Learn with me as I strive to be more self-sufficient and live with less waste and toxins.
I'm excited to share with you my tiny house experience as I learn to be more self-sufficient and sustainable.
This isn't an all or nothing lifestyle. We do what we can. I believe if we all do a little, collectively we will accomplish a lot.
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As I settled into my new life within the cozy confines of my Teton Tiny Home, I knew there were important changes I wanted to make. One of the main motivators for downsizing to a tiny home was my increasing awareness of the environmental impacts of our daily living and my desire to tread more lightly on our planet. Along with this came the decision to make my home as non-toxic as possible.
Confronting the Grey Water Challenge
A major challenge of tiny house living is grey water management. In my case, I had to dump my grey water on the ground. This sparked my curiosity and concern about the potential harm I could be causing to the surrounding environment. The realization that the products I used daily, from dish soap to shampoo, could contaminate the ground was a wake-up call. I decided to ensure that everything going down my drains would be as safe for the environment as possible.
Unmasking the Hidden Toxins in My Home
I started by scrutinizing every product I was using in my home. From kitchen cleaners to laundry detergent, I researched each one and was shocked to find a long list of harmful chemicals in many of them. Some of these chemicals were known to be harmful to both human health and the environment. In that moment, I knew I wanted to stop contributing to this cycle of toxicity.
Choosing Health: My Personal Motivation
Going toxic-free wasn't just about the grey water; it was also about my personal health. In our modern world, we're often surrounded by harmful toxins without even realizing it. They lurk in everyday products, from our cosmetics to the cleaning supplies we use. Over time, these can build up in our bodies, potentially leading to a myriad of health issues. I wanted to break free from this cycle and stop poisoning myself with these invisible invaders.
Taking the Leap: My Transition to a Non-Toxic Lifestyle
The transition to a non-toxic lifestyle required some research and effort. I had to seek out and experiment with eco-friendly and toxin-free alternatives for my daily use products. This ranged from organic, biodegradable soaps to natural, homemade cleaning solutions using ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. I started reading labels meticulously, looking out for harmful ingredients and supporting companies committed to producing safe, eco-friendly products.
Living Non-Toxic: A Happier, Healthier Lifestyle
Today, as I live happily and healthily in my Teton Tiny Home, I am proud of my decision to go non-toxic. I've learned that we don't have to sacrifice our health or the environment for the sake of convenience. We have the power to make choices that are good for us and for our planet.
Join the Non-Toxic Movement
Are you ready to embark on your own non-toxic journey? Let's create a healthier, happier, and less toxic world together. Subscribe to my mailing list to get tips, insights, and updates on living non-toxically in a tiny home. Join me and together, let's make a big impact, one tiny home at a time!
When I moved into the tiny house, I made many changes to accommodate my new lifestyle. One is choosing non-toxic products because anything going down my drain is going onto the ground. So I’ve spent the last three and a half years trying, DIYing, and experimenting with many products. Some have stuck, some... not so much.
Laundry detergent was one of the products that took me a while to figure out. The first was from a well-known essential oil, MLM company that I wanted to love, but it didn’t live up to expectations. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was the detergent or my new washer/dryer combo machine, but my clothes came out dingy and stinky.
I came across Tru Earth on Instagram, and it seemed to tick all my tiny house living boxes, so I decided to try it. Spoiler alert, my clothes came out fresh, clean, and stank-free. I was ridiculously happy for a girl who doesn’t love doing laundry.
I’m super excited that Tru Earth has gifted me THREE laundry detergent packages to giveaway to one of you.
Here’s what’s included:
My favorite and the one I use because I prefer fragrance free products.
For those of you that like that fresh laundry scent
Tru Earth Laundry strips are already great for sensitive skin. But, if you need a little extra, Baby is your go-to.
Head on over to this Instagram post, and follow the instructions
My interest in living tiny wasn't sparked by something specific; I think it's always been a part of who I am.
