Many people are working toward living a simpler, more meaningful, and responsible/eco-friendly lifestyle. For some, this means small changes. For others, the changes are quite drastic. My guest blogger today, Annie from 15 Acre Homestead, has an incredible story to share about her move towards minimalism in a tiny house. Without further ado, here is Annie!
How To Go Green In A Tiny House
Many people are making lifestyle changes recently to live a greener life. From eliminating plastics to zero-waste homes, the green movement is definitely here to stay! Following right behind the green movement are the tiny house dwellers. These are the people who have decided to downsize their homes to save money, energy, and possibly a little bit of our planet. But did you know that moving to a tiny house can actually make it easy to go green? I do because that is exactly what I did.
What Does It Mean To “Go Green”?
If you are someone who does whatever it takes to make for a safer more sustainable lifestyle, chances are you are already taking the steps to go green in your home. Using cloth napkins, stainless steel straws, or bamboo toothbrushes are all activities of one who wants to go green.
When you go green you recycle, reuse, and reduce waste in and around your home. Going green means making changes in your lifestyle. It’s a great movement that can make quite an impact on the environment.
Going Green In A Tiny House
Moving to a tiny house can be stressful. Going into something so small can mean eliminating a lot of the things you may not want to get rid of. It is hard to make the choice of what dishes to keep, what dodads and gadgets you will use the most, and what you need to get rid of. It means you no longer have the room to keep 10 sets of bedsheets and 4 seasons of clothes. I know this because I came from a 7 bedroom house to move into a 350 square foot tiny house. Trying to figure out what to keep and what not to keep was difficult.
After looking at all the money I was going to spend on a storage unit, and all the time it would take to sort everything, I thought about the green movement. I figured it was time to go green, especially since I was starting to homestead. Since I wanted to live greener, I decided to keep only what I had to and start replacing the things I could with items that were better for the environment and myself. That’s when I learned how moving into a tiny house can help you go green!
Taking On A Tiny House “Green” Attitude
I knew upon building the tiny house my attitude and lifestyle had to change. In the kitchen, I needed everyday items to be completely reusable. I also wanted less clutter. That meant one set of dishes, a few cups and a coffee cup or two. No more paper plates, plastic silverware, and plastic straws. Instead of piling up all those heaps of plastic shopping bags, I resorted to buying cloth bags and keeping them in my car for less clutter.
I eliminated the clothes I didn’t wear by donating them. My old t-shirts and even some stray socks were made into dusters and cleaning rags that I could wash and reuse and didn’t have to buy any more. It felt good to make these changes. I felt like I was making it easier for me by having less clutter. Then I realized that I was helping the environment by not wasting and sending stuff to the landfill. It felt good. I was well on my way to go green finally.
I figured I was saving money already by not buying plastic silverware and paper plates, so I figured I would see if I could save more. That’s when I decided to start making my own cleaning products. I even made my own laundry soap, dryer sheets, and fabric softener. It felt good to make products that were good for the environment without all those chemicals. I also got rid of paper towels and designed my own “unpaper towels“. I never realized it was so simple to go green!
On the property I live on it is legal to burn. That made me start thinking about all the garbage I used to send to the landfill. Another change I needed to make. I already eliminated a lot of paper. That’s when I decided to start burning what I could. But what about all the food scraps? I had the perfect solution, I bought an on-the-counter composter for the small scraps. I also started a large compost bin outside. That meant more money saved because I pretty much-eliminated trash bags too!
Finding More Ways To Green
Living in a tiny house was really making me realize how important it is to go green. I started thinking about our energy consumption with all the lights, computer, and the tv and appliances. Slowly I started unplugging everything that wasn’t being used. This included the toaster oven, the coffee pot, lamps and anything else I didn’t need. I also bought some beautiful oil lamps and started using them in the evenings.
Next was on to the cooking. I have always cooked from scratch. However, to save more money I swapped out my electric stove for a gas one. I also started using the gas grill more. Recently we built a primitive outdoor kitchen and voila, no energy waste at all. We use tiki torches outside at night. It not only saves on my power bill but it’s cozier too! This eliminated having spotlights come on too every time something moved.
What You Can Do To Go Green
Even if you don’t live in a tiny house, there are plenty of ways to take on a “go green” attitude and lifestyle. Eliminate those paper products as much as possible. Stop buying plastic. Compost everything you can. Turn off those small appliances that suck up energy even when they aren’t on. Start recycling items and find new purposes for them.
Other ways to go green:
- plant your own veggies and herbs
- make your own cleaners
- make your own soap and shampoo
- learn to cook on an open fire or use a portable grill or smoker more
- sew your own “unpaper” towels
- use a clothesline in place of the dryer
- use earth-friendly products like bamboo when building or remodeling
If there was one lesson I learned it was how to go green in a tiny house. It was one of the best lessons I could have learned. My home is healthier and I am making a small difference in the environment also. I never thought downsizing to a tiny house could teach me so much. And as a bonus, I am saving a lot of money on top of it all.
The green movement is here to stay so jump on board. Make those changes, even if they are slow. Remember every bit you can do to go green puts our planet a bit closer to healing and getting better. Are you ready to make the move?
Annie Lewellyn is a blogger, writer and avid homesteader living out her days on 15 Acres in Central Florida. She cares for over 70 farm animals, grows her own fruits, vegetables, herbs, and berries on her homestead. She owns and operates 15 Acre Homestead, a site where she shares a wealth of homesteading information with her readers.
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