Four Reasons Tiny Living's Small Footprint Is Good for The Environment
As the tiny house movement grows, so does the education behind the ‘why’ propelling living a minimalist lifestyle. The reduction of environmental impact and increase in the ability to take time to reconnect with nature lead the charge in why people are considering living simply and going tiny. Now that small homes and THOWs (Tiny House On Wheels) have been on the market for over ten years, studies are surfacing supporting the science behind how living tiny can leave a smaller environmental impact and benefit our planet for generations.
Here are four ways tiny living leaves a small global footprint and can actually benefit our endangered environment.
Reduced Energy Consumption=Less Environmental Impact
According to a study by Oregon's Department of Land Quality, “Eighty six percent of the total environmental impact of any house is due to its energy use. This means the fact that tiny houses are, on average, using significantly less energy puts them at the forefront of a global solution.
Many attribute these drastic energy savings to simple space, but it isn’t only the lack of square footage that reduces the environmental footprint. Having fewer electronics such as light bulbs, appliances, and electrical fixtures gives a big boost to that savings as well. There are surveys and studies reporting the average typical American household uses at least 45 lightbulbs, whereas a tiny home only reports using 6-9 bulbs. Each of these bits of savings add up for the greater good.
Less Heating and Cooling=Less CO2 Output
Considering utilities like heating, electric, and cooling, the average tiny house produces about 2000 pounds of CO2 per year versus the national average of 28,000 pounds from a traditional stick build home in America. Those results alone are astounding when you consider how many species of animals have gone extinct amongst other negative impacts caused by global warming.
Less Construction Materials=Less Waste
The smaller the building you are trying to construct, naturally the fewer building materials will be required. Construction of new homes in America accounts for nearly ¾ of the lumber consumed in our county. The average American house size is well over 2500 square feet, while the national average for tiny homes comes in around 187 square feet. This means building the average sized tiny home only takes about a half of a logging truck worth of lumber, while you’d need over seven logging trucks full of lumber to construct the average stick build traditional home. These major differences don’t only work to harvest less living trees, but it also saves on the fuel and emissions used to take those trees from the forest to the build site.
This doesn’t even take into account the numerous DIY builders in the tiny house world who use Cold Form Steel framing or reclaimed wood to build their homes, saving even more on raw wood consumption in the U.S.
Another attribute worth mentioning is the ability to increase the lifespan of major appliances and materials used in your home. Consider a tiny home that has one bathroom, versus the average traditional home’s 2.5 baths. This produces less waste from large items like toilet bowls and fixtures that would take years to breakdown in our public landfills.
More Potential for Reclaimed and Reusable Materials
Using less materials means it becomes easier to incorporate recycled or reclaimed materials into the build of a tiny home, which aren’t always available in the large quantities it would take to construct, for instance, a pallet wood accept wall if your living room perimeter sides are 24’ long, versus the tiny house average of only eight feet. Additionally, it becomes easier to entertain the use of more environmentally friendly materials that tend to be more expensive over the more conventional, more affordable options.
When you are building your tiny home or planning your build with amazing custom designer and builders like Movable Roots, you are able to customize environmentally friendly options and upgrades, incorporate reclaimed materials, and know that by reducing your overall footprint, you are creating change for future generations.