Many Americans like to live large – especially when it comes to our homes. But larger homes typically use more resources and more energy, creating a larger carbon footprint.


That bothered Dee Williams, co-owner of Portland Alternative Development in Oregon. In 2004, she sold her three-bedroom house and built a tiny home on wheels, one-fifth the size of a typical mobile home. Size matters, but for Williams, social and environmental concerns mattered more.

Williams: “You know, when I built my house, it was so I could be a little more in step with what I had in my heart as a person who loved my natural environment and believed in social justice.”

Her new home cost just $10,000 to build. Monthly utilities are nine bucks. Williams parks her house in a friend’s backyard and showers elsewhere. Without even basic plumbing, her house is an extreme example from the micro-housing movement, which does not usually require giving up running water.

Although many tiny homes are only two hundred square feet, most include a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping, and living space, providing comfort while protecting the earth.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Dee Williams’ house – 84 sq ft of living space (source: Youtube video screenshot).

More Resources
Inside the tiny house movement: How one woman downsized her life to just 84 square feet
Square Feet: 84. Possessions: 305
TINY: A Story About Living Small (video)

Topics: Energy, Jobs & Economy