Saving the Environment, One Trailer at a Time

Posted by Rebecca

Most trailers weren’t built to be environmentally sound structures.  Mine, for instance, has weird super-hard pink plastic walls in the bathroom.  I have primed and painted over them so they look fine, but when it comes to decomposing, I’m sure my bathroom walls will lose the race.  And while it is possible to deconstruct an old trailer and use its parts elsewhere, most of what a trailer is made of is here to stay.  So why not apply the 3 R’s to trailer living – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Reduce – Most trailers are smaller than most homes.  They force you to downsize and simplify, and condense your living space.  By doing this, you are reducing the space you use up on this planet.  Pretty clever.

Reuse – As was mentioned, trailers don’t really ever go away.  Learning to reuse what is already available saves time, energy and money: time and energy in the constructing of new houses, and since trailers are a fraction of the cost of stick-built houses, your hard-earned money can be spent elsewhere.  There are many trailers and trailer cocoons just sitting around waiting for a loving occupant to spruce it up and fill it with life.

Recycle – Recycling is the process of turning waste materials into new products.  This is done when a run-down, dumpy old trailer is gutted, salvaged, and saved.  Did you know there are many old trailers like this available for free?  Check your local Craigslist and peruse older trailer parks in your area to get an idea of what is available.  I have a few neighbors who did this, and ended up with beautiful homes that on the inside look nothing like the trailer they used to be, complete with drywall, heated floors and recessed lighting.

I know that living in an old trailer isn’t going to save the planet, but fixing up an eye-sore in your own community will improve the look of your neighborhood and your city.  You can take your renovation one step further by utilizing local construction material re-salers like Habitat for Humanity, for items like flooring and lighting, and everything in between.  And you never know – you may just fall in love with the simple trailer life.  I know I did.

Happy Recycling!

A lovely painting by American artist, Leah Giberson.

Rebecca Knabe

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2 thoughts on “Saving the Environment, One Trailer at a Time

  1. Rebecca & Tanille,

    I’m really enjoying your blog and I couldn’t agree more with this post.

    I wanted to share some articles and resources with you:

    First is this article in the Estately blog: The Small Home Movement Is Getting Bigger

    Also, for the refurbishing of the Tin Can and our new Star, we rely on the advice we receive from Mobile Home Repair.com which has articles, supply resources and a forum where you can get questions answered from people who have repaired their mobile homes as well as mobile home repair professionals.

    One of the best resources for downsizing and living with less is the series of The Not So Big… books by architect/designer Sarah Susanka which I found to be very inspirational. I found her first book, <The Not So Big House (1998) very helpful in remodeling two stick-built homes (of 1100sf and 860sf) and will be using several ideas from her books in planning what I will be doing for the Star.

    Keep It Small & Simple!
    ~Ostracon

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