If you’re reading this article (or any article on Tiny House Blog) it means that you’re more than likely a fan of tiny houses. It also means you’re probably aware of how energy efficient and eco-friendly most tiny homes are. Simply due to their size, tiny homes are much more “green” than standard or traditional housing. The goal of this article is to present some techniques and ideas to help maximize the efficiency and overall “green-ness” of any tiny house you may already have or are planning to build.
As you can imagine, since tiny homes are so small they do not require a lot of energy in the first place. However, there are some ideas that can be implemented to reduce that energy usage even further.
Water usage is an area that can be improved in almost all houses, big or small. One simple thing you can do is to redirect water from rainfall to nearby gardens or plants. This will save on watering these plants and is an easy way to make sure that rainwater is not wasted. Regarding plants and gardens it is important to keep in mind that planting native plants will help save on water as well because they are more accustomed to the climate and habitat and do not require as much care.
Utilizing natural rainfall can be taken a step further by using this water within your tiny home. It is possible to harvest the water from rainfall to use for showers and other uses inside of your tiny house. There are a variety of way this can be done but if you would like a precise step-by-step description of how to build a rainwater harvesting system along with ways to treat that water, the Texas Water Development Board has provided a free downloadable PDF that explains the entire process in great detail. Continue Reading »
by Jaclyn Nicholson
Have you ever considered the difference between acting green and buying green? A lot of energy is wasted in homes on showering, lighting, cooling, using the bathroom and doing laundry.
So, in order to preserve, you can change how you do things or you can purchase energy-efficient appliances.
For example, you can keep the light on in your room for just 49 minutes or you can get an energy efficient LED bulb, and keep your light on for 6 hours and use the same amount of energy. Which do you prefer? Weigh the differences here.
In last weeks video series I introduced you to Teresa Carey and her home on her sailboat. This week is a followup on Teresa and how she manages off the grid using solar as her power.
When Teresa Carey is sailing she knows just where all her energy comes from and where it’s going. “My solar panel charges my battery monitor and I have to keep an eye on that battery monitor because when it reaches a certain point I have to start shutting things off.”
She has just a 130 watt solar panel – about 30 times less wattage than the average household- so she keeps electronics to a minimum: a VHF radio (for communication), an icebox (no freezer), a computer, a GPS and a boombox (for sunny days only). Besides solar and her sails, she uses some non-renewable energy: diesel for a small engine and propane for her stove.
She pumps her own water for use (and it’s cold). She takes overboard, or bucket, baths (in the video she washes her hair for the first time in 16 days). She fixes things when they break. But she doesn’t complain, in fact, she prefers it this way. “It’s more authentic.”
In this video, Teresa shows us how she meets her basic needs: water, energy and reading the elements (tides, wind, storms) in order to stay alive and reach her destinations (in this case, the Bahamas).
Video via faircompanies.com