5 Reasons Why I Live In A Tiny House 

By Kenton Zerbin. Posted on February 15, 2018 in Social Justice

As a teacher of sustainable living, it was an easy pick for me to design and build my own tiny house. 

Hi, my name is Kenton Zerbin, and I teach a field of design called Permaculture that stresses that humans can be a positive force on this planet. The key is thoughtful design and while this applies to how we grow food and how we form community, it also applies to how we design and build our homes. I designed and built my own cold climate, off grid, and efficient tiny house. Here are the top 5 reasons why I decided to go tiny:

1. Less Building Materials. Houses have a huge amount of embodied energy in the harvesting, manufacturing and transportation of building supplies. Additionally, the house construction industry is a huge contributor to landfills. By choosing to build a tiny house I not only used less materials, but I minimized our waste.

2. Quality Building Materials. When constructing a small home, choosing to use high quality building materials doesn’t break the bank. Better insulation, better windows, and more efficient systems means that my house does what a house should – provide efficient shelter!

3. Reduced Heating Needs. Our carbon emissions, whether we heat with wood, gas, or electricity, are high because we live in the cold climate of Canada. My tiny house is is 280 sq. ft. and because the space is so small, and the building is efficient, we barely have any heating needs.

4. Light footprint on the land. The prime directive of Permaculture is to get our homes and gardens in order so they shelter and feed us. When we cover our landscapes with pavement and buildings, the land is not able to be productive, to host biodiversity, to grow food. Around my tiny house are garden beds, raspberries and trees. My house has a light footprint and, in the same space as a larger house, I grow my food.

5. Learning with the land. Few people actively seek to place their house in the most efficient location on their land. Wind direction, solar orientation, water patterns, animal behaviour, these are all larger forces that our house can harmonize with. Living in a mobile tiny house, I was able to move my house to optimize performance and work with nature.

As a teacher of sustainable living, it was an easy pick for me to design and build my own tiny house.

Hollyhock’s Program and Communications Director, Charlene Lo went tiny too! Read why she loves her tiny home here.

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