DIY Tiny Home: Living on a Green, Self-Sustainable, Eco-Friendly School Bus in Los Angeles


Have you ever thought about living in a tiny home? Or, how about in an environmentally conscious school bus?

When we think of acclaimed school buses throughout time several come to mind.

There’s the Partridge Family Bus, The Magic School Bus and now, the ‘Cool Bus’.

Living in Texas, Michael Alan Kolb one day decided to pack his bags for Los Angeles, California to become the frontman for a rock/electronic band (Kolb is a very talented singer – click here to check him out).


However, there was no need to purchase a one way flight.

Kolb just turned the keys in his ignition, fired up his old 1996 school bus and hit the highway westbound.

Thinking he’d park and live somewhere near the beach (Venice Beach or Santa Monica), Kolb found himself living in Downtown, Los Angeles after being invited to a party in that area. Kolb never looked back.

During his time parked in a fenced parking lot, Kolb slowly renovated the bus to become more livable, self-sustainable and eco-friendly.

“The bus is designed much like a normal RV,” Kolb said.

“Living on the bus I think is really, really eco-friendly. I use maybe twenty-five dollars worth of city electricity a month.”

He’s also learned the mechanics of living in a tiny home, while staying environmentally clean.

Kolb had built plumbing for a bathroom and a kitchen sink, installed the fresh water and waste water tanks, created a bedroom and living area, equipped the bus with solar panels, grows his own food, constructed a roof deck, converted the bus to run on used vegetable oil and added so many other neat features.

Check Out Michael Alan Kolb’s Eco-Friendly, Self-Sustainable ‘Cool Bus’:


However, living on a school bus in Los Angeles doesn’t come without its hardships.

Kolb has to deal with the ongoing, ever-so-annoying taggers and graffiti artists that feel like his bus makes the perfect canvas.

And, there was a time he had to illegally funnel power from a light pole.

Most Recent Interior Shot. Credit: Michael Alan Kolb

“I had an electrician friend of mine just connect me to a light pole that was here in the parking lot that was totally unmetered,”  continued Kolb.

“For a couple of years, I was just sort of stealing power from the city, imagining that eventually somebody is gonna come knock on my door and say, ‘you’ve been stealing power from the power company and now you owe’ which is eventually what happened. So I said, okay, I’m happy to pay my back usage and I want to do it legit now.”

Nevertheless, Kolb feels that if anyone is thinking about living in a tiny home or a bus they ‘should just go for it.’

“It’s been a great adventure for me and I think I’ve learned a lot about a lot of things. Perhaps, most importantly, about myself and about the things that I need in order to survive and be happy.”

  • Innovating and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story and making a positive impact on the world by simply living your life in the authentic way that you do! <3