First Tiny Home Community for the Homeless in San Jose Opens

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com 
(TMU) — More than 6,000 homeless people live in San Jose, California, and thanks to a years-long effort they will now have access to tools to help themselves get off the streets and into permanent housing thanks to an innovative initiative.

With bike racks and freshly planted flowers, The Maybury Bridge Housing Project serves as a place for the homeless population of San Jose to receive support while searching for permanent housing.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and nonprofit HomeFirst CEO Andrea Urton were all present at Thursday’s grand opening celebration.

This is intended to have individuals become acclimated to being part of a community, to learning how to take care of their units, building independent living skills,” Beatriz Ramos with HomeFirst explained.

In December 2018, the San Jose City Council approved the project but it was delayed due to community pushback as well as legislative roadblocks. As a result, Governor Newsom recently said he will create a streamlined process to approve and develop projects like this one.

If we can get the obstacles out of the way, cities can move quickly to address this crisis,” Liccardo told San José Spotlight.

We came together as a community because we learned through this process that it takes a village to build a tiny home village,” Liccardo also said. “We are housing people, and that is critical, but we know we have much more work to do because we need many more resources.”

One such resource is Measure E, which seeks to boost the availability of affordable housing. On March 3 voters will have their say in whether Measure E moves forward or not.

To qualify for one of the 80-square-foot homes that features a single bed, desk, and shelves, homeless individuals must have a qualifying vulnerability index score, be enrolled in a rapid rehousing program, and have a job or on the verge of getting one. Slightly larger units will be made available for residents that use wheelchairs. Maybury Bridge residents will stay in the units for only around 60 days. If they stay longer, their minimal rent will increase by 10% after six months.

Shared amenities in the community include laundry and kitchen facilities as well as bathrooms. A computer lab, multiple meeting rooms, a dog park, and a lounge are also available.

According to James Stagi, San Jose Housing Policy and Planning administrator, the cost of each home came out to about $55,000. The entire project cost around $2.2 million.

The project was paid for with money from San Jose’s general fund, a one-time Housing Authority award, and California’s Homeless Emergency Assistance Program. Tenants will be charged $20 per month or 10% of their income.

There’s no way we can resolve this crisis unless we are working collaboratively together at every level of government,” Newsom said. “The state vision to solve this crisis will be realized, at the local level — project by project, large and small.”

Of the project, HomeFirst CEO Andrea Urton said:

I was homeless as a teenager, and this site is where I would have wanted to live. To know that it’s already working brings me such a great sense of pride and hope for the future. It’s a little overwhelming. We’re grateful that this site will provide 40 individuals a respectful and dignified respite while they wait for permanent housing on their journey.”

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Affordable Ways to Live Sustainably

With global warming increasingly becoming an alarming issue, it is time to make drastic changes to our lifestyles. This may seem like a difficult and expensive task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to bring sustainability into your life without breaking your budget — in fact, it can even help you save money.

From breaking bad habits around the house to making upgrades in your home, you can live guilt-free and keep your newly saved dollar bills while making a positive impact on the environment.

Waste Not

If you’re looking for an easy place to start, head to your kitchen. Whether or not you’ve already begun a personal boycott against plastic silverware and paper plates, look around and count the disposable items around the area. Maybe you can replace Ziploc bags and plastic containers with Mason jars, which can have many surprising uses. For example, you can use them as to-go containers or make them into DIY air fresheners.

Composting is the future of recycling. As more cities across the US fund programs to promote the practice of transforming leftovers into nutrient-rich soil, it is easier than ever to get started. More and more cities are gifting their residents with composting bins to accompany their trash and recycling bins, complete with curbside service. Even if your city is not quite there yet, you can still learn to compost at home.

To take it a step further, replace any disposable products in the kitchen with compostable ones. This can combine the convenience of plastic forks and cups with the responsibility of taking care of the environment.

Related Article: HomeBiogas Device Turns Food Waste Into Clean Cooking Fuel And Nutrient-Rich Fertilizer

Options for Tiny Homes

Tiny homes are a trending way to limit your environmental footprint. Many have been able to live comfortably in functional and stylish tiny homes. This solution is great for those looking to downsize and aren’t bothered by a little less elbow room. Some sellers, like City Design Inc, even sell their these small homes on Etsy. Their smallest model costs less than $20,000 and includes a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living space in 180 square feet.

