Guest post by Mark Russell of Apartment Guys
These days we all want to go green. It is no longer a trend followed only by the tree huggers and the hippies – it is a fully fledged movement with C.E.O.’s and world leaders singing its anthems. Living an environmentally friendly, eco-conscious lifestyle is not just good for the planet; it is also good for your finances. When you use less energy, for example, you also spend less on your energy bills – makes sense, right? So there are a number of reasons besides plain old environmentalism to go green. Every person, though, needs to find ways to adapt their particular lifestyle to be greener, using less energy, and creating less waste. There are a number of ways to achieve these goals, no matter where you live or what you do.
Living in a small space presents a number of its own unique challenges. Where do you keep all of your things? How do you cook without a full kitchen? But going green is not hard to do in a small apartment or loft. Actually, you might find that it makes your life easier. Below are some tips for living green in a small space.
TIP #1 – It’s time to do some spring cleaning. Before you do anything else, you need to really clean house. Make five piles: keep, store, donate, recycle, trash. Go through everything you own and put it into one of these categories. Emptying your apartment of your belongings will make it cleaner, keep your air fresher, and even make your life less stressful. Donate everything you don’t want but someone else can use. Recycle things like broken or old electronics. Trash only the things that can’t be put in the other piles. Continue Reading »
Debt free – healthy, happy, and with lots of friends. Where the best things in life are not things, where less is more and, where just enough is plenty!
The lifestyle model includes:
- Sustainable living – shelter, food, water, energy, transport, waste, environment
- Community participation – volunteering, active citizenship
- Education – learning, simple sustainable choices, self-sufficiency, and rich experiences
A model for life and an educational project to learn from with information and inspiration.
Of most interest to the Tiny House community this website will be the Happy, simply home – a 10m2 house built by a group of volunteers using mainly reused, recycled, or left-over materials in two weeks for under $8000 NZ ($6700USD).
To live simply is the ultimate sophistication and luckily I have been fortunate to live and learn from the world’s poorest who, unfortunately, don’t get to choose simplicity, but are masters of living simply and being more connected to their families, communities, and the environment around them.
Simplicity has so many amazing benefits to the individual, the people around them, the environment, and towards a more just and connected global community. This was the starting point that I wanted to have a home that implemented these ideologies in a tangible way through a dwelling to live in and be an active part of a community.
After traveling to almost 60 on top of my native home of Australia, I stumbled upon a town named Paekakariki (where the girls are cheeky – as the local rhyme goes) and fell in love with the surrounding beach and mountains and also the community. It’s a small but distinct community that cares about where they live and those who live within the community. I was there this time last year and then had to leave for the remainder of the year. I returned in late January to set up the Happy, simply project and the home. Continue Reading »
I’ve recently had the privilege of getting acquainted with Niall Burke from Humble Homes who has been designing tiny homes for about a year now and I have somehow managed not to cover his neat designs.
Niall sent some pictures from a custom plan, that Shawn Danley hired him to do. It’s a 24′ version of his McG Loft design, and features a staircase, with a space for a washer/dryer, mid-size refrigerator, and a stove. The shell for the home is currently on sale for $13,000 – for personal reasons Shawn and his wife decided that it just wasn’t the right time for them to go through with the downsize, which is a bit of a shame because the quality of the work up until that point looks fantastic.
The plans for this version of the McG Loft will be made available in the near future; Niall says he is currently working towards producing a 3D animation for the home as he thinks it’ll allow people to get a better feel for the layout. Continue Reading »
A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go out with a friend on the bay in a small boat they plan to live in part time. It gave me a chance to see what it would be like to live on a boat. Teresa Carey shares her experience here.
When Teresa Carey lost most of her possessions in a house fire years ago, she felt liberated. “I didn’t miss a thing. It was almost like a burden lifted off my shoulders.”
This was the first step toward a more minimalist lifestyle. The second motivating catalyst was her decision to life aboard her sailboat. Before making the move she began to downsize her stuff keeping only what would fit in her car. When she finally made her move to her 27 foot sloop she had given away or sold the majority of her belongings.
Today, Teresa lives on her sailboat Daphne with no flush toilet or shower, an icebox for a refrigerator, no television and few electronics. She doesn’t see it as a sacrifice, but as an opportunity to live a bigger life unfettered by her possessions.
In this video, Teresa gives us a tour of her boat and shows us a few days in the life of a liveaboard.
Video via faircompanies.com