There’s something about a cabin that takes us back to simpler times. It reminds us of a quieter life when the world was less hectic and civilization was less harmful to the environment. And while there’s no way to transport back in time 100 or 200 years, you can enjoy your own little slice of heaven on earth by building a cabin in the woods. In doing so, you can live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Try These 4 Eco-Friendly Tips and Tricks
Whether you’re building a cabin as a full-time residence or weekend getaway, there are a few simple things you can do to make it a more eco-friendly living environment. Here are some suggestions:
1.Use Natural Energy
Anytime you can use natural energy, that’s a win. And thankfully, reducing your dependence on fossil fuels is easier than ever before. Here are two very popular options:
- Solar panels. If your cabin gets several hours of direct sunlight per day, you may benefit from installing solar panels on your roof. This can supply you with enough natural (and free) power to help you make it through the day.
- Wood stoves. If you live in a cold climate with freezing winters, having a source of heat is a necessity. With a wood stove, you get a low-carbon alternative that doesn’t require fossil fuels. Depending on the terrain around your cabin, you may be able to forage for your own materials to create wood chips for your stove.
There are dozens of other ways to power, heat, and even cool your cabin. As you approach this cabin project, be sure to explore as many different options as possible.
2. Install Natural and Recycled Materials
Do your best to use as many natural and recycled materials as possible when building your cabin. There are a ton of different options available both commercially and via secondhand and salvage sources. This includes recycled timber, building cutoffs and scraps that are thrown away at construction sites, cork floors, recycled glass, etc.
3. Capture Rainwater
Depending on the location of your cabin, you might not have access to city water. And even if you do, you might be looking for a way to reduce your consumption of city water. One of the easiest ways to do this is by setting up a rainwater harvesting system.
The simplest way to capture rainwater is to use your cabin roof and gutters to channel water into a storage container. Once in the storage container, you can send it through a water purification system and move it into a holding tank and/or filter it to your appliances.
The biggest expense of a rainwater system is the storage tank. If you get a decent amount of rain in your area, you probably only need 500 to 1,000 gallons of storage. If, however, you live in a dry area where you can go weeks without rain, you might need something larger. In this case, you may consider digging your storage container underground.
4. Get Serious About Composting
It doesn’t matter how much of a minimalist you are, you still create waste. If you want to reduce the size of your footprint and be less of a burden on the environment, you should find a way to turn that waste into something good. This is where composting comes into play.
Composting is easy, beneficial, and serves the practical purpose of reducing the need for a trash service or visiting the dump.
“The simplest way to make compost is to pick an out-of- the-way place in your yard and start a pile of grass clippings, raked leaves, other yard waste and non-meat kitchen scraps (meat will compost, but it attracts flies and rodents),” CabinLife.com explains. “Every time you collect yard waste, add it to the pile.”
If you have a garden, simply pull the compost out from the bottom of the pile after a few weeks, and you can use it as a natural fertilizer. Don’t have a garden or plants? No worries – your compost will naturally “eat itself” over time.
Welcome to Green Cabin Life
A cabin provides an excellent escape from the world. And because you can build one in a remote area, it’s possible to live in a way that’s reminiscent of simpler times. As you build or remodel your cabin, consider using some of these eco-friendly techniques to enjoy a more sustainable existence.