What do we really need to live comfortably? This is a question that an increasing number of people are asking themselves, leading some to make the choice to live according to a more minimalist ethic. Rather than maximizing the space they own, they are shrinking it down to the bare essentials. They are building “tiny houses.”
These houses have everything their inhabitants need, but on a scale much smaller than usually seen. This is both a reaction to the environmental realities that the irresponsible use of space and resources has engendered, as well as a reaction against the maximalism of consumer capitalist, which has ingrained into many facets of our culture the idea that material wealth has a direct relationship to one”s happiness – that the more you have, the happier you are. I think these houses are a pretty great idea, and it seems like they are starting to catch on. Check out some info about these “tiny houses” below.
Here”s an example of one of these “tiny houses.” As you can see, it appears to have all the qualities of a bigger house, but in a miniature and a more compact size.
In order to have these houses as compact as they are, while maintaining the necessities for reasonable comfort, certain inventive and clever additions have to be made. Here, you can see that the bed in this house is on a rolling track that allows it to bed stowed away when it isn”t being used.
Not only is this house spatially efficient, but it is also very efficient in the uses of energy and resources. Two environmentally friendly modifications on this tiny house are it”s use of solar energy, and it”s use of rain water as a water-source.
More efficient housing means less costly housing – and this has inspired some to use this type of housing to help the homeless get a new start in homes of their own. Below is a group of houses built for the homeless in Ithaca, New York.
Here”s a very informative video on this new movement from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo:
I personally think that these tiny houses aren”t for everyone, but they are a great step toward a more environmentally and economically sound future. Do you think you could downsize like this?