Compared to a small house, this home could save most people hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, that may still be too expensive for some, as the home will require land to stay on, and those building their own tiny home will have to navigate building regulations. If you’re looking live sustainably while avoiding these potential issues, living in an RV might be right for you.

Related Article: Tiny House Must-See – Couple Converts a School Bus So Well You Won’t Believe It’s a Bus

Affordable Solar Power

A staple in sustainable living, solar power may be what your mind wanders to first, only to be struck down because of the cost. It’s true that converting your home to solar power can be quite an investment, but before you turn away from this alternative source of energy, you may want to look into the available options that can make this change an affordable one.

Funding this endeavor should be the first thing you look into, and grants, rebates, and tax refunds should make up a huge part of your research, which can save you thousands of dollars. Though initially this might take more money upfront, you can also rest assured knowing that your electricity bill payments won’t fund anti-clean energy bills. Reports have found a portion of utility profits help fund companies that, among other things, promote fracking and spread misinformation about climate change.

Though sometimes it seems like we are only getting further from our goal of practicing kindness to our planet, there are many ways to do your part. Whether you start composting, move into a tiny home, or upgrade your energy source, every small victory in sustainable living is a victory for the planet.

Related Article: This Portable, Off-Grid Solar System Is Powerful Enough to Be Your Emergency Back Up

About the Author

Brooke Faulkner is a green-souled writer from the pacific northwest. If pressed, she’ll tell you that her green soul is made up of ferns, recycled goods, and a love of the “shop local” movement. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found gallivanting around the woods behind her house. To read more of her work, follow @faulknercreek.

Family of Three (Plus One on the Way) Moves into a Bus to Create a Healthier Lifestyle

Video Source: Dylan Magaster

Jimmy and Amber were living in an apartment in a Rhode Island beach town when they decided to go to Costa Rica to do a cleanse. The experience affected them greatly, but they found that when they returned from their trip, they couldn’t keep up a healthier lifestyle in their old community.

So Jimmy quit his job as a contractor and Amber closed up her small jewellery shop and they bought a 2003 yellow school bus to turn into their home.

It took Jimmy about four months working full time to complete the rebuild that ultimately cost around $10,000 including the cost of the bus.  But they did trade a lot of their homemade jewellery for many items they needed for their bus.

The bus gets around 8 to 11 miles per gallon of gas and has a 40-gallon water tank. It’s also equipped with solar power that allows them to go off-grid for a few days at a time if they desire.

Now they are living in their lovely bus with their young son, Onyx, and they have another baby on the way.

Two tips from Amber and Jimmy: strap everything down. And remember with a bus, you metal walls and ceiling, so you can use magnets to hang things like curtains really easily.

This “Alpha” Tiny House Will Change the Way You Look at Micro Homes

Video Source: Tiny House Listings

David Latimer of New Frontier Tiny Homes Has gone all out to design the tiny house that anybody could love. He calls it the Alpha Tiny House.

Watch this video and see all the amazing extras he has fit in. The tour starts with something very unique – a portable porch that folds down, and then doubles as protection for the large glass back door when you’re on the road.

The front door is even bigger than the back — a large sliding glass door that let’s in lots of light and air. And since the two glass doors are right across from each other, you have a sensation of endless space (as if it’s moving into the outdoors).

Related Article: Woman Creates Sustainable Business and Tiny House Paradise with Private Hot Springs and Geodesic Dome


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The kitchen is huge in tiny home terms and feels even bigger because the cabinet storage tucks up or drops down, depending on your needs. Plus custom knobs, lock with the touch of a finger so that you can drive down the road without your cabinets flying open.

Kitchen Drop Down Cabinets

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Next to the kitchen is a huge, beautiful wood table with two long wooden benches for entertaining. All of them doubling as storage units, of course.

Related Article: Spacious Feeling, Colorful Tiny House with Unique Curved Staircase Built for Just $21,000


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The bathroom is just as amazing. It comes equipped with a full size Jacuzzi tub and shower, the best kind of composting toilet available and a washer/dryer combo.


