In the Chinese countryside, one can often see single railroad cars converted into what appear to be single family homes. They look almost identical to the original railroad cars, save windows in the front and a billow of smoke from the pipe on the roof. Usually, you’ll see several cars parked in front and a conglomeration of a number of the cars in a makeshift neighborhood.
Rural Chinese folks remodel their used things into eco-friendly housing because it’s cheap, not because they care about their carbon footprints. Unfortunately in the west, we think of eco-friendly options as the expensive alternatives, luxuries for the rich and necessities for nobody.
Still, some are trying to change these perceptions about people who make environmental choices, illustrating that reducing your footprint can be both ecological and economical. Specifically, these individuals live more environmentally conscious by reducing the size of their living spaces, which, in turn, reduces the impact of their habitat.
Tiny House Living, an e-mail newsletter published each Wednesday, rounds up the best stories on the web about living sustainably, literally or figuratively in a tiny house. The blog also links to stories about trends in architecture.
Of course, some of the most interesting stories on the newsletter about people living in tiny houses. In a YouTube video link featured on the site, a couple displays their 144 square foot home in the Northern California mountains, a secluded and electricity-free space that they share and in which they eat mostly fruits and vegetables. Diana and Michael Lorence lived in tiny homes for nearly 30 years before settling into their current location, at which Diana cooks nearly all of their meals in a metal pot over an open fire.
Certainly, most examples featured on the site are not so extreme. The newsletter also features a number of tips and appliances to buy when outfitting small spaces, in small houses or otherwise. In her post “I Can Really Cook in my Tiny Kitchenette,” Tiny House blogger Heather Neilson gives examples of kitchenware and cooking equipment that can be utilizing in outfitting a small kitchen for heavy-duty use.
Articles on how to create your own tiny living space are also featured in the newsletter. The blog “This Tiny House” details how Seattleite Phil Thiel turned a shanty boat into a houseboat with a few minor adjustments. He’ll send you plans about how to make your own boat for only $150.