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Chrissy Stimson

Maui

1+

Images by: Chrissy Stimson

“I try to inspire everyone.” Chrissy Stimson’s love for the earth is clear from the second she begins speaking. “I give metal straws to my friends, timers for showers, advice on reducing emissions. You name it, I’ve probably preached it. It just makes me so happy.”

Chrissy is a full-time student and waitress who resides in a tiny house on a rented plot of land on Maui. She went from living in a comfortable apartment on Oahu to moving to the Valley Isle with nothing but a tent.

To ensure a zero-waste and zero-emission lifestyle, she bought an 11-by-7-foot wooden tiny home on a small farm, where she helps care for the animals and crops. With the help from a friend, she completely retrofitted the tiny house to accommodate the following necessities -- a standup shower; an enclosed bathroom with a compostable toilet (using coconut fibers to ensure no wasted water); locally grown, bamboo-lined walls; four-panel solar system; inverter; and two 12-volt marine batteries. Chrissy even added solar reflective paint on the roof to prevent extra heat from escaping into the atmosphere. She cheerfully says, “I have everything that I need, plenty of energy for everything. I charge my laptop and my phone, and I always have lights. I have things running constantly and it’s fine.”
Chrissy explains how idyllic her living situation is. “I wake up in the sunshine and go to bed seeing shooting stars. I feel really good about owning this.” She points out how her situation is very different from that of a typical college student. “I don’t have to put myself into debt at 27-years-old to own a house. I’m more liberated, and I’m helping the planet at the same time.”  While her tiny home perfectly fits her, it does require plenty of upkeep. “It’s a little extra work, but what isn’t,” Chrissy explains. “Things that are good take a little extra work. I personally love challenging myself. It’s not that hard, you just have to keep reminding yourself why you do it."

Chrissy is currently studying Sustainable Science Management at the University of Hawaii’s Maui College and plans to continue her simple lifestyle. When asked what motivated this extreme change, she simply states, “For my carbon footprint, I want it to be as small as possible. I want to be a part of helping others see how easy it is, how truly wonderful it can be.”

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