Tiny living means so much more than just downsizing, packing all your necessary things and moving into a tiny house. Living small is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for mother nature, since some studies found that people living in tiny houses can consume up to 45% less energy than those living in traditional, larger homes.
While having a more sustainable and environment-friendly lifestyle is just one of the many advantages of tiny house living, there are quite a few aspects you’ll need to pay attention to in order to consciously lead a more eco lifestyle.
Though you will learn to do more with less on your own once you move in, we have some great ideas to also help you live greener in a tiny home:
Be more conscious with your possessions
Less storage space is one of the first things that come in mind when deciding to move into a tiny house. If you have a lot of stuff, consider giving them away to friends you know would use them or donating them to charities. Another thing that may work for you is joining online buy-and-sell groups where you can either sell your stuff or trade it for something you need more.
Only keep the items you are certain you will use in your everyday life. Once this phase is done and you join the tiny house movement, be conscious when shopping, too. Think every acquisition through and only buy the things you need, especially when it comes to food and consumables, since you’ll have less storage space and it would be a shame to throw away things you don’t get to use. Reducing waste is something that both your savings and the world around you will thank you for.
Reduce the amount of plastic you use
Cutting down on plastic is a huge step towards living an eco-friendlier life. One of the best ways to do so is to completely avoid single-use plastic like takeaway packaging, grocery bags, straws or food packaging. We know that some plastic containers are unavoidable, but in this case, try buying reusable ones you can later take with you shopping or you can use to store food. Also invest in reusable shopping bags, such as textile bags, which you can take with you every time you go to the store, thus avoiding plastic bags.
If there are certain foods or objects that unavoidably come wrapped in single-use plastic, make sure to recycle it properly, so that it doesn’t end up somewhere in nature where it can harm wildlife on its long way to decomposing.
Reduce food waste
One of the most common things that end up in waste is food. So many people throw out food that would otherwise be good to eat, while somewhere not so far from them someone goes to sleep hungry.
There are simple things you can do to reduce food waste. One is conscious buying. Plan ahead and once you know what you are going to cook, make shopping lists to only buy the foods you really need – remember that storage is really limited in a tiny house. This way you’ll reduce waste, while also saving money by not buying everything you see on the supermarket shelves.
Another way to reduce the amount of food thrown away is by making sure you use every possible part of the fruit and vegetables you buy for soups, main courses, stews or even broth. Once you are done cooking and everyone’s full, don’t throw leftover food in the bin. Store properly instead and eat those leftovers another time.
One last tip we have for reducing food waste is to buy less and prepare immediately, thus you can avoid certain foods going bad before you get a chance to cook them.
Keep in mind that food waste means not only throwing food and money out the window, but also mocking the water and energy needed to produce the ingredients and prepare the meals.
On a side note, we suggest you also look up ways to use what’s left of your foods, since many things you usually throw away can be reused outside the kitchen. For example, coffee grounds and certain fruit and vegetable peels can do wonders to the soil under your plants.
Make eco-friendly choices around the house
Even if you don’t choose to go off the grid with your tiny house, while being hooked to electricity and water sources, you can still set up some solar panels to help reduce your electricity bill and make your house more environment-friendly.
You can also collect and filter rainwater or set up a sink-toilet combo to flush your toilet with the water you have already used. Also, with a smaller house comes less cleaning, which means you can also cut down on chemical use, which helps make your environment a little healthier. The possibilities are infinite, you just have to be willing to go that extra mile.
Try growing your own food
Even if you don’t have a permanent plot for your tiny house, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden. Yes, you read that right. Tiny house owners have a number of ways to explore gardening and growing their own food or herbs with the help of some common items. For example, you can set up a hanging window farm with some empty plastic bottles or you can create a pallet or gutter garden on one of your house’s external walls. In these tiny gardens you can grow a number of herbs, leafy greens or even some flowers.
Living in a small space means you can get really creative with what you have. Try using that creativity to make more sustainable, green choices for yourself and the world around you.