How to Make Your Tiny House More Sustainable
Over the last two decades the tiny house movement has been taking the world by storm. Driven by multiple factors like utility and housing costs continuing to rise, the resulting tiny house movement has turned into an attractive option for many people to save money and achieve financial stability. Beyond the financial factors, environmental factors come into play as well. Tiny houses by nature allow for innovative ways to create environmentally sustainable living spaces. By choosing to jump into the tiny house lifestyle, you are reducing your individual carbon footprint, and help to play a small roll in reducing overall ecological impact.
Here are six different ways on how to make your tiny house more sustainable.
- Energy Sources
- Energy consumption is the biggest factor to consider when purchasing a tiny home. With on-grid and off-grid options available there are ways to be efficient in your consumption regardless of how you decide to get your energy. In a perfect world, all our required energy could be generated through renewable resources. Fortunately, going tiny allows renewable energy to be a more practical option. If you are off-grid, solar and wind are great options to power your home. A windmill can be built right onto your tiny home and a solar array can either be attached to the roof, or on a standalone rack separate from the tiny house. Even if you are not off-grid, you can still do your part by reducing your energy consumption by using energy efficient appliances and fixtures throughout your home and being sure that materials used in the structure will contribute to more efficiency as well.
- Strategic Landscaping
- Sustainability doesn’t stop with just the tiny house. Being strategic in your landscaping to optimize energy efficiency goes a long way. Parking your tiny house with the largest windows facing south and west will help to heat your home and provide light so you don’t have to use your own fixtures. Positioning your home to capture as much Sun and wind as possible will help provide a balance between generating your required energy and not having to use as much energy.
- This one goes without saying. The better the design quality, the more efficient your tiny home can be. The biggest factor in design is insulation. A thermal barrier to eliminate thermal bridging. A well insulated floor. Spray in insulation in the roof and walls. Using the proper material and innovative design can reduce the required energy to heat and cool your home.
- Using reclaimed and recycled materials is a great way to make your tiny home more environmentally and financially sustainable. From reclaimed siding and lumber, to recycled tile and interior finishing, the options for reuse are plenty. Even if you choose to purchase all material brand new, you can still be sustainable by purchasing materials that are manufactured using green standards and practices.
- Heating and Cooling
- Heating and cooling are a big factor depending on where you live. It doesn’t take much to heat up or cool down a small space like a tiny house, but on the flip side it doesn’t take much to change that either. Being able to maintain interior temperature is important. If you are constantly heating or cooling your home to your liking because it will not maintain, this kind of defeats the purpose of a sustainable build. It is important to design your tiny house based on the climate you will be living in. Using heat retention and heat loss to your advantage in your design can help reduce the use of major appliances like heaters and air conditioners.
These five steps are only the start to a sustainable tiny house lifestyle. As technology changes and our industries continue to innovate and push for greener practices and standards, our options for sustainable living are growing. We can all do our part by trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, whether you live in a tiny house or a big house.
A bunch of small choices can have the biggest impact.