Simple and Sustainable Living in My 100 Square Foot Tiny House


Hey, I’m Rob Greenfield. Welcome to my tiny house
in Orlando Florida. This tiny house is a hundred square feet, I built it for under $1500 all using about 99% repurposed and secondhand materials. While creating just about
30 pounds of trash. So today, I’m gonna give you a tour
of my simple sustainable life, and show you my homestead. [Music playing] So, as you can see
a hundred square feet is pretty small. It’s just ten by ten. And some of you might be thinking, “Isn’t this just a shed?” Well, I designed it
to look like a shed basically. So that it would be within basic building codes. The most important thing is the bed. A lot of my life is outdoors, and this is really just about
having a comfortable place. Underneath the bed
is storage for my basic stuff. A big part of this place really is food. It’s for storing food and
processing food and such. Over here, this is a bounty of pumpkins
from my garden. Here is the fermentation station, making Jun, which is like kombucha. Apple cider vinegar, fire cider, honey wine and such. Here I have my bookshelf. A lot of books about
how to grow food and live sustainably. and then if we come over here, a lot more food. My project that
I’m focusing on right now is one year of growing and foraging
a hundred percent of my food. and so, that’s really the centerpiece
of everything that I’m doing while I’m here in Orlando
for about two years. So, fruits and veggies
that I’ve harvested from my garden and from foraging. Up here, honey from my bees. I harvested about 75 pounds of honey, somewhere around there this fall. I don’t have a whole lot of possessions,
I aim to live pretty simply. This is all my clothes
on this shelf and then, some of my basic items. So the desk I built out of leftover materials
from the build and pallet wood. 99% of this house is built with secondhand materials
and repurposed materials. The floors, for example were from a house that flooded and this was stuff they were
getting rid of, throwing away. The bed is leftover wood
and also flooring. The burlap that I’m using
for the walls is from a leftover craft project. One thing I should mention
is the house isn’t 100% done. So a bit of a work in process still but good enough
to be able to show you the place. Really important thing
is my deep chest freezer. This year I’m growing and foraging a hundred percent of my food. So this is a really important thing for being able to store a lot of food. And, that brings me to… electricity. My original plan here
was to live off the grid like I did in my first tiny house
in San Diego. But, with this project, I found that it just wasn’t quite the right match
to be completely off the grid. And I’m only using about a hundred dollars
worth of electricity per year. So, since I’m here just for two years, it didn’t necessarily add up
to put a large solar system here. when I’m using
such a tiny amount of electricity. So what I have is just an extension cord that’s running from here on the property. So that’s pretty much
the inside of the house. It’s quite simple, there’s not a lot to say about it
because most of my time is spent outdoors,
in the garden, in my community. And so, let’s move on to the outside. I really like having an outdoor kitchen,
because I enjoy being outside. And also, when I spill things
on the ground, they just soak right in
which means a lot less cleanup. This kitchen was built
using leftover materials from the tiny house build. and I have a light that runs here on top, it’s pretty simple. Has a battery which I can either charge using my small solar panel, or it can be charged inside. I actually have four ways of cooking food. The first is a not sustainable form, and the other three are renewable energy forms. So the first one is just using
a basic propane camp stove. I’m working to move away
from that completely so that I’m using all alternative energy. The main replacement for that is a home biogas stove. So this actually converts food waste into methane, which can then be used to cook with. And I’ll show you that. Secondly is a solar oven, which just uses the sun, which we have plenty of to cook. and then third over here is… my fire pit. So if I’m cooking like, large quantities, I have a five gallon pot
that can go right on top of here So this is the biogas. It works like a human stomach, in many senses, so… one thing that happens when we eat, one of the byproducts is… gas, of course. So how can you trap that gas, and actually use it for something good? how it works is
you simply put food waste into it. I get a lot of food waste
from a local restaurant. Simply put the food waste into here, it goes into the stomach, there’s bacteria in there, and the byproduct
of their digestion is gas. So this up here… is a bladder that holds the gas. It’s pressurized to push it down. And then just out the back, there is a pipe
that goes over to the kitchen, and delivers the gas to the stove. Another great byproduct of this system is a bucket full of fertilizer. Really nutritious for the plants. So here’s the sink, it’s extremely simple. This is a 55-gallon barrel in the back, and that holds rainwater. and then, it’s just gravity fed. I use a biodegradable… grey water safe soap, so that, this water doesn’t have
