Living more eco-consciously often is linked with reducing. With a sustainable tiny home you have the perfect opportunity to reduce your space and benefit from a minimalist way of life!
Today’s generation of young home buyers is continually on the hunt for ways to live more sustainably. Owning and managing a home is not only a huge responsibility, but it also contributes to your carbon footprint. The average U.S. home produces around 14,000 lbs of CO2 emissions per month.
Younger generations today also don’t have the same dreams and goals as their parents once did. Instead, they seek ways to live more balanced, fulfilling, and meaningful lives that don’t revolve around owning a big house and settling down. They want a lifestyle that is more flexible and mobile, so they can more easily travel and see the world.
These more modern mindsets have contributed to the trend of tiny homes. Tiny homes are much smaller and are often built using eco-friendly materials, making them more sustainable and reducing their impact on the environment. They are also often mobile and easy to transport, meaning tiny home owners have more freedom to relocate, travel, and explore living in more alternative and fulfilling ways.
What is a tiny home?
If you are not yet familiar with the term, a tiny home or house is not just a traditional house that is very small. The tiny-home movement is a social and architectural movement that prioritizes simplified minimal designs and downsizing living spaces and material items. Tiny homes are essentially a way to live with less to be more mindful of resource consumption.
Tiny houses are built in all shapes and sizes, but they are generally between 100 and 400 feet. They are also often built as independent structures on mobile foundations so homeowners can easily transport them and settle down wherever they like. You can certainly stay in one spot with a tiny home, but many who buy them enjoy the flexibility of being able to take their home with them wherever they want to go.
Keep in mind that tiny homes do still typically require power and water hookups, so this doesn’t mean you can just plop your tiny home down on any spot. They do offer much more freedom than a traditional home, but there are still restrictions on where you can place them, depending on what state or country you are in.
What are the benefits of tiny home living?
Numerous benefits come with owning a tiny home. They aren’t just for those who are seeking the nomadic lifestyle or sustainable living. Some of the many benefits include:
- More affordable: As tiny homes are much smaller than traditional homes, they cost much less to build. Additionally, the upkeep is also less expensive, and they use less power, so your energy bills will be lower.
- Easier to manage: There can be a lot to stay on top of with a traditional home. However, with a tiny home, you don’t have to clean or fix as many things. In general, there is much less worry about living in a tiny home.
- Sustainable: Of course, one of the biggest benefits of tiny home living is that it is more sustainable. In general, because tiny homes are smaller, their carbon footprint is also smaller because they use up less energy and resources. However, many tiny home builders also prioritize using more sustainable and eco-friendly materials as well.
- Easier to move: Again, with a tiny home, you are not as limited to where you can live. Tiny houses can easily be transported and relocated, so long as the plot you choose has hookups and is in compliance with local regulations.
- Customizable: Tiny homes are highly customizable, meaning you can have yours built just about any way you like. There are still codes that builders must adhere to, but tiny houses offer you much more flexibility with design. However, if you choose, some companies offer prefab tiny homes to cut out all the design guesswork and decision-making.
Tips for building your ideal tiny home
As just mentioned, tiny houses can easily be built and customized to suit your needs and style. There are lots of building companies that specialize in tiny homes that offer you a variety of options when it comes to size, shape, and other elements such as kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, and storage design.
Below are some tips to follow or consider when building your tiny home:
Focus on minimalist design
Just because tiny homes are customizable does not mean you should “go all out.” Remember, the goal with a tiny home is to live simply and more sustainably to save money and protect the environment. So the more minimalist the design, the better.
However, minimalism does not mean you can’t still design a beautiful, comfortable, and inviting home. It simply means your design should focus on creating a space that has less clutter and is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The main goal with minimalist decoration and design is to take a “less is more” approach. Use thoughtful design elements, reduce distraction, and overall create a calm and welcoming space.
Use sustainable materials
When building your home, try to use as many sustainable elements and materials as possible. This can help you reduce your impact on the environment, but it can also help you save money. Many sustainable materials are also much safer and healthier to use, such as eco-friendly paints.
Because you are living in a smaller space, there is less airflow, and you will naturally come into contact more with the materials used. So it’s important both for your health and the environment to use more non-toxic, sustainable materials.
Don’t forget the outdoor space
One thing that people often forget with their tiny home is the outdoor living space. This is because they don’t imagine having a yard like traditional homes do. However, you can still include outdoor elements as part of your design. Wherever you park, there will likely be some space for you to enjoy sitting outside.
Many tiny home designs can be made to include a fold-down deck and a retractable roof. You can also make sure to include storage space for outdoor items when they aren’t in use, such as portable fire pits, outdoor chairs, pillows and throws, and lights.
You can even repurpose certain items that can be used in multiple ways to limit the things you buy as there is less space in a tiny home. Christmas lights, for example, can be used in the bedroom area to add ambiance, to decorate for the holidays, or to simply light your outdoor space any time of year. You can also opt for pillows, throws, or chairs that can be used inside or outside.
However, you decide to build your tiny home is ultimately up to you. It’s easy to get caught up in all the details and options available. Just remember that the best tiny homes are sustainable, minimal, and functional. As it is a smaller space, you don’t want to clutter it with too many elements, and you want to ensure you are using eco-friendly materials to protect your own health, the environment, and your budget.