For the climate-conscious consumer, finding ways to be green is a never-ending quest. As the first step in your sustainability journey, choose products that serve as alternatives to single-use plastics, reduce the time you spend driving, and buy furniture and clothes secondhand. With these quick, no-brainer changes, you’ll find yourself zooming down the fast-track to eco-friendly living.
Unfortunately, environmental activists often overlook an emission-spiking lifestyle choice: their homes. Unlike a 5,000 square foot home, small house plans can drastically reduce your overall carbon footprint and help you lead a waste-free, eco-conscious lifestyle.
Currently, 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are produced by households. Unsurprisingly, larger homes contribute more heavily to this percentage, making smaller homes far more environmentally friendly. The lower carbon footprint of smaller homes is one of the primary reasons the tiny home movement is becoming so popular.
Above all, the tiny home movement promotes a minimalistic lifestyle. That way, eco-friendly homeowners can benefit from tiny-home-exclusive advantages, including greater mobility, economic stability, and environmental sustainability. By opting for a home that’s 400 square feet or less, you can reap the benefits of no-frills, sustainability-centric living.
Despite their small size, tiny homes are quite diverse and come in many different forms. Some tiny houses may closely resemble kiddie-sized family homes, complete with permanent foundations. In contrast, others may be adapted from trailers or built on wheels to cater to a more nomadic lifestyle. While tiny house structures and floor plans can be widely variable, tiny homeowners’ microscopic carbon footprints are the lone constant.
Still not sold? Here are some examples of how a tiny home can help curb climate change.
A smaller amount of construction material is needed
Because of the significantly reduced size of a tiny home, the amount of material needed at all stages of the structure’s lifecycle is much smaller than the average house. With construction being a leading cause of deforestation, using less and decreasing waste is, undoubtedly, the greener option. In addition to reducing timber use, a tiny house can also make it economically viable to invest in other sustainable alternatives often rejected in traditional construction settings due to their higher costs.
More opportunities to use recycled goods
This benefit ties in beautifully with the point listed above. When building a traditional-sized home, it is often difficult to fully utilize salvaged or recycled goods during construction due to smaller batch sizes. However, it is more than possible to obtain enough recycled materials to build a nearly carbon-neutral structure in a tiny home.
Decreased energy use
Once again, the diminished size of a tiny home helps save both the environment and your wallet from imminent doom. For starters, a tiny home takes significantly less energy to warm, cool, and power. While it is easy for energy to go to waste in a large house, you never have to worry about leaving unneeded lights on or heating rooms left inhabited.
A push towards minimalism
As members of a consumeristic society, we tend to fill the spaces we occupy. By limiting the amount of space available to you, you will naturally reduce your consumption. While this may not sound like much of a win for mother nature, consider the drastic reduction in knickknacks and impulse buys—items that quickly end up in the garbage.
Living in a tiny house can make self-sufficiency a more obtainable reality. At the most basic level, energy independence is generally low-commitment with the installation of solar panels. Solar energy is becoming increasingly cheap and has the added benefit of producing the lowest carbon footprint of any energy source. By powering your home with alternative power sources, declaring independence from fossil fuels lies within the realm of possibility.
Before you go
Your home is a suitable place to start shrinking your carbon footprint. That said, consider downsizing to a smaller home as a way to be more environmentally conscious, comfortable, and happy.