16
Sep
2019

Living Tiny: Big Benefits to You and the Environment

Help the Environment with a Tiny Home

Increasingly people are becoming aware of their personal impact on the environment. Adjusting their lifestyles including what food they eat, the clothes they wear and the buildings they live in. Many people are becoming open to Tiny Home living as a way to help the environment and better their own lifestyle.

One of the most popular ways to help is by simplification of lifestyle, you can do this in a variety of ways, from simple things such as selling unnecessary possessions and reducing overall spending.

tiny home living room environment

While others perhaps take a more extreme approach and change jobs, move to another location, embrace minimalist practices, or even go off-the-grid.

These individuals may have their motivations for living in a tiny house but the three most commonly cited are:

  • Life simplification
  • Financial freedom
  • Concern for the environment and the planet

There may be a vast number of ideas behind the creation and support of tiny homes. However, it is mostly advocated towards building a better home rather than a bigger one.

This way of thinking has allowed more and more people to see the benefits of tiny homes. They have signed on to join the concept of choosing quality over quantity.

Tiny home living is more than just being in a cute and trendy house, they come in a range of designs to suit your lifestyle. There’s a range of studies behind them and their development process. The use of smaller living spaces can foster sustainability for people, their families, and the communities as well.

Small in Size, Big in Benefits

Tiny houses, as you can already tell, are tiny – but that is just in size. They have an enormous character that represents them in a positive light. At their smallest, tiny homes can be as small as a little over six square metres. Some choose to go as large as 75 square metres. However, the typical is between 18 to 28 square metres.

Before the building process, it is important to know about the building regulations and various state laws, which favour those in large spaces. However, even with the somewhat vague legalities, going mobile is often seen as one of the benefits of tiny living.

Prioritising quality is vital when building tiny homes. The houses, while being beautiful and quaint, they offer a complete space for living at the same time.

Inside and out, they look like mini cottages. They are quite narrow but they come with a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping areas.

The organisation of your tiny home is key due to the sizing restrictions. These houses are superbly streamlined while becoming a part of an environmentally-friendly movement. The sustainable lifestyle associated with living tiny is one of the most important reasons people are opting for these houses.

newly built tiny home kitchen and patio

Tiny Home Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Many people may not be aware, but the way we currently build traditional housing can have long-term effects, particularly on the environment. The expansive houses, mansions, and luxurious spaces that we take pride in can hurt the planet.

Tiny homes have a hugely reduced impact on the environment. Not only due to their size, but they do not use as many materials as traditional houses.

An ordinary house that most people live in that requires about seven truckloads of lumber, bricks and other such materials depending on the size and requirements. On the other hand, a tiny house only needs half a truckload. This cutting of material waste helps the environment now and into the future as a more sustainable option.

Most of us do not realise that building houses means cutting down trees. Along with the billions of homes already constructed, each year this continues to grow across the World. The World’s forests are becoming thinner each day because of the demand. Lumber is short on supply, which becomes a growing problem every year not only in Australia but around the world.

Because of the low supply and high demand for wood, many construction projects are seeing rising costs. This is why new houses are not as affordable as time goes by, and it will only become a bigger problem in the coming years.

For years, Melbourne and Sydney had prices that remained unchanged until a downward trend since 2017.

For Perth, prices may be decreasing but it is tough to say whether or not it will stay this way. Some suburbs either have lower or unchanged prices; some are going up, such as Booragoon, Bull Creek, and Champion Lakes.

With lumber supplies crashing in numbers, it may be a good time to buy a home now before it is too late. This fluctuation in prices is not good news for potential homebuyers as it’s hard to plan their finances correctly with such an unpredictable market.

Tiny home rear with view of heating and electrical supply

However, not everyone has the money for their deposit just lying around. Even mortgages are getting paid late. In the case of tiny homes, they only need a few trees, which will be cut down for lumber. Additionally, less fuel is used because there is usually only a truckload at most for the building materials to be transported.

Aside from these benefits, there are more reasons why tiny living is for the environmentally conscious, including:

  • Eco-Friendly Supplies

    Fewer materials do not just mean less fuel use and a smaller number of trees getting cut down. It also denotes that building tiny homes is much easier. There is even a huge possibility of using recycled materials.

    With traditional and large houses, it is not always feasible to utilise recycled materials. There is just is not enough supply for them which such a big project which is why they are not a reasonable option. Recycled materials are more expensive than conventional ones. However, because tiny homes do not need a mountain of supplies, recycled timber is much more accessible.

  • Low Costs Throughout the Life Cycle of the Home

    Apart from the overall building costs, you should also not forget about the maintenance. As the years pass by, your tiny home will deteriorate, just like any normal home. The only difference is that the money you will spend on replacing certain materials will be much lower.

    Since the materials are recycled during the building process, it means that you can also use the same type of materials when they need replacement. Some people veer away from these environmentally-friendly materials because of the expenses. They are much more expensive. However, if you consider the durability and longevity of the materials, you will know that you will end up saving more with a tiny home.

    Replacing certain components also come with less impact on the planet. A tiny home, for instance, would normally have one bathroom. A traditional home can have as many as four. Therefore, you do not have to provide numerous fixtures, which will eventually require repairs or replacements. According to a university’s research, you can get as much as 36% of life cycle cost savings. It is only applicable though if you halve the size of your house.

  • Lower Energy Consumption

    Many people do not realise their impact on the environment. Just by turning on your appliances, you are contributing to pollution and energy waste. Unfortunately, most of us can’t stay off the grid. Solar power is getting extremely popular in Australia but there are still numerous homes that consume energy the traditional way.

    According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, the overall energy consumption in Australia has increased. The good news is that more and more people are becoming environmentally aware. As a result, they take part in reducing their use of appliances and lights.

    There is still a long way to go. Around 86% of a houses environmental impact is because of energy use. With the use of heaters, air conditioning systems, lighting, and water heaters, these utilities cannot simply disappear. They are a necessity for most people.

    The Colby College in Maine, USA reported that the average house measuring 241.4 square metres consumes more than 12,770-kilowatt-hours of energy every year. In contrast, a tiny house, which measures about 17.28 square metres will only consume 914-kilowatt hours each year. The huge difference is clear.

    On a related note, carbon dioxide emissions follow. There is a similar pattern since it is associated with energy use as well. Tiny homes will only emit an average of 0.91 metric tonnes annually. An average-size house, on the other, can emit as high as 12.70 metric tonnes.

A Tiny House is For Everyone

Here is one thing to remember though. Contrary to what other people think, tiny homes are not just for environmental activists. They are for everyone, especially those who want to simplify their lifestyle or perhaps are looking to downsize. The small space may be a negative trait for some people, but it is one of the reasons why tiny homes are valuable.

There are fewer appliances required and electrical fixtures for use as well. There is less space to add heaters and coolers. An average tiny house can have as few as six light bulbs while a larger dwelling can have as many as 45.

People who live in tiny homes can become healthier. You will have more interest in exploring your surroundings instead of spending your time indoors. Living in a tiny house encourages homeowners to have an outdoor lifestyle, which can benefit your health as well.