I was born and grew up in rural Idaho and Wyoming (Wydaho) on the West side of the Teton Range - literally, the three houses I remember from my childhood are on the road that is the stateline between Idaho and Wyoming.
My family is large. I'm the oldest of nine - six girls and three boys, and my parents are amazing. We never knew how little we had and how much they struggled. But, somehow, they managed to make us all feel important with their constant love and support.
My childhood memories with my siblings are full of imagination and creativity. The forests and pastures were our playground. Horses were our playmates. Unusual pets made frequent appearances. We slept under the stars in the summer. We built snow caves and skated on the frozen creek in the winter.
We made tiny homes out of everything - old chicken coops, trees, tee-pees made out of sticks, hay bales, snow. I loved using things we scavenged to build and furnish our simple abodes.
It wasn't until I was an adult and saw a Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) did know I found my dream house. I was enamored with the tiny house movement. The thought of living simply in a small space made my soul sing. A tiny house was in my future. About ten years later, it was.
As happens, I was at the end of a long-term relationship. We had grown apart, and he took a new job and was moving to Florida. We moved to the Jackson Hole, Wyoming area together five years prior. I wanted to stay, but the ongoing housing-crisis keeps supply low and prices high. On my income, without picking up another job or two, it didn't seem possible to stay.
With this, I decided to make my tiny house dream a reality. I called my realtor to list my conventional house on the Idaho side of the Tetons in hopes I could get the cash I needed. However, these things take time, and I needed a place to live ASAP, so my son and I moved in with my parents back in Idaho.
I had been drawing tiny house plans for years. I had a must-have list, which included two bedrooms, a full-size bathtub, an office, a place to oil paint, and plenty of kitchen counter space. My notebook of grid paper had every plan iteration I could think of sketched out. Finally, I had a plan that checked all of my needs.
I was banking on a wing and a prayer, and even though I didn't have the money or a place to park yet, I sent my plans to a tiny house builder in Utah, fired them (long story), then sent them to a builder in Fort Collins, Colorado - Mitchcraft Tiny Homes. We ironed out some details and he sent me a quote - all I needed was a deposit.
In March 2018, I listed my conventional house, that same day I had an offer. I had my money. I sent the deposit. Things got real...
Working with Mitch at Mitchcraft was amazing. He walked me through every step and explained everything so thoroughly. With images I provided for inspiration and some creative freedom, he created a beautiful masterpiece.
While I waited on construction, I prepared for tiny house living.
I had WAY too much stuff. It's interesting the perspective you have when all your belongings are in one spot. How did I get so much? And what the heck was it all anyway?
I took out my must-have list I used when designing the tiny house and used it as a guide to decide what to keep. I'm not sure how much I got rid of, but it was a lot. And truth be told, I couldn't tell you ONE specific thing I got rid of; it shows how important that stuff was.
My next task was to figure out where to park the tiny house. I had my heart set on living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I love the easy access to nature, the arts, the music, the country dance culture, my friends, and the great public schools for my son. I knew I could park at my parent's house in Idaho as a last resort, but I wanted to exhaust all my options first. I put the word out on social media and called leads but kept hitting dead ends.
Then, one night while together with a group of friends, as I was lamenting over my bad luck, one of them mentioned a tiny house used to be parked near her house in Kelly, WY (a small town north of Jackson). She said she'd ask her landlord if that space was available. She asked him and put us in contact with each other. He agreed.
I was prepared. I downsized my belongings and had a beautiful place to park under the Tetons. All I needed was the house.
On the morning of July 25, 2018, I received a text I will never forget. It was from my builder. A photo of my tiny house hooked to a truck along with a message announcing she was on her way. My eyes filled with tears. This dream of mine was coming true. I made it come true. My dream house had become a reality.
With all my things and a bunch of family members, I headed over the mountain pass to the little community I would call home. That evening, as the sun was setting over the Tetons, my tiny house rolled in. It was more beautiful than the pictures. When I took that first step inside, I was home.