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Are Tiny Homes the Key To Sustainability?

The era of the mega-house may be well behind the times now, as more and more people look to smaller living arrangements to enjoy a simpler life. Up to a quarter of new housing stock is ‘tiny’, according to the Census Bureau, showing the clear desire of homeowners to enjoy something simple. There’s obviously something in the concept. What’s more exciting is that the tiny homes could be key to sustainable living. The scope for these homes can lead homeowners to something almost impossibly tiny, depending on levels of upcycling

What does the modern tiny house look like?

The AARP, who have a keen interest in tiny  homes, have a standard definition for these homes; anything that measures 100 to 400 square foot in size, but as low as 80 and as high as 700. With the average America home sizing up at 2,600 square foot, that’s a huge change for most homeowners. Often portable on trailers, tiny homes can be registered as mobile homes, but have the feel of something a little more permanent.

In terms of creating one, there really is unlimited flexibility. Families and individuals across the world have taken from living in surplus stormwater pipes (Hong Kong) to upscaling the family shed closer to home. There is a strong theme of sustainability and recycling with the tiny house movement which is great news for environmentally-conscious people.

Tiny homes influencing sustainability

Recycling is a central to the concept of tiny homes. Not only will homeowners use fewer utilities and building materials, but reusing items that are destined for the landfill makes the tiny house a cheaper and more sustainable housing option. The life led within these homes also lends itself to positive green living. First off, there’s a psychological edge; reduced space means fewer possessions, and that’s less impact on the planet in terms of plastic, paper, and packaging.

Tiny homes also make living ‘off the grid’ more accessible to home owners. With solar power dropping in installation cost to lower than $20k – and that’s a full sized house – it’s incredibly affordable to generate your own power in a tiny home. Water usage can be met from the rain, and clean gas utilized for any such appliances. 

Tiny homes reduce your carbon footprint. They allow you to reduce the energy and water you use, to live minimally so you have a smaller impact on the environment. Tiny home living also means you are free from mortgages and that means earlier retirement or less need to work during your life, leaving you greater freedom. 

Either way you look at it, many homeowners are choosing tiny homes for quality of life and green living.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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