How small can you go?
Tiny homes are big news these days! Living in less than 500 square feet may sound like a reality show challenge, but more and more people are choosing to minimize their carbon footprint by shrinking their living space.
The reward? Sustainable living that is as light on the planet as it is on your pocketbook. Its the ultimate in living large!
While many people choose to build their own pocket-sized paradise, you can also special-order a tiny dwelling. Based right here in my home state of Oregon, Portland Alternative Dwellings (“PAD”) specializes in tiny houses like the “Don Vardo,” shown to the right.
PAD extols the virtues of living in a tiny house on its web site:
“Our structures are designed on wheels, giving you the flexibility of placing them in just the right spot for today, and into the future. A PAD offers a perfect extension to any home, as an office space, writing studio, retreat space or guest studio. It can also be built as fully equipped, self-contained tiny dwellings.”
Could you do it? What would it take for you to slash your living space by 70-80%, or more?
I’ll be honest. I have a large family – 4 kids, 2 dogs and a cat (and a husband, to boot!) So, a tiny house of less than 500 square feet could result in unintended criminal activity, if we’re not careful!
But… in all seriousness, we could certainly get along as my mom’s family did when she was growing up. A family of 6 with a single bathroom (no “master suite”), a small front room, kitchen and 3 bedrooms (including one added on): 1 for the girls, 1 for the boys, and 1 for the parents. All of this in about 1000 square feet, which is practically microscopic these days, even for a bachelor pad!
Diminutive size aside, today’s tiny homes are eco-friendly in many ways. Reclaimed wood is used for flooring and doors, LED lights illuminate the interior, and energy-efficient windows can keep drafts out. Of course, with a space that small, it doesn’t take much energy for heating or cooling.
While you are going green in a tiny house, you’ll also save significant green in your housing costs. The Don Vardo is a mere $22,000, which works out to less than $2,000 per month and you’ve paid off your entire mortgage in 1 year.
Ghandi had the right idea:
“Live simply so that others may simply live.”
Isn’t time that we start living large in tiny homes?