Why Live in a Tiny House? Part Two

Posted By digging roots on Jul 18, 2018 in Gardening, Herbal Medicine, Homesteading, Less Waste, Tiny House | 3 comments


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Before you read this, go back and read Why Live in a Tiny House? Part One.

 

Our decision to build a tiny house began an exciting change of several of our values. We tried to analyze different things that society told us is healthy or normal and decide for ourselves whether they were or not. Here is our “re-working journey” in a nutshell:

 

House Size

Obviously, home size was one of the first things we questioned. Our culture tells us that one of the marks of successful adulthood is buying a big, beautiful house. Trent has worked for the last 6 years building and remodeling aforementioned houses. He noticed that although owning such a nice house made clients happy, it didn’t bring contentment or peacefulness to their lives. Houses are no longer simply a roof over your head; they have become castles that allow us to separate from each other and from nature.

 

Food

We began to question the food we were eating. We realized that most of the food we were told was “healthy” was actually damaging our health. Pasteurized dairy products have lost their bacteria and enzymes that help us digest them. Our vegetables have been sprayed with chemicals. Many oils from the store are rancid and have been bleached. Even “healthy” pre-made food (such as crackers and bread) have some questionable ingredients. We also realized that the way conventional agriculture is growing our food is wreaking havoc on our soils, water, and air.

 

Plastic

We started to notice how much plastic we were consuming, and this continues to be an ongoing process for me. Plastic is literally everywhere: shopping bags, food packaging, produce bags, storage containers, toys, shoes, garbage bags, blenders, and water bottles. Plastic is convenient and it plays into our consumeristic, throw-away culture, but it takes 500-1,000 years to degrade. Virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists, except for a small percentage which has been incinerated.

 

Old Skills Abandoned

We realized how few people know the old skills that almost all generations before us have known: how to grow, harvest, preserve, ferment, and sprout food. How to build a house that uses local resources. How to make medicine from plants. How to survive in the wild. How to care for animals, butcher, and preserve the meat.

Our electronic civilization is truly amazing, yet we have become shadows of the humans who walked the earth just a hundred years ago. We don’t know how to survive in the wild. We can’t live without our grocery stores. We can’t make our own clothes. If anything goes wrong in this well-oiled machine, we’re screwed. Nature needs us, yet we have lost our feeling of need for nature. We have all moved inside to be with our virtual world and have rejected the natural world around us.

 

Breaking free from consumerism

We are selfish and our current system makes being selfish easy. We want to consume, but we don’t want to give back. So we buy our single-use items, consume them, and throw the remainders away.

It’s hard to break out of this mindset. I know it’s been hard for me to be less of a consumer and more of a maker. To be honest, I still have a long way to go. It is hard for me to take my mason jars to the store and grind my peanut butter, to remember my cloth produce bags, to preserve food in the fall, and to cook most of our food at home, yet for the time being, these are the things I am committed to doing. They are my current step in a long journey away from consumerism.

 

It is necessary that we consider what affect our choices are having on our land. I deeply desire to leave a planet to my grandchildren that is worth living in. I want them to have fresh air and clean water. I want them to eat food from soils that have been properly cared for. I want them to be resilient and strong.

As I said in part one, we want a full, rich quality of life for our family, and the tiny house is just a small part of a response we are making to our consumeristic culture. I realize that tiny houses aren’t for every one. I also realize it isn’t feasible for everyone to grow all of their own food. 

But we can all do better than we are doing right now.

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3 Comments

  1. This is so inspiring!

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  2. I want to come and learn and help in your kitchen! I want to return to the old ways of women working side by side and enriching each other’s lives with more than just their words.

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    • Me too, Dinah! I’ve been committed in my cooking to using most of the animal parts in my cooking, both for financial and health sense…
      making bone broth, etc., but Theresa’s blog has inspired me to resume the use of cloth vegetable bags in the store. I’m buying natural bar soap from a friends daughter. Maybe you and I should try making some lard together?!? And I should make cloth napkins from fabrics I have from mom. I think much of our challenge is that many of us are a little lazy (talking about me). But making napkins is a one-time thing! And fun! This gives me so much to think about because I want the same beautiful, healthy world for my grandchildren that Theresa describes she wants for hers. 🌍🌾

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