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Jacuzzi Full Size Tub

A stowaway, library ladder allows you to reach the loft without taking up space on the main floor when you’re not in bed.

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This is not only a house that you could live in comfortably, but one where you could entertain effortlessly – especially on warm summer nights when you could open the front and back glass doors and sit on the fold down porch.


If You Love Natural Wood, You’ll Love This Stunning Eco Tiny House

Video Source: Living Big In A Tiny House

By Bryce Langston | Living Big In A Tiny House

This tiny house is a true head turner. Made from natural, eco friendly materials and built by Tofino couple Alan and Venita entirely as a DIY project, this impressive home is filled with very clever design elements.

The exterior is clad in a mixture of weatherboards and cedar shingles which give the home a warm cabin aesthetic. Fortunately, the couple were able to find an ideal parking spot for the tiny house which had existing hook-ups for power, water and sewage already in place for RV parking.

Related Article: Check Out the ‘Tree Masters’ Latest Tiny House Among the Leaves

As we step inside this home it’s hard not to be impressed by the simple, yet beautiful and functional design. The house feels open and light, while all the timber used brings an undeniable warmth to the space. Wherever possible, this home has used natural, non-toxic materials, including natural oils and finishes and sheep’s wool insulation to keep the tiny house nice and warm in the winter.

The living room is designed as a place to relax, with a good sized L shape couch, yet also has the ability to transform into both a workspace and a music studio where Alan is able to spend hours composing.

The kitchen is elegantly constructed. The impressive hardwood counter becomes a striking feature in the tiny kitchen while simple crates below are used for food storage. Shallow shelf storage is utilised for additional food stuffs.

On the other side, a small dining table serves as a wonderful place for the couple to share meals together. This has cleverly been incorporated into the design of the stairs which adds functionality as well as additional storage.

The stairs lead into a sleeping loft. Windows on either side provide essential cross ventilation. The lofts design is simple yet comfortable providing a safe and cosy place to rest your heat at night.

Over the other side of the home, a storage loft has been transformed into a beautiful and relaxing meditation space. This is a small corner of the home where Alan or Venita can enjoy a few quiet moments.

Related Article: This Small (But Tall) Forest Cabin Was Built From Salvaged Materials for Only $800

This home is an exceptional DIY build project. Fortunately, Alan and Venita have blogged about much of the construction process. You can read more about this tiny house in the couples blog, Tofino Tiny Home.

I’m a film-maker with a passion for small space design, permaculture, and downsized, eco-friendly living. Join me on my travels as I meet people from all over the globe who are living big lives in wonderful tiny houses!

Read more great articles at Living Big In A Tiny House.

Impressive Tiny House Has Extra Tall Bedroom

Video Source: Nelson Tiny Houses

By Kimberley Mok | Treehugger

Smaller homes run a whole gamut of creativity: from hand-built earthen geodesic domes to the current plethora of interesting tiny homes that are emerging beyond the early Tumbleweed days. Nelson Tiny Houses, a builder based in British Columbia, created this impressive 380-square-foot dwelling using a fifth-wheel utility trailer as a base. The resulting design boasts a great layout: a comfortable sitting area, guest loft and a loft-less bedroom that feels like a room in its own right. Seth Reidy of Nelson Tiny Houses gives a tour of this home, now nestled in the mountains somewhere.

Related Article: Watch As This Filmmaker Converts His 14 Ft Van Into A Traveling Home [Video]

Nelson Tiny Houses

Dubbed the V House, the approximately 38′ by 9′ solar-powered home features an extra-wide deck and front door that opens into the sitting area. Thanks to a neat, transforming design involving mobile seating units and a folding bamboo table that can expand and become suspended from the ceiling with a cable, this area is made into a multipurpose space (dining, workspace and even guest bed). Above the sitting area is the spare bedroom loft.

Nelson Tiny Houses

The home is heated with Hobbit wood stove with a fresh air intake, and also has a heat pump installed in the kitchen. The kitchen is large, with lots of counter space, a full-sized sink, oven, refrigerator, and pantry. Sliding doors on both ends of the adjoining bathroom save space.

