Episode 8: How I Lowered My Environmental Footprint in a Tiny House with Michael Bartz

Many of us who live tiny do so to lower our environmental footprint. Just living in a smaller space means using fewer resources and buying…

Michael Bartz in front of his tiny house

Many of us who live tiny do so to lower our environmental footprint. Just living in a smaller space means using fewer resources and buying less stuff. Moving into a campervan or an RV is one of the easiest ways to live tiny, but Michael Bartz built his own 200-square foot off-grid house.

In Episode 8 of The Wayward Home podcast, Michael gives us a virtual tour of his tiny house. He also tells us ways he cuts back on his environmental footprint, and how you can too, even if you don’t live small.

Listen here:

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In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • Why Michael decided to live in a tiny house in his late 20s
  • A tour of Michael’s tiny house
  • How Michael cuts down on his electrical use
  • Why you might not need an off-grid tiny house to reduce your footprint
  • Simple tips to reduce your environmental impact even if you don’t live tiny yet

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Who is Michael Bartz?

Michael is an emerging actor, writer, and filmmaker as well as an environmentalist. Growing up, he was always building something, and in 2016 he decided to take on a certain tiny building project that would be his biggest so far.

Michael Bartz and his partner Sarah in front of their off grid tiny house
Michael Bartz and his partner Sarah with their tiny house

His dream was to build an off-grid tiny home, to live his values as an environmentalist. In one year he saved $25,000 for the project by living incredibly frugally and selling anything he didn’t need. In the spring of 2017, the build began. He picked away at it on evenings and weekends while still working at his full-time job, every month putting away as much as he could for the house and what would come after it was completed.

In 2021 after thousands of hours of building and so much more planning and dreaming, he finished the tiny house. But being on a tiny house on wheels, he and his partner Sara needed a place to call home, and that meant more than just paying for a plot – they wanted to build community.

Ideally, that was helping on the property to pay for the spot, and after a little searching, they found a perfect farm. They love the owners, and the life they have built.

In that same year, Michael’s was 1 out of 16 projects out of 700 to be awarded mentorship and $10,00 in grant funding for the Telus STORYHIVE Podcast Edition. With this opportunity he was able to make his show, In Over My Head a reality.

When he thought about all the ways his life has an impact on the environment, he felt overwhelmed, and the idea of trying to save the planet made him feel in over his head. So on the show, he talks to environmental experts about all the ways we can effectively reduce our emissions. He hopes that listeners will feel empowered to do their part for the planet.

His life looks very different from when he dreamed of downsizing, but he couldn’t be happier and wishes success to everyone on their journey. Whether it’s living tiny, saving the planet or being an artist, know that with enough dedication, and courage you can achieve your dreams.

Check out the In Over My Head podcast here.

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