ADU GUIDE

What Are the Green Benefits of Living in a Tiny House?

Tiny houses offer green benefits by using fewer and greener construction materials, reducing energy consumption and waste, and more. See if one is right for you.

COTTAGEOctober 25, 2019

The tiny house movement has exploded in recent years—and it’s not hard to see why! With housing costs constantly rising and signs of climate change happening all over the globe, tiny houses offer a greener and cheaper way of life.

So if you’re looking to simplify your life while lending a hand to our beautiful planet, then you should definitely consider making the leap to tiny house living.

What Is a Tiny House?

A tiny house is just that—a small version of a home that has all the comforts of a full-sized home with a smaller footprint. A tiny house has everything you need to live a comfortable but simplified life with a sleeping area, living area, kitchen, and bathrooms.

That being said, the exact square footage of a tiny home tends to vary depending on the design—ranging from about 150 square feet to over 1,000 square feet.

Tiny houses may be moveable, or they may be permanent. In any case, tiny houses have their own plumbing, sewer, electrical, heat, and air conditioning systems to make them fully functional.

Based on these features and others, tiny house living has become extremely popular for environmentalists looking to reduce their carbon footprints and live sustainable lifestyles.

What Are the Green Benefits of Living in a Tiny House?

Tiny houses are often embraced by environmentalists due to the host of green benefits that they offer. For instance, tiny homes result in reduced energy consumption, using fewer and/or greener materials, reduced waste production, and the involvement of self-sustaining features.

1. Reduced Energy Consumption

When you live in a tiny home, you’re using less energy since you’re living in a substantially smaller footprint. Electricity, heating, and cooling systems often use fossil fuels that end up emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These emissions shrink the protective ozone layer and have a warming effect.

2. Fewer Materials

Tiny houses utilize fewer materials during the construction process since they’re substantially smaller than the typical 2,500+ square foot home. This means that fewer trees are cut down, fewer trucks are needed to transport these materials, and fewer repairs will need to be made over time.

3. Greener Materials

Additionally, tiny houses come with the option to use greener materials during the construction process. Although this is technically possible when building a larger home as well, oftentimes, these green materials come in limited quantities or may be cost-prohibitive in larger quantities needed for regular-sized homes.

4. Reduced Waste Production

When you’re living in a tiny house, you’re more likely to produce less waste as a result. Instead of impulse buying a ton of different things only to throw them away, you have to carefully consider what you buy, thanks to the limited space.

5. Implementation of Self-Sustaining Features

Finally, tiny houses allow you to specifically choose self-sustaining features that can completely eliminate dependency on harmful fossil fuels. You can install features like solar panels, reclaimed water systems, alcohol stoves, or other self-sustaining features to live a totally green life.

What Are the Other Benefits of Living in a Tiny House?

Believe it or not, but there are additional benefits of tiny house living that go beyond sustainability.

1. Lower Housing Costs

Perhaps the biggest benefit of tiny house living is that it allows you to substantially lower your housing costs. In a time where housing costs are shooting up across the country, living in a tiny house helps you save money on housing while still maintaining your own space.

On average, moving to a tiny house allows you to save $500 or more each month compared to owning or renting a regular home. Just think of how much money you could save up for things like travel, education, retirement, or other fun activities, thanks to lower housing costs.

2. Move It Around

Another benefit of tiny house living is that it offers you the flexibility to move around to see and experience everything that this world has to offer. Many people would love to travel but simply don’t have the means to do so.

A tiny house can provide you with the means by giving you a moveable living space and financial freedom. You no longer have to shell out tons of money on a hotel or to eat out at restaurants when traveling since you have your own tiny home to sleep, eat, and bathe in.

3. Simplify Your Life

Finally, tiny house living allows you to simplify your life by getting rid of all your unnecessary possessions. People tend to accumulate so much junk over the years that doesn’t contribute to their lives whatsoever. When you downsize and simplify your life with a tiny house, you may feel cleaner and freer as a result.

Is a Tiny House Right for You?

Despite all these benefits, tiny house living definitely isn’t right for everyone. Before you make the move, you first need to decide if it’s really the right choice for you.

If you’re looking for a more flexible, eco-friendly, and simplified way of life, then tiny house living may be particularly the right choice for you and has the potential to completely change your life for the better.

Three Different Types of Tiny Houses to Consider

Once you have determined that a tiny house life is right for you, you then need to decide what that will actually look like. There are three different types of tiny houses to consider: prefabricated tiny houses, DIY tiny houses, and custom-built tiny houses.

1. Prefabricated Tiny Houses

Prefabricated or “prefab” tiny houses come pre-built with little room for customization or modification. As a result, many of these prefabricated tiny homes may not come with the green features you’re looking for. Instead, they are typically built as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

2. DIY Tiny Houses

If you’re especially ambitious, there are DIY tiny homes that you can purchase online and build yourself. Again, going the DIY route prevents you from customizing your tiny house since everything is predetermined within your tiny house kit.

While this may be an appealing option for those with experience in this area, it may not be the best idea for those who are construction novices.

3. Custom-Built Tiny Houses

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a green tiny home that’s going to be the perfect fit for your family, then a custom-built tiny house is the right choice. Choosing a custom-built tiny house allows you to pick and choose the features you want—all the while prioritizing green and sustainable features that typically aren’t found in prefab or DIY varieties.

Final Thoughts on Green Tiny Houses

If you’re looking for a custom tiny home that’s designed and constructed by vetted pros, then you should check out Cottage. Cottage provides you with a hassle-free process from start to finish—handling everything from feasibility to design, permitting, and construction.

Check out some of our featured projects for inspiration, or reach out for a complimentary consultation to get started on your sustainable tiny house journey.

Sources:

  1. Tiny Homes Are Very Eco-Friendly, New Research Confirms | EcoWatch
  2. Choosing Eco-Friendly Building Materials | The Spruce
  3. How to Design a Self-Sufficient Home | SF Gate

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