Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

5 Reasons Why I Am Going Tiny

Freedom

Freedom from stuff, freedom from excess space, freedom of time, freedom from cleaning.  All of these things take time, energy, money, and resources, going smaller means these demands are reduced drastically.  You then have freedom to do what you want, what is important, what really matters in your life.  Tiny House image

Money

McMansions cost allot of money, I am sure you have noticed.  The average US house costs around $265,000.  But it doesn’t stop there!  In order for you to get into that big house, you have to get a mortgage, which by the time you pay for it; it will cost you two to three times that, so roughly $800,000.  Then add maintenance, insurance, furnishing such a large space, cleaning products, etc.

Then there is the risk that comes with a mortgage, even with buying a house that is conservative for your income, even if you save for 3-6 months of pay in case you get laid off (which 95% of Americans don’t budget for), you could still lose your home after paying it off for 28 out of the 30 years you have on it.  So factor the cost, plus risk, then consider the opportunity cost, you could be well in the hole close to 1.5 million dollars and then be left homeless.

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Oil & Food, A Scary Picture

Oil is used to deliver the seeds to farmers

Oil is used to pump water to the cropspeakoil

Oil is used in production of fertilizers

Oil runs the tractors that harvest food

Oil is in the plastics that we package the food

Oil is in the tanks of the trucks that ship food an average of 5000 miles

Oil is used to drive your car when you bring the food home

Oil powers electricity at every step of this chain

Oil helps you cook the food when you bring it….

What would happen when Oil is $400 a barrel?

Peak oil is here and now, Get ready for the ride of your lifetime

Info on Peak Oil

Reprinted Treehugger Lester Brown July 2009

Today we are an oil-based civilization, one that is totally dependent on a resource whose production will soon be falling. Since 1981, the quantity of oil extracted has exceeded new discoveries by an ever-widening margin. In 2008, the world pumped 31 billion barrels of oil but discovered fewer than 9 billion barrels of new oil. World reserves of conventional oil are in a free fall, dropping every year.

Discoveries of conventional oil total roughly 2 trillion barrels, of which 1 trillion have been extracted so far, with another trillion barrels to go. By themselves, however, these numbers miss a central point. As security analyst Michael Klare notes, the first trillion barrels was easy oil, “oil that’s found on shore or near to shore; oil close to the surface and concentrated in large reservoirs; oil produced in friendly, safe, and welcoming places.” The other half, Klare notes, is tough oil, “oil that’s buried far offshore or deep underground; oil scattered in small, hard-to-find reservoirs; oil that must be obtained from unfriendly, politically dangerous, or hazardous places.”

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The “Tiny Life” Is Freedom

The tiny life is indeed freedom: freedom from long-term mortgages, freedom from unnecessary possessions, and freedom from the both the expected and unexpected headaches larger living brings.freedom

But it is not only freedom from, it is also freedom for: freedom to have more discretionary income to use wisely or to save; freedom for economies of scale; freedom for more focused energy to harness one’s will and talents with less encumbrance.

Sometimes our possessions come in the way of our self-actualizing.

Just as sadly, have we reached a point where we have allowed our possessions and the size of our homes or dwellings or that of others to define who we are and determine our self-worth, let alone those of others?

Perhaps the tiny life will bring us more into contact with those who do not allow the amount or type or “size” of one’s possessions blind them to the inherent dignity and self-worth of everyone.

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

-Greg

Land Sharing

Part of the issue of tiny houses is figuring out where to put them.  While building codes are so restrictive, it simply isn’t possible to legally place them on land in most states. landshare There is a county in my state of NC where the minimum square footage is 2500 square feet!  I continue to feel that the only viable is to buy a large chunk of land and have your house nestled deep within it.  But this presents a large barrier for some, including me at the age of 25.  Once I do get a sizable piece of land I have often thought of opening it up and sharing with other tiny houses to form a tiny community.  The group would contribute to a community garden, upkeep and improvements.  There would be public areas such as botanical garden, small park, perhaps a pool or swimming hole.  I apparently I haven’t been the only one thinking about this.

Reprinted Treehugger Bonnie Alter January 2009

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a national treasure–a writer, organic farmer, chef, t.v. personality and passionate believer in local communities. His latest venture is “Landshare“–a scheme which puts people with large unused gardens in touch with gardeners wanting space. He calls it a “food revolution destined to be the next great thing.” With more people wanting to grow their own food and allotments being harder and harder to come by, he just may be right.

It is a simple and optimistic idea. People register their interest as a grower, a spotter –someone who has seen land in their area that may be suitable for growing–or an owner. The register, once it is up and running, will put these people in touch with each other.

The facts are that 80% of Britain’s population live in towns and cities, Britain’s food travels 17 trillion miles every year to reach our plates and it costs four barrels of oil per person to feed us every year.

So there is a good reason why the concept is growing and others are proposing variations. “LandFit” is another group that is “encouraging local food production by matching would-be growers with under used land.” They too want to increase opportunities to grow good locally by bringing untended and ignored bits of land back into use. They see it is a way to not only grow food and encourage organic gardening but also as a way to discourage anti-social behaviour. It’s a variation on Jane Jacobs all over again: when you have a well-kept street with local people interested in what is going on then you have a sense of community and involvement.

It is complicated and political because it involves land ownership and the use of private property by others. The group is in the process of discussing matters such as ” governance issues, and developing a model agreement between gardener and ‘lead stakeholder’, and ways in which LandFit style agreements can be supported.”

These are two examples of groups trying to come to grips with sustainability in food production, taking control of food production and the growing numbers of people interested in gardening but without access to land. Landshare and LandFit

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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