Last week I visited Tiny House Holiday Village at Northfield Stapleton. In Colorado, there’s nothing like a cup of hot chocolate, a tiny home and the thought of really going off the grid to get you in the holiday spirit.
Ten builders attended to showcase their work. Each home was meticulously crafted, uniquely decorated and surprisingly roomy. I spoke to one builder – Rick Davis of Collaborate Concepts. Rick is in business with his brother Justin Locker and son Cameron. The team offers creative solutions for the tiny house movement and specializes in sustainable living, green technology and energy efficiency. As we talked, he highlighted some of the eco-friendly features built into their 24′ mobile tiny house:
After our discussion, a few things were clear. Rick, Justin and Cameron love what they do (it shows – their designs are awesome!) and tiny homes really do have their advantages for the environment. Besides their tiny footprint on the land they occupy, tiny houses definitely keep your carbon footprint tiny, too.
Here a few ways tiny houses excel at sustainability:
Their size makes it easy (and affordable) to be green.
By definition, tiny houses are smaller than traditional homes. Duh. Naturally, this means reduced heating, cooling and overall energy costs. In fact, an entire home can be easily powered by solar panels at almost no cost. Add incinerating/composting toilets that reduce water consumption, and you’re paying next to nothing for utilities! With the proper application of green technology, it’s possible to live net-zero and completely off the grid in any tiny home.
With tiny homes, it’s easy to maximize energy efficiency.
Home local, orientation, window placement and solar power are just a few things you may consider. You can also opt for energy-efficient windows for improved insulation, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, or a solar hot water system. Together, these can improve energy efficiency and allow for complete self-sufficiency when it comes to energy supply.
Many tiny homes come with rainwater harvesting systems.
To facilitate comfortable living where there are no municipal services, many tiny home builders will install rainwater harvesting systems. The water stored in these tanks may be used to water gardens or even for drinking if it’s treated properly. Pairing water-wise plumbing fixtures with a grey water system is another smart way to conserve water. Recycling grey water by channeling it into your garden maximizes water efficiency and helps plants thrive in dry climates.
Tiny homes are a great way to simplify your life, build a nest in your dream destination or reduce your impact on the planet. Think big, go tiny.