Green Homes

Published on February 19th, 2009 | by ziggy

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Build Your Own Free Tiny House with Shipping Pallets

Recently, we’ve talked about how to live simply and decrease your carbon footprint living in a tiny house. Even better than buying a tiny house is making your own, and Michael Janzen is blazing a trail with his free tiny pallet house. Not only is his house made out of recycled shipping pallets, it isn’t costing him anything to build. And lucky for us, he’s sharing his plans so you too can build your own tiny free house.

You can save money, sharpen your DIY skills, and further decrease your environmental impact by following Janzen’s example of building a free pallet house … the one below, in fact, and the plans are HERE.

 

cropped-Tiny-Free-House-Header

 

Keep pallets out of landfills


Here are some disturbing statistics about shipping pallets:

  • Approximately 40% of all hardwood harvested in the U.S. is for making shipping pallets
  • About two-thirds of pallets are used only once before being thrown out
  • 1/4 of all wood in landfills is from used pallets

You can help prevent deforestation and keep pallets out of landfills by finding creative alternative uses for them, like building a house. Pallets can be found everywhere. Once you start looking for them, you’ll see them scattered all over your town or city.

Contact a local warehouse, supermarket, or any business that receives large shipments, and get permission to pick up their used pallets. Most companies are happy to give their pallets away.

 

Plans for a free pallet house


Janzen has made plans for building a free pallet house available on his website. These plans are a guide for building what he calls a disaster preparedness and emergency shelter. Janzen says:

As hurricane Gustav plowed across Cuba headed for the gulf coast of the United States memories of Katrina and the potential displacement of thousands got me thinking. I wanted to do something to help. It occurred to me that someone else might find what I now about building with shipping pallets useful in the coming weeks and months.

With some creativity, you may find that shipping pallets can be reappropriated in other ways to build your own free tiny house. For example, I have a friend that has disassembled shipping pallets and used the wood to build roof trusses for his straw bale building. Ultimately, you can help prevent deforestation and keep pallets out of landfills by using them to build creative housing.

 

Image credits: flickr, via KGBKitchen); Tiny free pallet house

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About the Author

I'm a 26-year-old currently living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri, an intentional community devoted to sustainable living and culture change. Things you might find me doing here (other than blogging) are building with natural materials, gardening, beekeeping, making cheese, candlemaking, and above all else, living simply. You can read about my on-going natural building projects at: http://www.small-scale.net/yearofmud



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