by Mollie McGee
It’s a growing world we live in. Houses are bigger, cars are bigger–there’s this misconception that bigger means better. I’m here to tell you this is simply not the case. When we live in houses that are bigger than what we need, we end up creating massive waste. When we drive seven-seater cars with only one or two people in them, we add unnecessarily pollution to the air we breathe.
The good news is that we are moving in the right direction. We the people, are beginning to speak up about how we can make the things we do or use everyday, sustainable. Enter the tiny house movement. At no more than 500 square feet, this social movement of people downsizing into more sustainable living situations has been sweeping the nation with their charm and functional features. This is more than just a housing solution; it’s a complete lifestyle change that impacts the homeowner by encouraging them to make thoughtful decisions every single day. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the top eco-friendly tiny house styles.
1. Hobbit Tiny House
Originating from Scandinavia and Iceland, these eco-friendly tiny houses are excavated from the earth itself. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, you’ll know exactly what these tiny houses look like. The sod is what’s so incredibly insulating in these tiny homes. The thick layer of green earth provides a blanket-like covering over the structure. These tiny homes are efficient in even the chilliest of climates, and are environmentally friendly because they are maintained using the actual environment.
2. Cob Tiny House
Cob tiny homes are made up of sand, clay, straw, and water. This eco-friendly mixture creates a strong, cement-like glue that can last for centuries! While cob walls eventually wash away, a properly built roof and foundation can prolong the life of this tiny home. Once again, the materials used to construct this tiny are all-natural and long-lasting. We can thank the English and Welsh for this incredibly sustainable tiny house option!
3. Shipping Container Tiny House
Although not constructed from the earth, the use of shipping containers as a tiny house shell is also wonderfully sustainable if insulated properly. You can even make your container tiny house even more sustainable by sourcing your energy from the sun. Upcycled materials can be a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way of putting together your tiny. By doing so, you’ll be literally living in a recyclable!
The way we live says a lot about what we believe in. I’m not saying these types of tiny houses are for everyone, however, I do think this is an excellent example of another choice that we can make. Start small; check out your local flea market instead of buying new. Grab a reusable shopping bag so you don’t accumulate unnecessary plastics. Carpool with your friends to school or to work. By making thoughtful everyday choices (no matter how big or small), we are leaders in making our world a better place.
For more about tiny homes see the Tiny House Society