The Tiny House Movement

In recent years, a new movement has swept across the U.S. in a large, but tiny way. Focus on living sustainably has slowly moved from a focus on topics limited to recycling and renewable energy sources (although still important!), to a larger focus on how much space and resources the individual human uses over the course of their life. In other words, people are becoming more concerned with their total eco-footprint and not just the small facets of it.

In light of this new found realization, American’s have begun to downsize their eco-footprints, not just in how much energy they use or how many plastic bottles they spare, but in the size of their homes as well.

So, what exactly are tiny houses and the benefits of owning one?

Tiny houses typically range from 100 square feet to 600 square feet and reside on some sort of mobile platform, usually a trailer that can be hauled by a truck. They do not however, have a laundry list of typical features that number much more than that. Tiny houses are completely customizable in regards to their amenities and interior designs. Most feature some sort of compostable-plumbing system, solar panels, and a loft bedroom.

These tiny homes do not just provide their owners with creative freedom, but they also allow homeowners to indulge in an environmentally friends way of living that provides them with such things as financial independence. The typical tiny home is much cheaper to build and own than the average American home. So much cheaper in fact,that most require no mortgage in order to pay them off. This financial independence allows owners to experience much more monetary freedom, which results in personal decisions to limit how much they work and how they spend the extra money that isn’t being put towards monthly energy, heating and utility bills. The mere SIZE of tiny houses also provides a certain element of physical freedom. Most tiny house owners chose to build their homes on large mobile trailers, which helps them to avoid housing taxes but, also allows them to move easily and freely to where ever their hearts desire.

The “Tiny House Movement” has gained much momentum thanks to companies such as The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, who not only promote awareness for the environmental benefits of a tiny house, but also make building and owning a tiny house extremely easy by providing pre-made plans, building instructions, and guidance from experienced builders.

Tiny houses may very well be the houses of the future, but only if humans as a population begin to realize how much “living space” is actually necessary for living a healthy, fulfilling and sustainable life.

For more info on what it is like living in a tiny home, visit these helpful and informational blogs and websites!



6th annual Sustainability Festival

SustainabilityfestivalIt’s that time again! On Saturday, October 18, Saint Joseph’s College will celebrate green living at the 6th annual Sustainability Festival and Eat Local Dinner on its Standish campus. Beginning at 3 p.m., guests can enjoy family-friendly activities, a vendor village, and multicultural dancing, followed by a special performance by Ghost of Paul Revere. Beverages will be available for purchase from Baxter Brewing, and a delicious dinner will be served from 5 to 6:30 pm highlighting locally sourced meats and homegrown produce.

The festival is open to the public; admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 through 12, to be paid at the entrance. SJC students and children 5 and under can enjoy the event for free.

More Info on RecycleMania 2014!


We need your help! Saint Joseph’s College is currently participating in the RecycleMania collegiate recycling competition. Saint Joseph’s campus is in the midst of competing against other college campuses around the US and Canada. The competition is to see which campuses can reuse and recycle the most campus waste!

Remember these are some ways you can help make Saint Joseph’s successful throughout the competition:

  • Use reusable water bottles and use our new refilling station in Alfond Center
  • Use a reusable mug for your coffee at Mercy Market and Brewed Awakenings (and get a 10% discount!)
  • Recycle plastic cups
  • Use double-sided printing
  • Use the backs of papers for scrap paper
  • Compost your waste at Pearson’s Café and Mercy Market
  • Donate unwanted things to Goodwill

Let’s make a difference!


Feel free to leave a comment below with other ways the campus can help make Saint Josephs successful during this competition.

Recyclemania 2014!

recyclemaniaWhat is Recyclemania you may ask? Recyclemania is a 8 week long program that colleges across the U.S. and Canada compete in to see how much they can recycle as a school and how they compare with other participating colleges and universities. Recyclemania currently has 424 colleges and universities participating. In Maine, Bowdoin, Colby, USM, and Saint Joseph’s are taking part in this program. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about campus-wide recycling competitions taking place over the semester. Go St. Joe’s!

How can you personally make a difference? Here is a list of small tasks you can do to help us reach our goal of a more attainable sustainable campus…and earth!

  • Use reusable water bottles and use our new refilling station in Alfond Center
  • Use a reusable mug for your coffee at Mercy Market and Brewed Awakenings
  • Recycle plastic Red Bull cups
  • Use double-sided printing
  • Use the backs of papers for scrap paper
  • Compost your waste at Pearson’s Café
  • Donate unwanted things to Goodwill


Introducing SJC’s First Water Bottle Filling Station!

water 11

There is a new addition to the Alfond Center! The SJC Eco-Reps earned one of two grants available through the Portland Water District to install a water bottle filling station. It was installed right before we came back from break and has already been put to good use by the campus community. This new filling station has the same look as the original water fountain but with the addition of a motion-activated faucet to more easily fill up a reusable water bottle. This device also includes a counter that records how many one-time use plastic bottles are saved in the process. The Eco-Reps are working to raise money for more station installations around campus. What do you think of our new water bottle filler? Share your thoughts with us in a comment below.