to go to a sewage treatment plant. Instead, what happens is it goes just down the drain,
and then there’s a tube, that just goes out the back and then back there, I have bananas. which are really water loving plants. So this water, all the water that goes through the sink, doesn’t go off site
to a waste treatment plant. Instead it actually grows food on site. Also back there, I have my compost bin. The reason I really like
my compost bin… right there is I can actually toss food in standing right here,
so it’s really easy to access. So, I create… very minimal garbage. The little bit of actual trash
that I do create, I just put in the trash can
of the property. But mostly, food waste, yard waste, paper, cardboard, all of that can go
right into the compost bin, and that is used to grow food, rather than be somebody else’s problem. Also here… is my drinking water, so… It’s a pretty great system,
it’s called a Berkey. And this can be used
for purifying rainwater, water from lakes and rivers,
or city water. I have my rainwater barrels right here, behind the house. I simply stick a pitcher down here, and then my rainwater is purified… to be delicious and great for drinking. Rainwater harvesting is very easy, not complicated at all. Water just falls down onto the roof into a gutter. Instead of having a downspout,
I have a rainchain. The water just falls into this barrel,
and then it’s stored right there. Really simple as that. I have multiple barrels and they’re just simply
connected by a pipe. So this might be the part of my homestead
that I’m the most excited to show you. This is a 100% closed-loop
composting toilet system. You have two toilets, this one for going pee,
and this one for going poop. Pee is a bucket,
a five-gallon bucket under here that’s filled with water. It’s used for about a day, and then basically the pee is diluted by about a 10 to 1 ratio. that water is then simply dumped onto fruit trees,
bushes and such to grow food. Poop goes into this one. How it works is you simply sit down
like you would on any other toilet. After you go, instead of flushing, you simply add sawdust to cover it up. And it’s amazing that… that all you need to do is cover it up, and then there’s no smell. Instead of buying toilet paper, I grow my toilet paper right here on site. This is called the blue spur flower. It’s in the mint family. So it’s got a great smell, and it’s ridiculously soft, I mean… That is just wonderful! So, that is then composted as well. The poop goes into these 55-gallon drums where it’s then composted for a year, to make it completely safe, and then it’s used
on fruit trees to grow fruit. So this is a 100% closed-loop compost toilet system that doesn’t create
any problems for anyone else and instead, makes fertility. So because the property owner’s roof
is much larger, I also harvest rainwater
off of their roof. I have two 275 gallon totes. This is used for… watering the garden,
for filling up the barrel… at the sink, and for showering.
This is my shower right here. Works pretty simply,
I have a five gallon bucket down here, that I fill up. And then, that just goes right over
and it’s just a little hand… a handheld shower, using rainwater and honestly I love it. To me showering rainwater
is one of the… one of the greatest ways to shower. A little bit about… transportation, how I get around. So I don’t have a car
or a driver’s license. I have a bicycle and I use that to go almost everywhere
that I need to go in Orlando. And then I also have a bicycle trailer. And that bicycle trailer
can carry up to 300 pounds so… I can use that for hauling
lots of stuff in my garden, tools or huge hauls of food. I can also use that for furniture, materials for the house, things like that. And lastly, let’s move on to the garden! So one of the most
frequent questions that I’m asked… is: do I own the land? How did I find the land? Do I pay rent? What I’ve done is a work exchange, So, I met someone who’s always wanted to live sustainably, who’s wanted a homestead for 25 years! and in exchange for me setting up my tiny house on her property for these couple of years. I’m helping her do that. And then everything that I create… will be hers for the years to come. So I’m helping her grow her own food, I’ve turned the whole
front yard into a garden, and the tiny house, after I leave, will be hers to use however she wants. So, it’s a… exchange rather than a monetary transaction, we don’t have a monetary transaction. Instead it’s… how can we work together… to meet each other’s needs, and that’s what my life is all about. Reducing the ways
that we have to work for money, and instead, how can we work together to help each other out. [Music playing] There is a lot going on here, and I can’t possibly
squeeze it all into one video. But, if you have a desire to live in a way
that’s better for the earth, your community, and yourself, then I am here at your service, and there’ll be
plenty more videos to come. If you were inspired
and you got something out of this, then I would really
encourage you to subscribe, and stay in touch. I love you all very much,
and I’ll see you soon. Oh, one thing to mention, this is a little…
squatty potty that I made. It’s really… it’s known that… having your legs raised
at this angle is much better… for pooping. So, anyway… wanted to mention that.

