We at Home Improvement Leads think that the values of veganism certainly intersect with tiny house living. Transitioning to these lifestyles can be both challenging and rewarding. Most vegans can list more than one motivation for changing their diet, shopping habits and lifestyle. In addition to protecting the rights and well-beings of fellow creatures, many people who eat a plant-based diet are looking to improve their health, support ethical businesses, protect the environment and set an example of harmony and sustainability.
There are also several reasons tiny house owners decide to pare down and make the transition. While there’s something to be said for saving tens of thousands of dollars and freeing yourself from the lifelong investment of a large home, most tiny house owners prioritize environmental stewardship, the freedom to travel and living a simple life that allows them more time and resources to do what they love.
Here’s how veganism and tiny house living mesh and why it’s meaningful.
Today, everything that we need is available, already packaged and fresh just a few minutes away. The convenience of every material thing being at our fingertips can blur our view of the things we truly hold dear. Both veganism and tiny house living emphasize minimalism: the presence of luxuries within arm’s reach doesn’t mean that we have to consume and glorify objects. Whether those objects are unethically-obtained animal products or appliances and apparel that take up space, both lifestyles involve paring down, cutting out the excess and taking only what you truly need to live happily.
Obtaining Resources Responsibly
After you cut out the excess, both communities encourage obtaining necessities through responsible means. Being vegan means being aware and intentional about what you put into your body. This makes it easier to avoid pesticides, unethical corporations, genetically-modified foods and harmful chemicals in goods that are simply unnecessary.
Typical home construction requires consuming natural resources like wood and stone, which are then packaged and shipped to the construction site—using plastic, styrofoam and fossil fuels. But the construction of a tiny house often involves locally reclaimed materials like wood, metal, glass or even items salvaged from a former house. Living in less than 600 square feet means less resources are required, from the construction and furnishings to the surrounding land.
This responsible behavior particularly intersects in gardening. Tiny house living can give you both the time and space to garden, which means having first-hand access to ethical and healthy plant products.
Shunning Everyday Practices That Harm the Environment
Half of the average U.S. home’s energy use goes to heating and cooling. The larger the home, the more energy required to keep it comfortable, which means using more oil, natural gas and coal. Aside from the climate control aspect, tiny houses are often configured with smaller appliances that use less energy, as well as a composting toilet. This means consuming less energy and less water—and producing less waste. And while a residential solar energy system can still feel out of reach for many homeowners due to the size of the system required, a tiny house’s energy needs are minimal. It’s much easier to be green in a tiny house.
Refusing to support animal agriculture is a many-faceted decision; animal cruelty is not the only issue. The animal agriculture industry depletes water, pollutes the environment, endangers wildlife and contributes to deforestation. And considering the meat industry is one of the world’s largest, these travesties are hard to ignore. When you add the knowledge that the average American consumes far more than FDA daily protein recommendation via meat, it is easy to see how expensive, unnecessary and environmentally destructive this problem is.
Taking Charge of Your Fate
Both tiny house living and veganism support taking responsibility for your well-being, whether it’s financial and mental, or your health. Stopping to evaluate what you use and consume in life gives you the chance to be more in charge of your fate.
And beyond that, both lifestyles involve taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences. This allows you to help make the world a better place and be a worthy steward of its resources.
Guest post by Hannah West of Home Improvement Leads