Solar Power + Tiny Houses = No Problem

Jess Hutton | June 8, 2015 | Green Living

Two complementary movements are converging all over the country. On one hand, you have more people scaling back their lifestyles, exemplified by the rise of the tiny home, and on the other, you have our population’s growing desire to go “off grid,” for which solar power is the key component. Solar Installations in the US have grown 58% over this time last year:

It’s not difficult to see how these two ideologies fit together, but what’s interesting is how two concepts seemingly centered on personal freedom actually bring people together and give everyone involved a stronger sense of community. In many ways, solar power and tiny homes are a perfect match.

Sharing the Sun

More people are taking action every day to limit their environmental footprint—from recycling to electric cars to supporting alternative energy sources (such as solar power). These are steps in the right direction, but as a society we are still way too dependent on limited resources for the majority of things we do. Sooner than later, this has to change.

The sun—unlike fossil fuels—is an unlimited resource. It’s something we’ll never have to compete with one another for. Encouraging your neighbor to go solar does not take away from your home’s pool of available power. Actually, what solar power does is decrease the burden placed on the traditional grid by feeding surplus energy back in. Since we can all share the sun, why not get as much power from it as possible.

Tiny Home, Big World

Not only does a tiny home consume less energy, it requires fewer resources to build, takes up less space, and encourages inhabitants to be more connected to the outside world. Instead of feeling insulated inside a cavernous mansion (or even modest-sized family home), why not see how far you can go in the other direction. Less is more.

Tiny homes vary greatly in design and size, but most are between 75 and 300 sq ft on the inside. To get the most out of this limited space, they often make use of lofts and hidden storage compartments. For design ideas, inspiration, and full plans, check out Tiny House Design.

Living with less is surprisingly liberating. Fewer possessions to lord over, a fraction of the square footage to clean, and a built-in excuse to spend time outside or catching up with friends. The concept of home does not change just because you’re downsizing. A tiny home is still the place you call your own, but it also fits in nicely with the rest of the world.

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