100 thoughts on “Simple and Sustainable Living in My 100 Square Foot Tiny House

  1. Ya know what? I've been living in tiny houses most of my life and not by choice eitherl. I'm tired of it. I wish i didn't have to move 2 and 3 things to get to what I'm needin'. I want space! Lots of it. Just saying. 😁 Carry on….👍

  2. Do you have problems with mosquito's? We use horsetails here to keep the darn biting bugs from breeding in the waterbins.
    Mosquito's rarely travel far from where they breed…so if you have a bug problem, chances are someone very close to you isn't aware they are breeding mosquito's in their rainwater bins

  3. Awesome! I love the relational, sustainable and resilient features. Friends and I have homesteads in Indianapolis, Indiana USA where we delight in having such relationships and set ups. If serious about such an endeavor in our communities, apply at https://gregbuck.wufoo.com/forms/m1bnscho1s5v6op/ . Our philosophies/worldviews vary so share something about your worldviews to help know who for you to speak with. Let me know with a reply to this post that you applied. I do not receive prompts that an application was submitted, so again let me know that you applied.

  4. Hurricane Dorian would Love this little match box.Even a strong wind would pick this cereal box up and smash it against a tree. No thanks l will keep my brick house!

  5. Would love to know how you got past the building inspector. He probably hasn’t caught up with you yet. Where is this? In Mama’s back yard?

  6. I really wish I could live like this but I don’t think I can. You should do a how to on how everyday normal people could slowly transition to a sustainable living. I feel people like me would do this if it wasn’t so extreme.

  7. Were those a pile of coconut shells I saw? YouTube how to make food safe coconut bowls. I am an amateur woodworker and made one last week to add to my collection of wooden turned bowls. Love the house.

  8. I can tell you Everette, your comment will likely be deleted as mine was 2 weeks ago. It was respectable but pointed out his home would not work up North where I live…and he deleted it. Good job Rob. Leave only the comments that appeal to you.

  9. Rob. It is so refreshing to see an amazingly simple life in an era where people are so stressed in pursuit of a complicated life!

  10. Nice Rob I had a similar plot of land where I used to grow mango guava and a lot of my family veggie requirements. Your video brought back old memories.

  11. Better than sleeping under the freeway for sure is this dog house reconstructed for humans. He says he spends most of his time outside and in Florida an outdoor life is possible year long. Over all, a very creative life style that's an alternative one for sure not something for everyone.

  12. Wow i loved your tiny house kitchen is placed at the backyard what about washroom or shower rooms toilet? Toilet is important for me middle of the night to pee and go outside? 😅😅😅 you have good mined …Salute ❤👍👍👍

  13. Very inspiring video. I really dream to live a simple life like you did Rob. This video made me realized how to be more simple and keep away from complicated life style. Wish we can be real friend and meet you one day soon.

  14. I admire you for all this eco-friendly thing but when it comes to number 2 i would hate to get the nasties and need alot of leaves.

  15. I admire you, and congratulations!!! I know your happy that your volunteers came through for you. I thank you for giving tips on how you did it. Thoughts become reality, and that's where I am . I know I will do it. Question can you PM me about how much you pay for the space your tiny house sits on. Parham, lee on FB. Thank you in advance. I lived in San Diego also.

  16. Thank you for this great ideas. love your work you've been doing. can't wait to try all this ideas on my raw land. God Bless you and your subscribers

  17. oh , so your a leech. i hope you do more than that for that old lady. she pays your power bill and your internet connection and free rent on the land which she pays taxes on and YOU DO NOT. ALL SHE GETS is a garden in the backyard. 1:14 I also noticed you are making alcohol. what proof is it 80%.

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