Living in a green house
The energetic transition and the change of our economic model are international issues. But these challenges concern also each person in its way of consuming. Everybody is involved and to do this, we must first change our way of live.
Nowadays, people couldn’t continue living similarly as they always did : we consume too much energy, we live away from our job so we have to use the car, and the house is generally built with materials that doesn’t respect the environment or are dangerous for the health.
In order to understand that alternatives exist, we can talk about two innovative ways houses are being built. Theses eco-friendly houses are proof that we can be environmentally responsible without giving up comfort.
First, we will present the tiny house which is a small home made of wood and mounted on wheels like a camper van. The design meets three standards : an efficient use of space, a low price, and an environmentally responsible design. Indeed, tiny houses take financial and environmental concerns into account.
The tiny house movement began in America a few years ago, in reaction to the economic situation, and concerned mainly people whom couldn’t afford to live in an expansive, traditional house. Most part of Americans, use one third of their income to pay the roof over their head, and then they have to work the rest of their lives just to pay these loans. At least we can say that Americans live in dream house. Nevetheless tiny houses, can meet people needs with not such big investments . In France, the price of such a house is more or less thirty thousand euros.
Regarding environmental concerns, tiny houses are made of materials which are recycled or environmentally responsible like wood, and generally, they used renewable energy (solar panels for example).
Another important dimension is the social dimension : lots of tiny houses residents testified that this way of living satisfied their desire for more time and freedom. In practice, you return to a simpler life. You can go on holiday with your home or stop worrying about repaying the loan you took out, for example. The tiny house has the advantage of adapting itself to your needs, because each one of them is different and unique.
In addition, everybody can build these houses with tutorials online and doesn’t need a building permit or an architect. Should you build your own tiny house, the price could be as low to fifteen thousand euros. The opportunity to build your own home is also a feature of the other type of house that we will present : the earthship.
An earthship is a type of passive (and active) solar house made of natural and upcycled materials, such as truck tires and glass bottles. The Earthship concept began in the 1970’s with the architect Michael Reynolds who wanted to build a self-sufficient home.
It addresses human needs : solar heating and cooling, a solar and wind-powered electrical grid, food and water production, contained sewage treatment and it’s built from eco-responsible materials. For example, the sun lets users heat water for their shower, produce electricity with solar panels and sustain a greenhouse that produces it’s own fruit and vegetables.
Also, its design respects the environment because it is built inside a hill in order to keep the warmth, using the earth around it as a wall, all without breaking the harmony of the landscape. This last element is highly important when we look at the increasing density of cities and their propensity to expand.
In conclusion, with imagination and innovation, we can live differently. The problem does not come from an absence of ideas or a lack of technology : if something must be questioned, it is our culture and what it values most .