Downsizing has taken on a newer meaning for Kenton Zerbin, and he’s working hard to share the message with as many people across the country as he can.
The Sturgeon County man best known for his big strides toward widespread sustainability has a new project he will be promoting on an educational road trip to spread the word on the art of building and living in tiny houses.
To get here, he assembled an intrepid and industrious team from NAIT that is halfway through making a new home that will double as a pop-up entertainment venue.
At the end of the trip is a pot of gold: he'll be handing over the keys to the tiny home to one lucky person.
"We have this lifestyle of needing a lot of money for the house debt, the house stuff, the house bills, and [people are] just living for their houses instead of their houses helping them live," Zerbin said.
His website, The Tiny House Master Plan, comes with its own 33-episode YouTube series.
He lives by the credo that the world is a small place and living in houses takes up too much natural resources for most people's basic needs. Besides, living in a house is just too much work and costs too much. We spend a fortune to heat them and then fill them with stuff.
A decade ago, he set off on a serious search to find a way to improve his life and live without massive debt. The tiny house was the key, he explained. A tiny home can be built extremely efficiently, without having to buy the land it's on, he said. They're super sustainable, use fewer raw materials, and utilize many energy efficiencies. It makes all kinds of sense, and aligns with his ethical priorities.
Besides all that, living small meant he could live larger with more financial freedom and free time.
"My house helped enable me to do that. But that's my mission. [Those are] my values. That's my stuff coming in. That's where I think it's important for people to be clear [on] what they want out of life. A tiny house can help them clarify that," he said.
This little house is being built with volunteer labour and donated materials from a variety of local and Alberta businesses. He is training the "dynamic ... multifaceted" NAIT students to manage aspects of the project such as sponsorships, video production, and social media.
"I have to delegate and help people hold the weight of the project because it's so massive in scope," he said.
Once completed, the house will be given away to a subscriber to his YouTube channel, called ‘The Tiny House Master Plan’ and who fills out the form on his website. There followers can find out more details about his workshops and the tour.
The road trip kicks off this weekend with workshops on Edmonton's south side. As the tour starts, the Tiny House/pop-up entertainment venue will head down to Calgary for the installation of a motorized stage unit.