The Tiny House Movement is about living with less, getting rid of the excess and enjoying a more simple, less burdened lifestyle.
It is a re-evaluation of life that is finding ever growing support in New Zealand.
In response to that growth, several local companies have sprung to life who offer a tiny home solution.
You can purchase a tiny home as a complete turn-key build or as an empty shell ready for a DIY fit-out.
It can be a kitset or a fully designed, bespoke space. It can be on wheels and therefore mobile.
A tiny home can also be an affordable option for a holiday home, elderly parent home or a guest home. At the Timaru Home and Lifestyle Show you can get the run-down on the latest Tiny Home Show trends in NZ.
Some NZ firms that produce cool tiny houses: https://www.mihaus.co.nz/ http://www.love-shack.co.nz/ http://www.absolutetinyhouses.co.nz/
Life without plastic! It’s a shock to realise that every piece of plastic ever created is still here on the planet causing damage to our natural world.
It was invented in 1907 but it wasn’t until after World War 1 that improvements in chemical technology led to an explosion in new forms of plastics with mass production beginning in the 1940s and 1950s.
Plastic was considered a wonder material as it was cheap and brilliantly robust - so robust unfortunately it is virtually nondegradable.
However, a huge tide of global interest in reducing our use and dependence on plastics has seen much needed change but there is still a long way to go.
Many people are wanting to become as plastic free as they can but struggle to find non-plastic alternatives.
Most supermarkets in NZ no longer provide single use plastic bags and the NZ Government is to phase out all single-use plastic bags in 2019. Here are some tips for becoming plastic free at home.
At the supermarket … Take reusable cloth bags instead of plastic bags.
Opt for fruit and vegetables without wrapping, and if you can, choose products with less packaging.
If you get fresh meat from a butcher they can usually wrap it in paper, which is biodegrabeable. At the supermarket you might get fresh meat or fish wrapped in tin foil. You can wash and reuse the tinfoil e.g. as a cover for leftover dishes of food.
At home … Swap tissues for a handkerchief.
Use cotton facecloths instead of disposable wipes.
Use newspaper to collect food scraps or an unlined bucket and simply wash it more often.
Instead of plastic wrap use wraps coated in beeswax such as those from Bee Wrapt. If you find they crack under cold temperatures in the fridge, adding jojoba oil makes them more supple. Available in various colours and designs, Bee wraps don’t just reduce waste but perform much, much better than their plastic counterparts. There is no build-up of condensation so food doesn’t sweat but can breathe instead.
Never drink bottled water.
Buying bottled water in New Zealand is absurd, especially when you consider that bottled water is less regulated than tap water; it’s usually just filtered tap water; it’s very expensive; and it results in unnecessary plastic waste that’s usually not recycled.
Carry a reusable water bottle and travel mug wherever you go.
Pack your lunch in glass, stainless steel, cloth sandwich bags, a wooden Bento box, etc.
Let baking soda and vinegar become your new best friends. Baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean, scour, and disinfect the house and wash dishes, replacing plastic cleaning bottles.
Use natural cloths instead of plastic scrubbers.
If you need something with scrubbing power, go for copper instead of plastic.
Use a cotton dishcloth or a coconut coir brush for dishes, instead of a plastic scrub brush.
Don’t underestimate the versatility of old rags!
Glass or plastic bottles can often be refilled or repurposed.
Keep your laundry routine plastic-free Use soap flakes instead of conventional laundry detergents that come in plastic-lined cardboard with plastic scoops or thick plastic jugs. Along the same lines, use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap. Bar soap works as a good shaving cream alternative, too.
Water is life and we are getting more and more conscious of using it wisely. In the bathroom a leaky tap could be wasting a staggering 2000 litres of water every month. And that’s costing you money as well. Ready to use less water in your bathroom? Here’s how to get started: 1. Shorten your showers Luxurious long showers are big water wasters. Every minute you spend showering uses around seven litres of water. That adds up after 3, 4 or 5 showers a day in the family! Make a game of it and see who can stay under 3 minutes per shower. 2. Stop the drip Check all your taps for leaks and drips, including outdoor taps and showerheads, then fix them or call in a plumber asap. Avoid drips by turning the taps off tightly every time. 3. Turn off the taps Get into the habit of turning the tap off every time while you brush your teeth, and remind the kids if they forget. In the kitchen, plug the sink or fill a bowl with water to wash veggies or rinse dishes, rather than leaving the water flowing. 4. Water-saving gadgets If you’re renovating or adding a new bathroom, think about a dual flush or low flow toilet to help reduce your water use. 5. Collect rain water runoff from your roof to use on your garden This water won’t be suitable for drinking, but it’s perfect for keeping your plants well hydrated.