How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint By Living in a Yurt

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint By Living in a Yurt

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint By Living in a Yurt

Living in a yurt can significantly reduce your carbon footprint compared to a traditional house or apartment. Here’s how:

What is a Yurt?

A yurt is a round, domed structure that originated as a portable home used by nomadic cultures in Central Asia. The frame consists of wooden lattice walls, a door, and a roof all covered in heavy fabric and insulating materials.

Modern yurts are still circular and portable but incorporate more amenities and features for comfortable full-time living. They typically have:

  • Wooden lattice walls and roof frame
  • Heavy canvas or insulating fabric exterior
  • Insulation between walls and roof
  • Glass windows and doors
  • Electricity and lighting
  • Wood stove or other heating source
  • Furniture, kitchen, bathroom

In short, yurts provide a small, efficient, and eco-friendly housing option.

Why Yurts are More Sustainable

Smaller Footprint

The average yurt is only 200-400 square feet. Compare that to the average American home at over 2500 square feet! The small space reduces your energy needs for heating and cooling and cuts down on unnecessary possessions.

Efficient Materials

  • The wooden lattice frame requires fewer raw materials than conventional wall framing.
  • Canvas coverings are reusable and recyclable at end of life.
  • Insulation replaces drywall.
  • Less concrete is needed for foundations.


Yurts can be transported and reassembled, adapting to changing housing needs. Less waste results from avoiding demolition and permanent construction.

Off-Grid Capabilities

With the addition of solar panels and composting toilets, yurts function completely off-grid, independent of utility infrastructure.

Lower Energy Use

The high insulation, circular shape, and small space require far less energy for heating and cooling than a typical home. A correctly oriented yurt takes advantage of passive solar design.

How to Reduce Your Footprint

Here are some key steps to maximize the eco-benefits of yurt living:

Choose Sustainable Materials

Opt for FSC-certified wood, recycled insulation, natural canvas, and non-toxic finishes. Install double-paned windows. Look for used materials to repurpose.

Add Solar Power

Solar panels can fully power lighting, appliances, and electronics in a small yurt. Extra electricity can be stored in batteries or sold back to the grid.

Use a Composting Toilet

Composting toilets conserve water and avoid septic/sewer systems. Compost waste can fertilize your garden!

Utilize Passive Heating/Cooling

Proper yurt orientation, window placement, insulation, thermal mass, and landscaping techniques can keep interiors comfortable year-round without powered heating/cooling.

Grow Your Own Food

Yurt living fosters a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and herb planting. You’ll drastically reduce transportation emissions from food production.

Buy Local Products

Frequent farmers markets, craft fairs, and local shops. Avoid purchasing imported, processed goods with huge manufacturing footprints.

Benefits Beyond Sustainability

Adopting yurt life is rewarding for many personal reasons:

  • Lower housing costs – decreased space needs and portable design reduce purchase/rent and utility bills.
  • Community – yurts foster connection with nature and neighbors.
  • Customization – decorate and arrange your yurt focused on necessities.
  • Freedom – relocate easier and experience flexible, simple living.

The eco-friendly yurt lifestyle emphasizes sustainable living through community, DIY ethics, and skill-building. Following the steps above will significantly reduce your carbon footprint – and enrich your life at the same time!