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Students Live Tiny Building Mini Houses To Learn About Sustainability

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — In the past 50 years, the average size of the American home has doubled. Bigger means more resources are used.

But Mike Schuh reports, some middle schoolers in Annapolis are building a house of the future.

The next generation is building a next generation home.

“We’re making a mini, tiny house,” one student said.

“You know, this is the back yard shed for a lot of people,” said Sarah Judd, The Key School.

They’re half-pint humans working on a half-pint house.

“So it is a student built, hyper-efficient and sustainable structure that can address an awful lot of social needs,” said George Chmael, Sustainafest.

Chmael brought the idea to The Key School.

“You couldn’t get hammers in their hands fast enough,” Judd said.

There’s more to it than just banging together a kit. It’s an itch these kids may scratch decades from now.

“This is not just a three week camp, this is a lifelong learning opportunity for them,” said Judd.

They’ve seen, at just over 200 square feet, it’s a true home. Its designer lives comfortably in his house in Washington, D.C. There’s a full kitchen, a nice bath, a slide-out bed, plenty of storage and even a 90-inch TV.

Yet, it’s small enough to fit inside some of the kid’s big modern homes.

“We’re teaching them that they don’t need that,” said Judd.

Here, they need full solar power and filters to make rainwater drinkable.

“There’s no better way to teach about sustainability,” said Chmael.

They’re doing the work, both physically and mentally, to understand there is an alternative path to a perfectly acceptable — and maybe better — solution.

“They want to live tiny, they want to help the planet. They know now that they can,”,” Judd said.

“Once I came into this camp, all you really need is that size of a house,” one student said.

It’s something the governor found out when he took a tiny tour. Now there are plans to build more of them.

The homes cost between $40,000 to $60,000. If funding becomes available, the organizer would like to offer the homes as kits you could order on the Internet.

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