Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Great Tool For Life Goals

I found this great website called 43things.com It is basically a website that lets you input your life goals, rearrange them, but what’s more, is that it connects you with others that have the same goals so that you can learn and discuss it with them.  It also connects you with those whom have completed the goal so that they can share how they achieved it.  It’s a simple website, but has amazing implications and is a great source for inspiration for me.  Here is my short list for example:

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ReBurbia Design Competition

How to reshape suburban sprawl?  If you think about it the demands of today are high.  People want their McMansion on decent sized lots (which they think is 1/3 an acre, but that’s for another day).  I live in Charlotte, NC where our outer beltway is over a hundred miles long and it doesn’t even begin to encircle Charlotte’s suburb.  If you have errands to run, in a single day, I constantly drive 100 miles just for errands!  How can we fix this?

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Enter the Inhabitat / Dwell REBURBIA competition, by sending up to 5 images and a statement about your design proposal. You can submit as many entries as you like, but each individual entry should be focused on one singular design problem/solution (i.e. a McMansion farm rehab, a bicycle transportation hub, a piezoelectric, energy-generating freeway paving system). Entries will be judged on clarity of idea, usefulness of design, and visual/aesthetic appeal of renderings.

go to http://www.re-burbia.com/ to check it out!

The Greenest Consumer Is the Non-Consumer

We all have heard the phrase: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” But have you ever really gave it some thought?  The progression of this saying is very important.recycle_world We must first Reduce what we consume and use.  To stem the problem we have to simply stop consuming so much.  We produce in a single day, the amount that 12 people from Bangladesh do in an entire year!  The average person in the US uses 120 gallons of water in a Day.

Reuse.  If we absolutely have to consume something, we try to extend its life and make its consumption count.  We make smart purchasing decision about how we can address our needs for the future, not just the immediate.

Recycle.  If we have had to consume something, then we should try to recycle it.  In college I used to get so mad when people would throw a can away in the trash bin at the end of the hall, which was right aside of recycle container.  Recycling is not the answer, reduction is, but if we must consume, it is our job to extend that products life and then dispose of it properly. Today’s post talks about how the best consumer is the non-consumer (for the environment, not big corps).

Reprinted EcoHearth July 2009 Tonya Kay

Bless the well-intentioned consumer. The biodegradable soap, the hemp backpack, the energy-efficient light bulbs—the end products of conscientious consumption—are becoming far more popular and make us feel better about ourselves. But how much better are these purchases for the Earth?

The economic collapse has devastated my household, my community and my industry. Perhaps, however, this is just what we need. As I send ‘hang in there’ balloons and sympathy cards like everyone else, wishing the economy a speedy recovery, somewhere deep—in a secret, sadistic place—I hope it’s not over yet.

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On Solitude

aI am fortunate to be employed in a field I truly love.  But the demands made on my time, energy, and person are many.  That is one reason I crave solitude.

When I drive home, some times I keep the radio off (NPR is perhaps my favorite station).  But more importantly, my own mental health and emotional well-being require that I have some time that is alone and filled with quietude.

Solitude is not loneliness.  Nor is it engaging in activities to numb up one’s loneliness.

Rather, solitude is the capacity to live within and among one’s self without having to turn on the radio or TV or call a friend to distract one from loneliness.  Full disclosure: I have been known to do all three (but certainly not at once!)

Solitude is more than aloneness because when apartment or condo or townhouse living or one’s own TV do not assault our senses we can then enter into the inner chamber of our being.

I am writing this late in the evening and most of my neighbors are asleep as the pitter patter of the rain bookmarks the click of the keyboard.  I can think, I can reflect, I can assemble these thoughts in hopefully cogent form.

Solitude also allows for creativity and one of the finest books I have read on this topic is Father Matthew Fox’s, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet.  Let me quote from him briefly.

Father Fox writes that the title of his book “suggests that there is a special encounter with the Divine where creativity occurs.”  (p. 4)  I like that because whether or not I take the Book of Genesis literally, the creation of the world was indeed a supremely Creative Act.

“To allow creativity its appropriate place in our lives and our culture, our education and our family relationships, is to allow healing to happen at a profound level.” (p. 9)  Anyone in touch with one’s own or others’ hurts and wounds knows that our planet and its wonderfully diverse peoples are in great pain and in need of much healing.

Tiny living has already brought hope to many who were either tired of renting or who could not afford to embark upon a mortgage or whose life circumstances could not be reconciled with the housing market as it is.

Therefore, tiny living is indeed a creative effort and it can allow for solitude.

If living a life that is anything but small brings undue worry, stress, or heartache, then a tiny life can help allow for the solitude and creativity that can bring about peace—within and without– and contribute perhaps in some small way to the healing of our world.

Greg

The Man Who Doesn’t Use Money

What if you stopped using money, I mean all money?  No credit cards, no debt cards, checks, nothing! How would you eat?nomoney How would you get new shoes when yours wore out?  When I really think about it, I can’t imagine if I couldn’t not buy anything.  Not because I am addicted to consumption and materialistic things, but there are arguably things you absolutely need.  Soap for instance, I don’t need fancy soap, but a bar of ivory, sure.  To wash my hands, to shower, to clean cuts when I get injured, to wash the counter after cutting raw chicken.  Shoes, in our urban waste….I mean urban wonderland there are too many things that can injure you and places you can’t enter without them.

Reprinted: Style Christopher Ketcham

Daniel Suelo lives in a cave. Unlike the average American—wallowing in credit-card debt, clinging to a mortgage, terrified of the next downsizing at the office—he isn’t worried about the economic crisis. That’s because he figured out that the best way to stay solvent is to never be solvent in the first place. Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit.

His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo. Suelo’s blog, which he maintains free at the Moab Public Library, suggests that he’s both. “When I lived with money, I was always lacking,” he writes. “Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.”
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