Related Article: This New Tiny Home Design Makes a Big Splash at Canadian Home Show

Nelson Tiny Houses

The bathroom is quite luxurious; a huge picture window is placed over a big bathtub (oh yes), and is accented by iridescent tiles. There’s a hookup to a septic tank onsite, so the client opted for a flush toilet.



Hit the Road: Check Out This Brilliant Van Conversion That Even Comes with a Shower!

Video Source: Dylan Magaster 

After establishing careers Joe and Emilie decided that they needed a new adventure and decided to convert a Mercedes Sprinter van into a tiny home on wheels. Now they are living their dream life full of adventure.

It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. This former professional couple, saved for years to make their road dream possible.

Check out the smart, unique way they converted their van. They even have a workable shower!!

Related Posts: 

Tiny House Must-See – Couple Converts a School Bus So Well You Won’t Believe It’s a Bus 

Wood Builder Converts Caravan Into Unique Tiny Home In Just 10 Days for $1000

Curious About Van Life? New Colorado Company Rents Out Stylish Conversions

Young Couple Makes a MUST SEE DYI Tiny Home with Salvaged Materials and for Just 17K

Video Source: Living Big In A Tiny House

By Bryce Langston | Living Big In A Tiny House

Built for only US$17,000 this young couple’s tiny house is certainly an incredible achievement. The home, constructed by Asheville, NC couple David and Catherine, was built mostly using reclaimed or recycled materials and is filled with clever design elements to truly make the home their own.

An ideal parking space for the tiny house on wheels has been created in the yard of a home in a quiet neighbourhood and the couple have spent time creating an outdoor area to relax and expand the living space of the house while also building gardens to grow some food.

When entering the home, it quickly feels like you’re being drawn into a kind of fairytale cottage in the woods. The eclectic mix of reclaimed materials used in the house’s construction gives it a certain whimsical feeling yet all blend together to create a welcoming home.

Related Article: This 40ft Long Tiny House Is a Mansion on Wheels: Check It Out!

Priority in the tiny house was a comfortable couch where the couple can relax at the end of a days work. The couple felt that the house couldn’t be a home unless there was a large enough area to be able to properly recline and melt into.

The lounge area boasts a 40ft television monitor which is hooked up to the couple’s computer allowing David to also get some of his work done from the couch. A wood stove keeps the couple warm in the cool North Carolina winters.

A fully functional kitchen was essential for the couple who scarcely eat out and prepare the vast majority of their meals at home. Full sized appliances are used in the kitchen which has been built in a U shape allowing the pair to comfortably work side by side preparing meals (although Catherine admits it’s mostly David who is the chef).

While a large couch was David’s priority in the home, Catherine’s great desire was a bath tub. The bathroom design was cleverly worked around the addition of the tub. A composting toilet and basin which was lovingly crafted from a bowl given as a wedding present to the couple completes the space.

Upstairs, access to the loft areas is cleverly provided by a walk-way which runs above the living room couch. This enables both loft areas to be easily entered and therefore means they are more commonly used.

The sleeping loft provides a welcoming retreat and snug place for the couple to retire at night. Simple shelves and boxes provide ample storage for all their clothes.

Related Article: Man Makes a Super Chic Tiny Home Out of a Shipping Container for Under $20,000

Across the way, the second loft area is used as an office and reading nook, while also functioning as a guest sleeping space when needed. Here, the couple also managed to find a great place to store their collection of books.

The home was built by this inspiring and creative couple while they were still finishing their studies. After graduation, the couple decided to move to Asheville and were able to bring their home to the new city with them, a testament to the flexibility that tiny house living offers. For David and Catherine, living in a tiny house means having freedom. Freedom from debt and the ability to concentrate on the things in life that really matter, like spending quality time together and pursuing their hobbies.

I’m a film-maker with a passion for small space design, permaculture, and downsized, eco-friendly living. Join me on my travels as I meet people who are living big lives in wonderful small spaces and follow along as I build my very own Tiny House on wheels.

Read more great articles at Living Big In A Tiny House.

Check Out this Tiny Home with a Sleek, Modern Look and Retractable Bed

By Kimberley Mok | Treehugger

The placement of the bed has always been a bit contentious in tiny house circles. Do you build a sleeping loft to free up more ground floor space, even if you have to climb a ladder and bang your head when you wake up? Or do you build a platform and roll a trundle bed underneath it, even if it means having to tuck it away every morning?

