sustainable tiny home

Eco-Friendly Ways for More Sustainable Tiny Home

Tiny houses are all the rage, as is being more eco-conscious. 

There are a plethora of reasons why people are hopping on the tiny home movement, and we’re here for it! One of the main reasons behind this movement is to reduce our carbon footprint by producing less waste and lowering our energy consumption. 

If you’re considering joining the movement but want to be as eco-friendly as possible, here are a few ideas for a sustainable tiny home!

In Sara & Joel's eco-friendly tiny house, they use a foot pedal control for their kitchen sink to save water - click to details on their build!

Use recycled materials

Whether you're building your own tiny house or shopping around for one already made, using recycled materials is an incredible way to make your home more sustainable.

Begin with a used shipping container as the skeleton for your house. Alternatively, you can use reclaimed wood, recycled windows, and doors for other types of tiny homes. You could even hit up Facebook Marketplace, second-hand stores, flea markets, and yardsales to find treasures you can upcycle, repurpose, and refurbish. 

Salvage yards and reused building supply stores are go-to resources. But you'll want to visit them regularly for the best chances of finding the right items!

Keep in mind to prepare recycled materials for your tiny house build can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. You'll also need a place to store these items beforehand because the more time you have to collect them, the better. Despite the extra effort, the sustainability benefits, like diverting waste from the landfill, are well worth it. Your final tiny home will also have more character and stories to tell.

Cut the electric cord

Part of the reason people decide to downsize & sell their homes, or ditch rental life, to opt for tiny homes is to cut down on monthly housing costs, including utilities. More significant energy savings, and the appeal of more self-reliance, are big motivators too.

Solar power systems are going to be an investment that requires upfront costs, but they pay for themselves over time. You can use other renewable energy sources for additional power, like wind turbines, if you have land. Additionally, you can pursue other low-impact ways to heat your water, collect rainwater for household use, and more.

The upfront costs and labor to install all of these are significant. But when you consider the long-term savings and environmental benefits, it's 100% worth it.

Going organic & nontoxic

Nontoxic environmentally-friendly building materials alternatives can come at a higher upfront cost. You may not save any money long-term. However, the healthy atmosphere they can help create in your tiny home is priceless and helps the environment too.

sustainable tiny homeExplore eco-friendly insulation, nontoxic flooring, and energy recovery systems—more on building a healthy tiny home here.

Add a touch of greenery

Mother Nature is a fabulous decorator, and her color palette is always on point. Instead of filling your tiny home with store-bought decorations that are a dime a dozen, fill your house with plants of all sorts. You can go to your favorite nursery and ask for indoor plants that thrive in your climate, whether in Asheville, NC, or San Francisco, CA.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and purify the air in your home. Did you know they can reduce stress? Additionally, they can fill your tiny house with color and an incredible aroma (depending on your chosen plants). Plus, you can grow herbs and vegetables, which certainly helps cut down on your grocery bill!

Composting your refuse

Composting toilets are pretty much commonplace in tiny homes, and for good reason. It's a fantastic way to lower your impact on the world around you. You don't have to worry about connecting to a septic system or paying costly installation fees.

These toilets help break down bio-materials into useable compost. After a long process, you can use it to fertilize your nonedible plants. However, be sure to follow guidelines for how to do it safely, and be aware humanure isn't technically allowed in many places.

Composting toilets are excellent for saving water too.

And instead of throwing your food waste (vegetable scraps, leftover food, egg shells, coffee grinds, etc.) in the garbage, start a compost pile. After some time, the organic matter decomposes and becomes usable fertilizer for your garden.

Creating a  More Sustainable Tiny Home

Living in a tiny house can be a life-changing experience, and in a way, it can be a liberating experience, too. You can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and live a more authentic life. Implement some or all of these tips to create a more eco-friendly, healthy home.

Looking for more tiny house resources?

Check out our Resource Directory for recommendations on books, courses, trailers & other tools to help you fulfill your tiny home dream.

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