By Beau Peters
When you think about cabin life, it’s hard not to link sustainability. Many people who live in cabins are already interested in the environment, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that the best locations for cabins tend to be in large, open spaces surrounded by wooded areas and the best of what nature has to offer.
But, if you’re a cabin dweller, there is undoubtedly more you could be doing to create a sustainable lifestyle. Whether you’ve always been interested in the wellbeing of the planet or you know it’s time to make a change, there are several tips you can (and should be) putting into practice at home.
Consider Construction Carefully
Whether you’re building a new cabin or you want to renovate an existing one, make sure your construction practices are as eco-friendly as possible. When you’re building, some of the following solutions can help to keep your carbon footprint as minimal as possible:
- Collecting rainwater
- Using sustainable energy
- Installing a septic tank
- Adding a living roof onto the home
Whether you’re building or renovating, it’s also a good idea to use eco-friendly or recycled materials. Buying things pre-owned is another great way to cut down on waste when it comes to usable materials. Salvaging and reusing whatever materials you can help to make your renovation project or construction more sustainable, and you won’t contribute as much to the nearly 300 million tons of waste produced by the U.S.
Limit Your Daily Travels
One of the biggest benefits of living in a cabin is being away from the chaos of busy cities. Unfortunately, if you work far away from where you live, you could be contributing to carbon emissions more than you might want thanks to a long commute.
You can try to offset that problem by carpooling with someone else, purchasing an electric vehicle, or even switching careers and working from home. Remote working has become increasingly popular over the last several years. For many, it’s now become a necessity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, asking your employer to let you make a switch certainly isn’t unheard of.
There are plenty of “pros” to living far away from urban areas, too. Not just for you, but for the planet. For example, when you’re not constantly immersed in a city lifestyle, you’re less likely to make superfluous purchases or buy things on impulse. This can cut back on waste and you’ll be doing your part to slow the production and energy usage of mass-market companies.
Living in rural areas also means less pollution. Even if your sustainability efforts are just starting, you’ll be able to breathe easier in a rural cabin area, which may inspire you to push even more toward a sustainable lifestyle.
If you do have to travel on a daily basis to run errands or go to work, make other small changes in your life that can help the rest of your habits to be more sustainable. Having to do one thing each day that may be harmful to the environment doesn’t have to put a damper on your other sustainable efforts. In fact, it should inspire you to take more sustainable action whenever you’re home.
Make Small Changes for a Big Impact
You don’t have to do anything extreme to your cabin or even change your lifestyle all that much to be more sustainable on a daily basis. Some of the easiest, everyday sustainability practices will not only benefit the planet but your entire family.
Start with something simple, like composting. It’s easy to get started, even with no experience. All you need is an open area in your yard that’s out of the way. Your compost pile can start with grass, leaves, and yard waste. From there, add food scraps from your kitchen. Some of the best things to compost include:
- Herbs and spices
- Brush clippings
- Old wine
- Coffee grounds
After a few weeks of composting and turning the pile, you should be able to use the compost at the bottom of your pile as a balanced fertilizer for gardening – another sustainable activity!
You might also consider going “off the grid” as much as possible when living in a cabin. If you work remotely and need electricity and Internet access, you might not think that’s possible. But, consider using solar panels for your energy needs, and a well for water. Any small changes you can make to cut back on energy dependency can make a big difference.
As a cabin dweller, sustainable living is easier than you might think. It provides a way to challenge yourself, and it’s an incredibly rewarding practice. Keep some of these tips in mind to make your cabin lifestyle more sustainable, and try finding more ways on your own to help the planet.
Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading and trying new things.