Posts Tagged With: climate

An Environmental Wonder!

Here are some stats on why tiny houses are fantastic energy savers.  What this does not take into account is the HUGE reduction in additional building materials (outside of lumber) and the huge reduction in STUFF needed to fill the house.

I don’t cool THO and will being next year in burning wood scraps in my mini 12.  Because I was not there this year I cannot do the carbon footprint for 2014, but in 2013 it was 1.1 carbon tons – however with 10 acres of untouched forest we contribute back far more than we could ever use even with having two houses.  Our forest, I estimate covers the foot print for 10 normal homes plus our own footprint.

Thanks to Tiny House Build for creating this info graphic

Thanks to Tiny House Build for creating this info graphic

Categories: Environmentalism, Erazim Kohák, Forest | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tiny r(E)volution and the Giant Hoax

Tiny me has the pleasure of being interviewed by the charming and hilarious Drew (Andrew Odom) and my wonderful and inspiring twin Laura (LaVoie) of Tiny r(E)evolution.  Their funny and vastly entertaining Episode 37 interview with yours truly is here.

The unanswered question after the interview… is it too wild to live there full time?  Made me laugh a little (okay… a lot).

It is not all the fault of our American friends that this “WILD UNTOUCHED FREEZING NATION” is the understanding you have of Canada.  It is in movies, TV, books and truthfully from a Canadian perspective we like to emulate that we are all Bob McKenzie’s living in igloos to our American neighbours.  We can’t help ourselves!  We find it funny to keep this joke running.  So I vacillate between answering truthfully or taking the Canadian stance and to pull your legs.

Not that Canadians are liars, but we do enjoy telling a fish tale and afterward giggling… I am no exception.

So there are two equally good response questions…

1. Do I have to build THO a customary igloo covering in order to protect it from the elements and use sled dogs to get around 10 months of the year?


2. Do I live less than 50 km from the US border and have the same weather as New York?

I won’t answer rather I will show you the map of weather zones (for planting) and let you know that THO sits in the yellow zone that is right above Lake Ontario.

Planting zones in North America

The map will tell you that at THO we can expect similar winters to people who live in parts of Kansas and New Mexico.  It can also expect easier winters than those who live in North Dakota and significantly better than Minnesota.  We really don’t experience very hard winters in the most populated areas of Canada.  In fact, is is not until you get North of the 60’th parallel… beyond the tree line… where actually people once did (a hundred years ago) live in igloos.

This said, if you want to sleep in an ice house, in Montreal they build an ice hotel in the winter and you can rent a room there if this is your kind of thing.

THO is roughly 25 km (15 miles) of paved roads from Kingston.  The city itself has a population of 125,000 people.  Kingston is a foodie town with lots of creative people and amenities.  It is also the home of the Ivy League, Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College which makes it a very vibrant intellectually rich city for it’s size.  It has a lot of tourism not just because it is pretty, but because it sits at the Thousand Islands and the tri-county region is not only the home of these islands it also has over 1000 lakes so there are cottages everywhere.  It is also where the Rideau Canal starts and goes up to Ottawa.

I invite you to visit the city and partake of its culture and sites.


Honestly, there is nothing dangerous that is keeping me from living in THO… it is just a matter of having the money to install a well, a pump, getting running water going, having regular heat, a septic bed to put waste water in and of course, a shed to store my igloo building kit in.

I am getting there a little at a time.  For now… I stay there a lot of the year and paint the town.


Thank you Drew and Laura for having me on!  It was a pleasure and an honour to speak with both of you.  I hope you will get up for a visit sometime!  Don’t forget to pack your snow suit!

Categories: Kingston, Ontario, Tiny House Ontario, View, Winter | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

Super Green

This year is so very different from last summer.  Already by this time in 2012 we were starting into a despairingly long and dreadful drought.  This year there is ample water and the forest is coming alive again.  It is wonderful to see nature’s resilience.  Except for the mosquitos that is.Tiny House Ontario in her green forest Green to the South Green to the West


Categories: Forest, Nature, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Carbon Footprint

I took a test this morning to see what the carbon footprint for Tiny House Ontario is.

Here are the results

House 0.03 metric tons of CO2
Flights 0.00 metric tons of CO2
Car 0.00 metric tons of CO2
Motorbike 1.22 metric tons of CO2
Bus & Rail 0.00 metric tons of CO2
Secondary 1.76 metric tons of CO2

Total = 3.01 metric tons of CO2

It went on to say:

  • Your footprint is 3.01 metric tons per year
  • The average footprint for people in Canada is 20.00 metric tons
  • The average for the industrial nations is about 11 metric tons
  • The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 metric tons
  • The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 metric tons

It is a pretty good result, but I have to say that I am very surprised to learn that I am over consuming in the secondary section.  Here are the answers that I gave:

Carbon Footprint Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 2.44.03 PM

I guess this means that next year I have to hope for a better growing year so that I can reap as much as I sow. I am not sure how else I can reduce really as my bike is essential for me to get around and I really don’t buy much besides food and things to complete THO.  This gives me a lot to think about!

What are your results?  Do you see any way that you can reduce this number?


Update: I just found that an acre of 15 year old forest will carry 1-2 cubic metres of carbon per acre.  THO forest is at least 9.5 acres of forest which means that it likely carries at least 19 cubic meters… not sure still what the different measurements are, but this does make me feel a little better.

Categories: Off Grid, Open your eyes, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments