The Green Medium is an Emerald Award-winning, youth-run blog that seeks to innovate how we discuss and inform ourselves on environmental concerns.

Tiny Houses: A Not-So-Tiny Movement

I think we can all say that there have been certain TV channels that we have been obsessed with. I know I can, but one channel in particular has always made me want to stay up until 2 AM: HGTV. Even if you are a part of a HGTV Hate Group, you can’t deny that the homes they show are beautiful. I’m here to pay attention to the tiny ones, which offer a fresh, more green way of living.

The tiny house community is growing with each passing day, with the idea of living large in a small space becoming increasingly popular. To put it simply, a tiny home is a house that is much smaller than the traditional home, but the positive impacts it has are huge. Of course, the main concern here is, “How could I ever fit all of my belongings in such a small area?”. I won’t ignore that problem, but haven’t you ever sat back and just thought, “Huh, I guess I really don’t need a lot of this stuff, like this movie ticket from 2011 or the coffee table in the basement that’s almost broken down”. Would you trade your space for a greener, more sustainable and affordable style of living, or even for a greater quality of life?

In 2017, tiny houses are here to save the day for people who can’t afford seemingly “traditional” living. These pocket-homes provide an alternative that is wallet-friendly. There is no doubt that tiny homes are way more affordable than regular house living (and even apartment costs!), but the simpleness and the positives of the small cannot be ignored. To start off, tiny houses are extremely efficient and cannot be beat.  It’s all about finding the best way to fit in all of the pieces of the home in the least amount of space as possible, so that nothing is ever wasted. Whether you have cabinets specifically for the plates you never use or cupboards under your staircase, it is a fact that the tiny home gets the job done and WILL store all of your most-prized possessions.

Getting down to the amazing implications that arise from tiny homes and why everyone should become pro-tiny-house, little residences like this are beautifully green. Since your home is considerably smaller in size, heating and cooling costs are greatly reduced. In fact, you can even have your tiny house be completely powered by solar panels at the fraction of the cost that you would normally pay to power a traditional home with solar energy. A popular feature of tiny homes are composting toilets, which help reduce water consumption and are also regenerative by turning waste into useful compost! Even if you were to hook up your little home to a city power grid and have your residence take in water and electricity like a normal house, energy and water intake is lowered significantly. In terms of electricity, heating, and cooling, tiny houses require 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year to maintain them, which wins by a landslide when we look at the incredible 28,000 pounds of carbon dioxide demanded each year by traditional homes on average. Another thing worth mentioning is that you could build a tiny home from approximately half of a logging truck of lumber, reducing the amount of materials needed and decreasing the toll on our environment.

Acknowledging the fact that 1.8% of greenhouse gases come from residential homes, it’s easy to see that we can all lessen our impact by choosing to live small. Consumption of fossil fuels has depleted our environment significantly, with the consequences of mankind’s actions too severe to fully describe in this article. Global warming, extinction of some of the world’s greatest species, depletion of the ozone layer, and levels of pollution that are constantly climbing are just a handful of the hundreds of problems that we face today. We can minimize our release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by crafting a great life in a tiny space.

It’s obvious that green and affordable go hand-in-hand for these mighty little homes, proving that the tiny-house way is one that looks out for us and our planet. I guess the question now is, does size really matter? 

Thank you,

-Valerie

Sources: 

[1]: http://www.countryliving.com/life/a6110/tiny-house-infographic/

[2]: http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/low-impact-living/can-tiny-houses-help-environment

This Term's Writer: Allie Quigley

This Term's Writer: Valerie Willier