Well, Australia’s The Tiny House Company has another solution: put it on mechanical tracks and make it retractable all the way up to the ceiling. It’s a brilliant move, capping off what’s probably one of our most favourite modern tiny house designs. Watch a tour (or, if you want to cut to the chase around the 1-minute mark):

The Tiny House Company

The Tiny House Company

The 194-square-foot Portal is elegantly designed to maximize the full height of the interior space throughout: during the day, when the bed is elevated, you get a 8.5-foot-tall lounging area; at night, with the bed deployed, you have a 11.4-foot-tall bedroom. The space is warmed up by the use of recycled Australian hardwoods, and is all tied together by a grid of fin-like “portals” that also define the built-in shelving. Placement of windows are doors are carefully considered, to ensure that one’s eye goes through to the outdoors, lending an impression of light and spaciousness, while also facilitating improved cross-ventilation.

The Tiny House Company

The Tiny House Company

The Tiny House Company

The designers say:

With almost everything visible from the one living space, establishing clear patterns and aesthetic rhythms helps to organise the space — de-cluttered and ordered views tend to feel bigger. The central space and deck are all organised around a 900mm grid which dictates the placement of exposed LVL frames, kitchen cabinets, doors and windows.

The joists, posts and rafters of the deck line up with the grid of internal portal frames. Windows fit seamlessly between the portals and detailing is painstakingly carried throughout with the portal frames, window jambs, joists and deck posts all matching in width, location and proportion.

The Tiny House Company

The kitchen extends half of the length of the home. The alignment of windows with the counter creates the feeling of an open, ordered space. Across from the kitchen counter is a narrower counter that incorporates a small sink and the washer, and it apparently also hides a flip-up table — perfect for a workspace.

The Tiny House Company

The Tiny House Company

The Tiny House Company

The Tiny House Company

There is yet another loft on the other side of the house, which can either be a space for storage, or as a guest bedroom.

The Tiny House Company

Located under the loft is the 6.8-foot-tall bathroom, which comes with a composting toilet and tiled shower. Grey- and blackwater are treated in-house using filters and grease traps, producing water that can be released back into the surrounding landscape.

The Tiny House Company


18 Year Old Student With No Construction Experience Builds Tiny Home for Under $20,000

Video Source: Living Big In A Tiny House

Gabriella Grace of Wellington New Zealand was only 18 years old when she decided take on an unusual school project to design and build her very own tiny home. She had no real construction experience, nor did her dad who she recruited to help her, but together, they created the lovely tiny home she currently lives in (and owns outright).

Not hiring any one to do any of the labor, and using lots of used materials, allowed Gabriella to create her 16 square meter (172’)  home for just $26,000 New Zealand (about $17,000 US at the time of construction).

Now, thanks to a nice patron who has allowed her to “park” her home in a really sweet spot, Gabriella has a million dollar ocean view and lives just a 12 minute drive from the city center.

She admits that her place is not fully finished – especially the bathroom that currently uses a porta-potty and her fridge-less kitchen (which she claims to like because she’s so close to everything, she can just get fresh food every day). And her smoke detector still needs to be connected.

But she does have a couple special features that few tiny homes have – glowing florescent floor lights and a built in stereo system that allow her to turn her little home into a mini-dance party space in an instant.

With her project, Gabriella has shown that anyone can create a home for themselves for under $20K, even if they have no experience. And if they can find the right place to put it, they may get a view that is grander than that of homes that cost 20 to 50 times as much.

About the Author

Vicki Howie is Co-Editor of Conscious Life News, the Creator of Chakra Boosters Healing Tattoos™ and the Host of the free, weekly Conscious Life Awakened Speaker Series (CLASS). She’s also an intuitive empath, certified hypnotherapist, life coach and the co-creator of the contemporary healing album Chakra Love. Get your complimentary copy of Vicki’s Introductory Chakra Course here and access over 170 free videos here onher youtube channel.

This Alaskan Woman Built A Phenomenal Tiny Home – And Is Giving Away The Plans For FREE!

