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Australian Couple Adopt Zero-Waste Lifestyle in a DIY Tiny House on Wheels
Living off-grid is a lifestyle that’s not suited for everybody, that’s for sure, as it entails sacrifices, drastic changes, and hard work. But for those who are willing to adopt a conservationist lifestyle, the benefits are worth it. At least, that’s what an Australian couple who have been living off-grid in a tiny house powered by renewables for four years wants us to believe.

Australian Couple Adopt Zero-Waste Lifestyle in a DIY Tiny House on Wheels

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Annett and Paul decided to leave city life behind and move to the countryside in a tiny house on wheels six years ago. They spent one year building their tiny house themselves on weekends, and since moving in more than four years ago, they’ve been living off solar energy, rainwater, and homemade cooking gas.

The couple say that what drove them toward off-grid tiny living was mostly a vision of freedom and the desire to get rid of any financial or physical burdens and minimize their impact on the planet. And what better way to do that than renouncing fossil fuels and making the most of Australia’s abundant sunshine.

Annett and Paul’s tiny home is built in the middle of a paddock in Byron Bay, Australia, and is the epitome of freedom. The fact that they went off-grid and rely solely on the sun and rain to provide them with electricity and water means there are no dependencies on the government, utility companies, or other outside sources.

The first thing they did was to make sure provisions were in place for off-grid energy production. They installed solar panels, an inverter, and batteries to run their power tools. They started in 2017 with only 6 solar panels generating 1.86kW in total, and expanded gradually to adapt to their changing circumstances. They now have no less than 15 solar panels that generate 4.8kW.

They are not affected by power cuts, have no utility bills to pay, and afford the luxury to run their air conditioning all day long without worrying about the cost. If that’s not financial freedom, I don’t know what is!

A 10,000L water tank and a 165L solar hot water unit serve the couple’s water needs, while a biogas system allows them to turn their own organic waste, like food scraps and toilet waste, into cooking gas. The couple also installed a reed bed filter system that filters greywater that Annett reuses in the garden.

The couple run all their appliances off solar power, but for their cooking needs, they use both an induction and a gas cooktop to be able to cook regardless of whether it’s a sunny or overcast day.

As for the inside of the tiny house, the couple kept things simple, as you’d expect from someone embracing minimalism, but included all the amenities for a comfortable life. The tiny house has a living area, a kitchen, a bathroom, and two lofts, one of which serves as a sleeping area, while the other is the couple’s storage space.

Given that the tiny house is a DIY project, the couple documented most of the building steps on their blog. As such, we find out that they went for corrugated iron sheets for the house’s roof, they wrapped the house in building paper with high thermal resistance and effective insulation, used cedar siding for the exterior, and built a french door for the entrance.

Last year, the couple took another step in their off-grid adventure by swapping their gas-powered car for an electric vehicle which they charge with solar energy with help from a Zappi EV charger.

For Annett and Paul, living off renewables doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort, but living with a greater awareness of weather and climate and the utmost respect for the environment. They only pay rent for the land they built the tiny house on and can build up their savings, while also maintaining a good work-life balance.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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