When we talk about energy, this is a multi-faceted element that I think deserves more attention.
- Living smaller means having a home that is built to be efficient; Less to heat, less to cool. Tiny homes have a huge advantage here in that the square footage is low enough that a space heater would be enough to keep it toasty in the winter and cool in the summer. So the key here is less space to heat or cool. I’ve also seen some big advancements in air conditioning, though with the right setup you could potentially go without. Assuming you like it cooled, Mitsubishi is making some really compact wall-mounted AC units that are very efficient. [Read more].
- Building smart by using only LED lights and other energy-efficient appliances. With power consumption really low, you would need fractions of how much a traditional home uses in electric.
- Solar Power – This is something I think about daily, how if I did the steps above and had solar – I could pretty much live without paying an electric bill every month, or it would be really low.
- Living close to work, making work close to home. I think about how much I spend on transportation… and it makes me mad. I think we spend almost 30% on of our income on it, and that’s way too high!
For me, the whole element of sustainability is not to pressure myself to continually earn more and more (to an outrageous level) in order to keep up with rising costs… but to live in such a manner that the costs to live would be much lower, and that you can easily afford what you need. Even with working less.
We cannot keep pace with the rising costs of our world and maintain the same “standard” of living, it’s a formula that works against us, an equation we cannot balance.
I watched a video about “Tiny Homes” – ok a few of them, but one really interesting point was about the financial model that is the new standard. Watch a video about building a Tiny Home – Fascinating!
People (in general) are working longer hours and driving further to collect a paycheck, and they are doing all this (in part) to pay for that big house that sits empty all day.
This really resonates with me, and my American Dream is shrinking a bit. The McMansion is not my dream goal, just not what I want. I want a shipping container home built with all the latest energy-efficiencies that I can get. I just don’t want to be over-committed to working long days to pay for some bricks that cost me alot to keep warm or cool. I don’t want my career to be driven by the place I sleep. I want to live with less bills, so I can afford to really live in the moment, and have reserves to make life flexible instead of rigid.
I don’t think that a tiny home would do it for myself or my young family, but a well-planned home built from recycled metal sure sounds good to me. I can’t wait.
By Louis Wing