Affordable Tiny Houses for a Sustainable Lifestyle

4.1
Affordable Tiny Houses for a Sustainable Lifestyle

Affordable tiny houses offer one of the best solutions to maintaining a sustainable standard of living in the 21st century.

What is that threat?

The depletion of scarce resources and the effect of that on the environment.

Enough has been written elsewhere about global warming, climate change, rising sea levels and greenhouse gasses for us to be overwhelmed with information.

I am not going to add to that overwhelm, this article will focus on the depletion of two resources – land and water. It will also look at the effects on lifestyle and how affordable tiny houses can be a solution.

The demands of the consumer society are responsible for resources becoming scarce. For an explanation of how consumerism has developed and become a problem, read this post on sustainable consumerism.

Land

The demand for land to build new houses is insatiable with millions of acres being converted from agricultural to residential use each year.

Many governments have introduced legislation to slow down this conversion.

As more people move from rural towns to major cities, the trend continues to exert prssure on housing prices.

The conflict between rising demand and shorter supply is making it difficult for people earning average salaries or wages to buy houses.

Many families are spending up to 50% of household income on rent.

As land for building houses becomes more scarce and more expensive, the rate of housing price increases will accelerate.

Water

How is water usage related to the demand for more houses?

Moving from shared accommodation – a parent’s basement – to an apartment would not cause people to use more water. However, a move from an apartment to a suburban house with a garden would.

Water is used in the construction of houses and the production of materials, furnishings, and most items that go into a house.

The bigger the house and garden – the more water used, directly or indirectly.

The affordable tiny houses solution

  • Smaller footprint – reduces conversion of farm or undeveloped land
  • Lower cost – makes housing more affordable to a greater number of people
  • Reduces use of water and other scarce resources.
  • Use less energy
  • Requires fewer consumer items for a comfortable life
Tiny home interior

Conclusion

Affordable tiny houses can have a major impact on saving scarce resources, slowing the loss of productive farmland and enabling greater numbers of people to own or rent their own homes.

The biggest hurdles to building tiny houses are zoning regulations and building specifications (codes).

Relaxation of these is essential to slowing the rate of farmland loss and increasing the availability of affordable housing.

For more information on tiny homes, please visit us here.

peter wright