Besides the attractive qualities of being portable and conducive to a more simple lifestyle, tiny houses are much more eco-friendly than normal homes and have the potential to be very energy efficient as well. 


Because there are less materials needed to build a tiny house, tiny houses cost the environment less not only in the materials themselves, but also in the production of them. For example, approximately 7 logging trucks are needed to provide enough wood for the average American house. This is fourteen times more than a tiny house, which only needs one-half of a single logging truck http://recyclenation.com/2015/04/-tiny-house-movement-and-its-impact-on-environment - sthash.hVBgZz9i.dpuf). Because of the small size of the house, a significant portion of it can also be made out of recycled and repurposed materials, further reducing environmental costs. 

Energy & Output:

To make a tiny house incredibly energy efficient and un-wasteful, steps such as using a rainwater catch and filtration system and installing a composting toilet can be taken. These things, coupled with an energy harvesting system, make it possible to live completely off the grid (http://www.lifehack.org/314070/9-benefits-living-tiny-house ). Even without taking these measures, tiny houses consume less energy than a normal house and output less carbon-dioxide (C02), a major contributor to greenhouse gases. While the average house has 45 lightbulbs and therefore consumes 639kWh of electricity per year, a tiny house on average only has 6, which use 85.2 kWh per year ( http://recyclenation.com/2015/04/-tiny-house-movement-and-its-impact-on-environment - sthash.hVBgZz9i.dpuf). This lower electricity usage makes it more feasible to power the home through wind and solar resources. When it comes to C02, buildings contribute about 35% of the United States total C02 output and about 8 percent of greenhouse gases come from residential houses. Compared to the average house’s yearly production of approximately 28,000 lbs of C02, a tiny produces approximately only 2,000 lbs (http://tinyhousebuild.com/tiny-houses-infographic/ ).

Tiny House at Sacramento State

A group of graduate and undergraduate engineering students are building a 400-square-foot self-sustaining home for the SMUD Tiny House Competition. Their team name is Sol Vespidae and they will be competing against nine other collegiate teams on Oct. 15 at Cosumnes River College. If you are interested in sponsoring this team or want to learn more, visit their website at http://www.sacstatetiny.com.