Sustainable building practices are one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of sustainability. The United Nations Environment Programme have estimated that buildings are responsible for as much as one third of total greenhouse emissions globally. Although there have been some top-down approaches from policy makers to address this, there is always more that can be done. A small, comfortable, energy efficient home built with eco-friendly techniques is a simple way to reduce your environmental impact immediately and reduce your energy and water use over the long term.
We've asked around and asked people what they love about living in small homes.
"My house is little, it has a floorspace of about 20 square metres with a mezzanine bedroom - but it really has everything I need and never feels cramped. One of the biggest benefits has been energy use. Because I have solar hot water and basically live in one room, my energy use is small. According to my last power bill my average daily consumption was 3.8kWh a day - less than a third of an average one person household."
We moved into our small one bedroom home about 8 years ago now. Building a tiny house allowed us to utilise a thin part of our block, which left the rest of the block open for establishing an awesome garden and orchard. We have planted at least 30 fruit and nut trees and have a big veggie garden on our suburban block, which would not have been possible if we had chosen to build an "average size" house. Another fabulous perk of having a small house is that it takes almost no time to clean! A quick sweep and putting things away in their place (everything needs a place in a small house) and then you can relax with a cuppa or go play in the garden...a much better use of time :-)