by Tyler Dean
Tiny houses provide economically and environmentally efficient means of housing and have gained national attention. Tiny houses have become a movement that educates those who follow it by being based on green principles. Tiny Houses use eco-friendly and recycled materials and leave a relatively miniscule footprint on the environment when compared to traditional housing. Because of the minor amount of land and resources used to create and live in tiny houses, the tiny house movement gaining global popularity acts as a catalyst to a more environmentally friendly housing situation. Yale University interviewed Elizabeth Turnbull, a graduate student about her experience in building a “Tiny House.”She set out to build her tiny house in 2008 with the following list of goals: make a beautiful and comfortable home, source recycled materials, utilize a small budget, maintain sustainability, insulate well with natural materials, share the design and build process, inspire others to explore low-budget, low-impact structures, build without harmful materials, minimize my fossil fuel use, incorporate energy-efficient LED lights, use minimal appliances and weigh less than 10,000 pounds. When planning her design she had to consider how much space she needed to live well, how minimally her home would impact the environment and the cost compared to purchasing an apartment near Yale University for two yeas. Throughout the building process, she received donations of both time and materials. Companies supporting the project donated the aluminum roof, FSC-certified red oak flooring, bio-based soy foam insulation and the faux-painted interior. She also received small donations, such as windows, a door, and curtains. During the building of her tiny house, Turnbull created a blog and was written about in papers that had global reach. Over time, the project became an Internet sensation and community-supported project. Turnbull’s “Tiny house” project and similar and similar ones making small strides in educating the masses on sustainable living and inspiring other to do the same.
Turnbull E. 2015. Tiny House. Oz 31. 3-7.