Video Source: Ana White

By Amanda Froelich | True Activist

Tiny homes are all the rage nowadays, and for good reason! Not only are they less expensive than most houses, they have been designed to intelligently utilize space – an incredibly neat feature. In addition, some tiny homes – like the one below – are transportable

Fortunately, as more and more people develop plans for their own tiny homes, the innovative abodes are becoming easier to invest in and construct. One you might be interested in follows.

TreeHugger shares that a woman named Ana White, who is best known for her DIY blog that offers free plans for building furniture, created her own tiny home in a remote area in Alaska with her husband. Now, the gracious duo is giving away the plans for FREE!

Credit: Ana White

Credit: Ana White

The abode, referred to as The Quartz, is built on a 24-foot long and 8.5-foot wide PJ Super Wide Channel B6 trailer. There is no hookup for water, but that’s reportedly common due to the extreme temperatures in Alaska. Such allows for easier maintenance.

Credit: Ana White

Because there is no running water, there is no bathroom. However, the home is not the family’s primary residence. It exists as a temporary space to live in while they work on another building structure nearby. An alternative plan will soon be offered for those who want to construct the tiny house and include extra amenities.

Credit: Ana White

The interior is simple and uncluttered. The main sitting area features a great trundle sofa-bed storage combo that rolls out from under another bed on a platform.

Credit: Ana White

Credit: Ana White

The rungs on the shelving double as a ladder going up to the loft.

The interior is simple and uncluttered. The main sitting area features a great trundle sofa-bed storage combo that rolls out from under another bed on a platform.

The kitchen, as well, is simple but functional. A counter can be transformed into a full-size dining table (or work table), and the cabinets cost about $200 to make. Wood panels cover the double sink to allow for more counter space.

Credit: Ana White

Credit: Ana White

Credit: Ana White

Credit: Ana White

Credit: Ana White

The Alaskan blogger’s story is pretty inspiring. Like many people, Ana never saw herself living in  a tiny home, but necessity required her and her husband to get creative and craft their own home and furniture. Now, she inspires thousands with her blog which has thousands of projects.

Now that her offerings have gained widespread traction, she can support her family with the online resource, a book she intends to publish, and a pilot show on television.

The intriguing blogger explains why she wants to give the plans away for free:

I needed to be able to provide plans for free so women could look at it and it would create confidence in them that ‘I can build this’. I knew that for me, as a mom with a single income, a really limited income, at home all day, it needed to be free because I myself couldn’t have afforded to pay $10 a plan.”

Credit: Ana White

The Quartz may not be for everyone, but it’s a functional tiny home which could house those who are pleased with a simple accommodation. Plus, the plans are FREE. Be sure to check those out by visiting Ana’s blog. 

What are your thoughts?Please comment below and share this news!

This article (This Alaskan Woman Built A Phenomenal Tiny Home – And Is Giving Away The Plans For FREE!) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Read more great articles at True Activist.

Can You Build a Home for Under $500? This Man Did!

| Gizmag

Brooks didn't keep an exact tally of costs but estimates it as "well below" the $500 mark (Photo: Scott Brooks/Brendan McGarry Photography)

Brooks didn’t keep an exact tally of costs but estimates it as “well below” the $500 mark (Photo: Scott Brooks/Brendan McGarry Photography)

The tiny living community is filled with enthusiasts who think outside the box in a bid to turn what’s essentially a shed into a viable home at minimal cost. Pacific Northwest resident Scott Brooks offers a great example of what can be achieved with a shoestring budget under the right circumstances, with the recently-completed Transforming Tiny Home, which was built for an estimated cost of under US$500.

Until now, the cheapest tiny house project we’d reported on was the $489 conversion of a storehouse by two college students. Though he didn’t keep an exact tally, Brooks estimates his home as coming in at “well below” $500. Like the storehouse conversion, this was largely made possible thanks to the use of salvaged and gifted items, which in this case included skylights, a door, a window and a wood-burning stove.

