Many of our yurt clients choose yurts for full-time living because they want to live in a way that’s sustainable and at peace with the earth. There’s no question that modern day living is a drain on our natural resources, and yurts are an affordable, earth-friendly alternative.
All over the world, downsizing and living smaller is becoming the new ideal. Small footprint homes are easier on the earth as they require fewer resources, and easier on you as they are less costly and require little maintenance.
Yurts are a great housing option for small footprint living. Here are a few things to consider.
The biggest impact that your yurt will have on the environment is during the shipping process. We work with clients all over the world, which means that we arrange shipping across oceans.
Clients sometimes ask me about sustainable shipping methods – the problem with those methods is they are much more expensive, and the environmental impact is nearly the same as traditional shipping. If you are interested in pursuing a more earth-friendly shipping company, I commend you! I think these methods will improve and become more wallet-friendly in the coming years.
The yurt is constructed on a platform, which leaves a smaller footprint on the land than other housing options. After you take down the yurt, the vegetation usually grows back within a matter of months.
Several of our customers have built their platforms from recycled materials – the most difficult part of the process is collecting the existing material!
Rainier also offers an optional SIPS deck (Structural Insulated Panels) that you can buy with your yurt kit. This replaces the yurt platform, and uses half the amount of wood.
The wood we use to build our yurt components is Douglas Fir. Douglas Fir timberlands are the most productive softwood timberlands in the United States in terms of volume per acre. The northwest region of the U.S. is governed by environmental laws for protection of habitat, watersheds, soils and biological diversity. Stands of timber in the northwest are managed primarily in natural stands on long rotations.
The many square miles of forests set aside permanently in the National Parks and Wilderness Areas are not a part of the harvestable stand mentioned above. Furthermore, we avoid wood products that have formaldehyde in them. All of our wood is then treated with a natural rosewood oil and not a chemical stain.
There are some compromises we’ve had to make in the materials we use. While we must use vinyl fabrics to achieve mildew repellency and fire retardant certification, the acrylic top coating helps to reduce outgasses. We recommend at least a single layer of insulation with every yurt purchase which creates an aluminum barrier and then the natural canvas (or poly) liner is exposed to the inside.
Our Eagle Model Yurt uses 100% cotton army duck. Because this is a natural fabric, it absorbs moisture and dries naturally, preventing condensation inside your yurt. The Raven uses a more economical polyester liner. Both fabrics are mildew resistant and flame retardant.
When you start planning for your yurt, you’ll research the options that work best for your budget, lifestyle, and the footprint you leave on the land.
I’ve started working with a compostable toilet company who offers what I think is the best compostable toilet available. Check out our post on “Bathroom Reading Material” for an overview of the different toilet options available for your yurt.
Also, my friend Ron Friedman has written several guest posts on our blog about the cool, earth friendly products and companies he works with. Click to read more about:
Do you have a success story about reducing your carbon footprint by changing to the yurt life? We’d love to hear your story!