Happy Valentine’s Day, fellow Cupids!
Love is in the air...or at least that's what all the hearts and flowers in advertisements would suggest. But a heart-shaped box of mystery chocolates for me? Nein, Danke! Rather, I'm totally obsessed with eco homes. What, not topping your 'romantic ideas' list? Hold up, my friend. You may want to reconsider...I mean, what could be better than your Valentine giving you THIS as a token of his/her affection?!
I rest my case.
Tree house or 'ground-bound,' it's always been a dream of mine to build my own eco-home. Lately, I've been heavy into research mode. For instance, I’ve been learning some tricks of "living small" by watching the series "Living Big in a Tiny House."
Wait, you may be asking, what exactly IS a tiny house? Just how tiny are we talking? By definition, it falls between a mere 100 and 400 square feet (9 - 37 square meters). With the typical American home coming in at around 2,600 square feet, that’s some serious downsizing.
You may be wondering why anyone would do this. I suppose there are any number of reasons, but people drawn to this lifestyle seem to love that it is significantly more financially viable (mortgage free living, anyone?); offers more time, freedom and connection with the outdoors; and perhaps the main reason—environmental concerns.
Most tiny houses are independent structures—some are ‘fixed’ or permanent, like any other home, but others are literally mobile homes that can be moved from site to site. Because of this mobility, this gives anyone looking for more freedom the perfect option.
What do tiny homes look like? Holy smorgasbord of design options, Batman! I’m inspired and amazed by the creativity. Tiny homes can be made of traditional materials, cob, an old school bus or trailer, the oh-so-ubiquitous shipping container…the possibilities are only limited by the imagination of it’s builder. And the inside is just as innovative—drawers under couches and stairs, beds that lift up to reveal hidden storage, reclaimed wood walls and cupboards, solar powered convection stoves, compost toilets, nesting tables that double as seating, materials designed to withstand moving on highways (like elasticised plaster so it won’t crack), aerodynamically shaped roofs for better fuel efficiency when being towed, fire-resistant design and materials for homes in at-risk areas…
Check out the loft hammock in this Portland, Oregon home!
So, now do you see why my heart belongs to tiny homes? But my love is not only intense, it’s very conflicted—I mean, when I am planning my own build, I have too many choices…which design do I choose? What materials? Do I go mobile, or find the perfect, permanent, zen-like site? What’s a girl to do with so many options?!
Well, sign up for a workshop apparently. Since cob is a very earth-friendly building material—it’s not just for hobbits—I’ve decided to get my hands dirty. I've registered for a week-long workshop, so come this July, I'll be getting that much closer to being ready to build my own eco home by seeing if ‘cob’ gets in on the mix. No pun intended.
Stay tuned as a future blog is sure to come. But in the meantime, I’ll do what any Cupid does…research for years and take copious notes in order to create the perfect match for a lifelong love.
However, if your other half isn’t quite prepared to shell out for your dream eco-home, the next best thing is eco-furniture. Second-hand or upcycled furniture, of course, since it is better for the planet--and Mother Earth definitely needs our love these days. Sneak a peek >> at what we've got...who needs a Valentine anyway?
Whatever you love, whatever your passion, we wish you a Happy Valentine's Day doing something that fills you with joy.
Carrie and the ecochair.ch team