The Transforming Tiny Home measures just 7.7 sq m (83 sq ft), and isn’t designed to be easily movable. It sits atop concrete blocks in a large 8.1-hectare (20-acre) plot of rural land in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The land is owned by Brooks’ friend, who designed the basic shell of the tiny house to use materials he already had lying around, and Brooks and a few more friends then built it.

read rest of the article here

Brilliant Off-Grid 161 Sq. Ft. Tiny Home Built For Less than $14K (Video)

Source: Living Big In A Tiny House

In this super cool video, Living Big In A Tiny House host Bryce Langston and tiny home owner Brett Sutherland take us inside Brett’s amazing little 15 square metre (161 square feet) jewel, which Brett designed and built himself. Packed with unique, space saving design elements, Brett has created a fantastic space to both live and work.

Perhaps best of all, this was all achieved on a budget of NZ$21,000 (US $13,800). The Tiny House was constructed on his parents property, and will soon be moved to a friends property in Bethells Beach in Auckland.

This modern tiny house is filled with treasures obtained over a lifetime of adventure, and may just be the ultimate bachelor pad.

Is this the Tiniest Tiny Home Ever? Man Lives Rent Free in Cozy $950 Dwelling

By Kimberley Mok (@kimberleymok)

Video screen capture Rob Greenfield

Video screen capture Rob Greenfield

Big changes, one step at a time

Simplifying one’s life is not necessarily a drastic task, possible for only the most extreme or audacious of people. San Diego-based activist Rob Greenfield, known for his cross-country cycling campaigns to end food waste, believes that changing one’s life and reducing one’s environmental impact takes small, gradual steps that build upon each other. He documents his remarkable transformation from a “drunk dude to a dude making a difference,” his recent financial vows to work for the good of the planet, rather than for just money. His journey for a more simpler, but more impactful life has led him to live in a second-hand tiny home, rent-free in someone else’s backyard that he is cultivating in exchange. See Greenfield give a video tour of his place:

Purchased for $950 off Craigslist, Greenfield’s 50-square-foot tiny home is ultra-teeny compared to many tiny homes we’ve seen. He is living completely off-grid and almost zero-waste, using solar panels, composting toilet, natural refrigeration, and a rocket stove for cooking, harvesting filtered rainwater for his needs, taking dips in the nearby ocean for hygiene (he’s gone showerless for the last two years). From his tiny urban homestead, he can see the ocean.


Video screen capture Rob Greenfield

In the mild climate of San Diego, Greenfield is able to spend much of his time outdoors, working the garden and building things. For his media work (he donates up to 90 percent of profits to worthy non-profits), he goes to libraries and cafes for an Internet connection. He outlines all the things he has done for his Teeny Greeny tiny homestead in this FAQ.


Couple Converts Van, Makes Full-Time Mobile Living a Reality (Video)

By Kimberley Mok | TreeHugger

Is life about attaining financial security — potentially giving up one’s passions in exchange for a stable job — or is it about taking risks to live the life you really want to live or never even imagined possible before? These are the questions that Canadian couple Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives asked themselves before quitting their jobs, selling their house and embarking on a two-year-long journey in a converted van that has brought them to various places all over Canada and the United States. In the process, they’ve learned that life is not about stuff, but unforgettable experiences. Here’s a recent video of the pair by Kirsten Dirksen of Fair Companies:

Video Source: Kirsten Dirksen

YouTube video description:

Mat and Danielle spent their first date bonding over Lloyd Kahn’s book “Home Work” and discussing their ideas for simplifying their lives. They became a couple, but “somewhere along the way, we ended up doing the exact opposite of what we wanted,” explains Danielle on their blog.

“Instead of simplifying, we bought a house and spent months hauling furniture, paint and knick knacks into it to surround ourselves with stuff that we liked.  Our bills went up so we got better jobs, started working more, and eventually all we did was work during the day and watch Netflix every night because we were too exhausted to do anything else.”

“Mat was the first to suggest making a change because he found our lifestyle stressful, but I resisted at first.  I was really caught up in the idea of owning my own place, maybe starting a family one day and planning for an amazing retirement.  I was also excited that I had a new full time job with benefits and that we were financially stable.  Eventually I realized that all I was doing was working and I didn’t even like my job anymore.  We decided that we should do something crazy: sell our house, quit our jobs and travel the world.”

Today, Mat and Danielle are living full-time in a converted van. Their back seat folds down into a bed. Their kitchen is a cooler plus camping stove. Their bathroom includes a solar camping shower and a plastic bottle toilet (with funnel).