Remember the three “R’s”? “Reduce” is the first, and most critical of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” motto of the environmental movement. The miniature cabins found in the small house movement are a great way to live smaller, taking up less space, fewer resources and creating less carbon emissions. Plus, as sixteen year old Austin Hay has proved, even a kid can make one. These houses don’t solve the world’s problems exactly, since urban density is paramount to lowering our collective carbon footprints, but they can solve an individual’s or family’s problems in a very low impact way. For instance, how many families have had to foreclose on their homes that were too big and too expensive? A small home like the Fencl (what Austin is making) by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company not only costs much less than a typical house in the United States, but it is also portable, so it can be your home indefinitely without being subject to the whims of fortune. Austin Hay has put together a brilliant strategy of building his Fencl while he’s in high school and living with his parents then taking it to college and beyond. He’ll never have to pay rent or a mortgage. All he needs is a place to park, an electrical outlet and a place to deal with his graywater. I’m not sure what his system is for graywater, but he mentions using a composting toilet in the video below. You can check out Austin’s website www.minihousebuilder.com for updates.
This video of Austin’s tiny house project was created by Kirsten Dirksen of www.faircompanies.com: