Did you know that commercial and residential buildings are responsible for 39% of carbon emissions in the United States? To put that in perspective, U.S. buildings produce more carbon dioxide emissions annually than any other country except for China. That’s not good for the future of our beautiful world.
The tiny house movement is a vital part of teaching people to lower their environmental impact and live more sustainably. Sure, tiny houses are cute, creative and affordable. And, they make excellent vacation rentals for those needing to ‘try it’ first.
Tiny houses might seem like the hottest trend in the housing market now, but for the environmentally conscious home-dweller, tiny houses are here to stay. Let’s look at the environmental impact of tiny houses and how they have the potential to save the world.
Green Building Materials
While the building industry has been slow to adapt to using green building materials, many tiny house builders are very progressive. Jim Wilkins of Tiny Green Cabins builds custom tiny houses using green building materials like recycled blue jeans, recycled steel, and locally harvested lumber.
Other DIY builders find leftover building materials from Craigslist’s free section, yard sales, and friends to build their tiny houses. TAD Homes, based in Idaho, has the philosophy of “reuse and repurpose.” They build custom tiny homes using recycled and green materials, like composting toilets, and solar panels.
The average house has about 45 light bulbs consuming 639 kWh of electricity. With an average of just six light bulbs, tiny houses consume about 85.2 kWh of electricity per year. Not only does that reduce your carbon footprint, but you’re saving a lot of money annually.
Many tiny houses are built with energy efficiency in mind and are even designed to live off-the-grid. Check out this off-the-grid tiny house in Vermont! Solar panels are a popular way for many tiny house owners to power their homes. Since tiny houses are much smaller, they generate only a fraction of the CO2 emissions that conventional homes produce annually.
Are you a hoarder or maybe just a pack rat? With an average of just under 200-square feet of living, tiny houses force you into a minimalist lifestyle. And, that can be a good thing. With less material objects, you’ll be more organized and save more money that you can spend on things that you care about, like your health and awesome vacations. You’ll no longer spend lots of money on random things at Target because you just don’t have the space to put it anywhere!
Choosing to live in a tiny house is not for everyone, but it can make a positive difference in our environment. The average 2,500-square foot house in the United States produces about 28,000 pounds of CO2 pollution every year. Tiny houses only produce about 2,000 pounds. Imagine how much we could reduce our carbon footprint if we all switched to tiny house living?