While I may have a Tiny Lifestyle blog, I have always been trying to really hone in on what the Tiny Lifestyle truly is. It is more than just owning a tiny house; it is a culmination of many things which leads us to a life which addresses human needs that we find are absent in our lives. It’s seeking more time, discovering ourselves and loved ones. It’s getting back in touch with nature; I would even go as far as saying there is a spiritual side to it as well.
I feel that the course we are going on as humans isn’t sustainable in both ecological and psychological terms. With so many humans on this earth we are feeling cramped, we lack room to roam, time to be and other needs of the human condition. What does this all have to do with Urbanism?
Like I said the way we live today isn’t sustainable in many ways, we must rethink, reengineer and adjust our behaviors. With 6.5+ billion people on this world urbanism will happen and we have to be smart about it.
So today I want to share these a few videos (if you only watch one, take time for the first it’s phenomenal) about building better. There are many people who are part of the Tiny House Movement that do so in an urban setting. For those of you whom are a bit more remote, while these things talk about cities and urban area, there are undoubtedly gems we can gleam. Whether these ideas are used to develop your community, your own tract of land or a small community of tiny houses, these ideas are invaluable for the backwoods or cities alike.
The Tiny Lifestyle affords us to living in the moment, to enjoy life unburdened by not having to vacuum 6000 square feet, to have to get a second job to make the mortgage payment this month. You are able to focus on the two most important things: your relationship with others and yourself. Its about being able to take time for important things in your life, to do what matters most and pursue your passions.
For some time now I have been aware of “The Slow Movement” which touts taking time to savor whatever you are doing. The two main groups that have really jumped on board with this are travel and food.
The Slow Food movement and the Slow Travel Movement are all about taking the time to really enjoy, living in the moment and developing connections with others. Slow food movement was obviously a response to Fast Food. In the US 1/3 of Americans eat Fast Food every single day. The main reason is because its convenient and easy. For those of you who don’t know I am 25, and I can easily say that 90% of everyone my age that I know don’t know how to cook a simple meal. A friend of mine who had been living for several years on their own, I had to teach how to boil pasta…. No…..I’m not even kidding.
There is obviously a strong case for having small house, its affordable, its simple, its well…allot of things. But one thing that hadn’t occurred to me as of yet was that a Tiny home is ethical. How so? In a world of finite resources, we are using more and more of natural resources, well beyond our fair share and not accounting for generations to come. In the past 10 years, Americans have consumed conservatively 25% of the world’s natural resources! Now do that math which means in 30 more years, we will be out of wood, coal, oil, minerals and folks, that’s something we are going to see in our lifetime.
So living Tiny means we use much less resources, thus reducing our impact on the world. While I don’t expect so many people to selling off their mansions and living in 100 square feet, I foresee a strong trend to downsizing.
Tree Huger has a great article on this saying
When I hear the question, “Can large homes be green?,” I think the questioner is really asking, “Is it right for some people use more resources â€” live in big homes â€” when they could live in smaller homes like the rest of us?” That question is not really about green building; it’s more about moral or social equity
The tiny life is indeed a creative solution. So much fine work is being done by people far too numerous to mention here who have chosen to live more simply in so many ways.
So much of life is stuffâ€”stuff we accumulate, stuff we buy, stuff we are given. Another word for “stuff” is possessions.
Now there is nothing inherently wrong with stuff or any of our material possessions. The trick is developing and then sustaining the discipline to make wise choices about what to retain, what to give away, what to throw away, and then what to buy.
The tiny life in all its dimensions requires necessarily that one look at one’s “stuff”. What used to fit in a former dwelling is most likely not going to work in a smaller one. It might indeed become difficult to part with stuff.
Maybe one criteria can be, “Will keeping this possession help further my goals and what I believe my mission in life to be, and help me actualize the talents I was given to develop?”
What do you think though? Feel free to share your criteria.
I have thought of this question, what is the difference between living in a tiny house and living in a mobile home/trailer? It’s hard to put into words but I’ll give it a try.
First off a Tiny house doesn’t need to mobile, they can be built as a traditional slab foundation. The purpose of having your home on a trailer, is that it allows you to get around many building codes due to the fact that people at city hall scratching their heads saying “its kinda like a trailer”.
I feel there is a much larger push for aesthetics than your typical RV, Trailer or mobile home. The cost per square foot of tiny homes, is often much higher than your standard built homes. The limited space means you much pain painstakingly maximize every inch. The use of high quality building materials, meticulous design and some style are a huge departure from the quintessential mobile home. I would even go a far to say they are often built with these tenant (materials, meticulous design and style) more so than most traditional homes today. I live in Charlotte, NC which has see and continues to see huge growth. Thousands of new homes are being built every year and they lack these things.
A big driving cause for people wanting to live in these homes is because they want to downsize. They have been buying into the notion that bigger is better for most of their lives and have come to realize, well maybe its not better or maybe it is not for me. In our world of consumerism, our culture of ownership, we have come to see that materials things are not the most important things in our lives. While we still participate in this consumer economy, it is at a much lesser degree. We have changed the focus of importance from things to people, relationships and free time for pursuit of things which hold intrinsic value to us. The key thing to realize is that we choose to live in a small house because of the lifestyle it affords us.