Tiny home living creates less waste

Tiny House Living – Clean and authentic lifestyle that feels true to my heart!

This morning Facebook reminded me that five years ago (September 2017) I made many changes that brought me to tiny house living. 2016 was the year of change – the year to own my beliefs, the year for me to finally be me! 

I got divorced, sold my “big house” and put money down on my future “Tootling Tranquility” tiny house on wheels. I hired Tumbleweed Tiny House Company to build her after looking at RVs which I felt were not going to last long. These RVs were not always 4 seasons dwellings plus they are filled with plastics! A friend suggested looking at tiny homes so I scouted them out and talked to each manufacturer I could find. In the end, Tumbleweed Tiny Homes had the most years of experience, they built “green” and are RVIA certified.  

Living A Greener Way

A Green lifestyle is important to me as my new transformation and journey are all about living with a smaller, cleaner footprint. I used to be a scuba diver and have traveled to several 3rd world countries where unfortunately they didn’t have the resources to keep their oceans clean! I have been to the Grand Canyon and witnessed a tour bus stopping and cigarettes being thrown over the edge of the canyon. Life is not perfect and can be challenging to change. But I am committed to doing what I possibly can to being clean with diet and lifestyle, and to share with others as I can through coaching and video. 

I had already started the transformation of a “clean diet”. This means without boxes and extra packaging for processed food. It was about food that was whole foods and not filled with preservatives and chemicals. Food that I could recognize in its original state was not changed by GMOs. Food that after consumed, did not leave a ton of garbage in the trash. 

Designing a Tiny Home for My Greener Lifestyle

When I hired Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, I chose the Elm 26’ Equator model. With a front porch for muddy footprints to be wiped off of my dogs out of the snow and rain, I could imagine myself sitting on my porch and playing guitar overlooking the amazing scenery which I would visit. Despite having no musical talent in the past, I was ready for my new transformation to the new me! The Tumbleweeds design team would allow me to do what I wanted inside but the outside had to stay looking like an Elm – Equator. 

As food is my passion, I designed my kitchen to be as “large” as possible, with the storage all being in glass mason jars with a stainless steel countertop, a large sink, and room for my juicer, dehydrator, food processor, and other kitchen necessities. I had purged most, but I would not purge what I needed to make amazing food creations that supported strength and mental health! 

There were many changes, and I will share them in the future, but this blog is about “mother earth” and my commitment to living small. I looked at using solar for the home’s power source but for medical reasons, I needed to always have 50-amp electrical service. I also needed 4 seasons living as I was headed to the high country of Colorado and beyond. 

Composting As Part of Tiny Home Living

I was a bit nervous about the composting toilet thing as part of my tiny home living, but I went for it. I already composted all my vegetable trash while living in an apartment I shared with local farmers who already appreciated the compost. Five years later, I have the off-colored joke, “it’s going to be a Sh***y day” when I need to change the composting toilet. It’s not bad, doesn’t smell, and is a good excuse to do a thorough house clean. With health coaching, I specialized in the Gut Microbiome, so I am all about good bacteria and “POOP” our soil is just like our microbiome. This may be the lead-in for another blog post, ha-ha. 

Keeping it Clean in the Tiny House Kitchen

My large sink and smaller hot water heater use less water by filling and doing all my dishes.  I really wish I had done hot water on demand but, lessons are learned. There are a couple of things that I would have changed with the design but for the most part I love living small in Tootling Tranquility. I use only soaps & detergents (plant-based) that are safe for the environment. This means I only have grey water that is still safe as it is put down the sewer

I don’t want the chemicals on me much less in the water that eventually comes back to our ground. I use products like #Tru-Earth, a laundry detergent that is in strips packaged in recyclable cardboard. There are no plastic jugs. I wear my clothes more than once unless it’s dirty to save on water.  Bulk ordering fish from #WildAlaskianCompany that is packaged in biodegradable foam (plant food) and recylclable cardboard minimizes my trips by 30 miles to the “big city” – saving fuel.

Reducing My Trash

Over the years, I will bring my one bag of trash down to the dumpster per week. I recycle bottles, plastic, and cardboard as I can. I purge clothing and other items with people that could use or to the secondhand store.

“What really drives me nuts are the dumpsters filled with plastic bags that you can see through where people are not recycling.”

I know recycling is not perfect, but people don’t even try! The dumpster is filled with waste, plastic, cardboard, Styrofoam food containers, bottles, and construction debris. Not only is this costly to empty, but it is a CRIME for the earth. I was physically hurt to see this. I can only do my part as a good human to make sure I am doing the best I can. 

I used to live in an area that was much more environmentally aware. Now I live in an area that is unbelievably beautiful. Most of the year, people from all over the country come to this part of Colorado to enjoy the beauty (tourism). It saddens me to read posts by groups for RV Full Timers on Facebook that convenience (paper plates, forks etc.) TRUMPS being a good steward of “Mother Earth” and our environment. Therefore, our dumpster looks like this! 

How I Try to Be The Change

Does anyone remember Iron Eyes Cody, the ad campaign in 1970 Keep America Beautiful? WOW! This one commercial had a lasting effect on me as well as Earth Day celebrations. I was too young to take part, but it did affect me to this day!  This is why I live tiny; I try to pick up trash when I see it on the ground where it doesn’t belong. I eat cleanly. Unfortunately, with companies still over-packaging the goods that I order, I do try to recycle all that I can. 

With my Health Coaching, I try to educate the importance of WHOLE foods and living simply. With Video Productions I film with GoPro 8, 9, and 10. When I am in the backcountry, I am careful to watch where I am stepping. I want to preserve the natural beauty that I get to share. I am grateful for the environment in which I live and work and try to do my part to protect. While doing what I can as a good human to not only share with others how they can minimize their footprint,  I also look forward to learning how others are minimizing theirs. 

What the Future Holds

Climate change is real. The past four years living in the beautiful San Juan mountains have shown the effect of climate change. Summer droughts, wicked monsoon seasons, record summer heat, and less winter snow, I wonder where it will be in another 5 years?

Being authentic does not mean being perfect. It is just getting back to your core beliefs and values when you find yourself off-kilter. Learning how to get back is the key! Maybe tiny house living is in your future?

Please share how you try to minimize your impact on mother earth in the comments below. 

Blessing and Peace to you all.

Katrina Toucke

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