The swell in population brought on by the birth of the baby boomers came a wealth of inventions to help around the home and in modern day life. With family sizes and the economy booming came the demand for larger homes across the United States. The average size of a family home has more than doubled in America since the 1950’s. Where those average square feet used to be around 950, over 2,000 is the new standard, obviously with greater numbers than that not being unusual to find in most suburbs. However, America has changed a lot since then.
The economy has been through various downturns, inflation has become an uncomfortable joke, and the world population estimates are over 8 billion people. It is impossible not to hear about and give thought to how consumerist lifestyles have been affecting climate change on the planet.
While choosing to drive electric cars is one way to help the planet, there is another popular sustainable lifestyle trend on the rise: Tiny Homes. The question becomes, “Are small homes more environmentally and financially friendly?”
Environmentally and Fiscally Friendly
It is not difficult to imagine or see agreement with the fact that the size of a house is a primary determinant of energy use in homes. A study done on tiny homes in Australia found that tiny homes have the ability to reduce the carbon emissions by nearly 70% per person over the lifetime of that single dwelling. When combining that with the fact that these buildings require far fewer materials to construct them as well as being ergonomically sound, it's clear that tiny houses are a good decision. Digging into the numbers a bit more, thinking about infrastructure and transportation costs associated with the acquisition of materials, it's obvious to see how powerful an effect this lifestyle choice can be. That's before considering how much money can additionally be saved on maintenance, repairs, renovations, and the energy bills.
An interesting side effect of those people that choose to downsize to a tiny home is that they become more ecologically conscious, and that's not just in how much energy they use from the grid. These tiny home owners tend to eat in more environmentally conscious ways, spend more time in nature (which is good for mental health), travel less by car using less fossil fuels, and just generally need and buy less stuff for their homes.
So far, the only major downsides to small home living have more to do with the challenges that often accompany outdated zoning laws and figuring out where to park one. Beyond that there is little doubt that tiny home living is environmentally and fiscally friendly.