logging trucks full of lumber. Not only is this better for the environment in terms of how many trees you need to remove to create your home, but it also reduces the amount of emissions used to transport lumber.
In addition to lumber, virtually every single other material is cut down as well. Glass, metal, tiling, plastics, and every other material will be significantly cut down in size. With fewer materials comes less energy to create them. This is why tiny houses can be a lot more affordable as well. Though their unique zoning and coding rules can make it harder to finance like a traditional home, they are still less expensive in the long run. Building a tiny house conserves materials, waste, and energy while also conserving your overall financial health.
You’ll Create Less Waste
Less room = less stuff = less waste. It’s pretty simple when you think about it. When we have more room, we are inclined to fill it with more things. When you have less room, you need fewer things to fill your space. You’ll also begin to value space more and adopt some minimalist beliefs regarding how important certain things are to you. You’ll begin filling your environment with a few prized things that make you happy — not a lot of things that are there just to be there.
When you have the items you want and need, and you don’t need more items, you’re really cutting down on a lot of waste created by consumerism. Packaging, fabrication, and transportation of materials all take energy and create waste. As a tiny house dweller, you’ll naturally be responsible for less of that waste.
They Use Less Energy
Electricity and gas are used in a number of different ways in a home. Light, warmth, cooling, appliances, etc. all require energy created by electricity and gas. A tiny home has about six light bulbs on average, whereas the average normal-sized home has about 45. Naturally, a tiny home will be a lot easier to heat and cool, which helps a lot in terms of energy use and your carbon footprint. The less energy you need, the less you’ll use, and the lighter the burden you’ll put on the environment.
Not only will you use less energy, a tiny home is much easier to make energy efficient. It’s a lot cheaper to put solar panels on a tiny house than the average-sized house. When you’re making your home energy efficient for fall to prepare for colder weather, you’ll have fewer windows to seal and even less heat than you would have used otherwise. You’ll use fewer light bulbs and probably only one low-flow showerhead.
You’ll Use Less Water
Water is a precious resource, and your tiny home will naturally use less of it, just as it will use less energy and create less waste. Less water is not only great for water conservation, but also for energy use as well since most water use will require electricity to run or gas to heat as well. Not only that, but designing an eco-friendly bathroom will be much easier while having only one bathroom. It’s a lot easier to buy eco-friendly cleaning supplies, use natural materials, or to generally use less water when you only have one bathroom to worry about.
Everything that involves water will naturally require less. Watering the lawn or garden, if you have one, will take a lot less water. Many tiny houses have a shower instead of a bath. You might have two sinks, and you might not even have a dishwasher. When you have fewer dishes, clothes, and people, you’ll have less to wash as well.
Tiny home living really isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of ways to go green and live a sustainable lifestyle without living in a tiny house. However, if you are the type of person whose lifestyle is great for tiny house living, it’s an added bonus that tiny houses tend to be environmentally friendly just by being small. And, in the sustainable areas they lack, they are a lot easier to convert to eco-friendly options. It’s a big change to make by moving into a tiny house, but the impact you’ll make on the environment will be giant.