Adventures In Scaled Down Living, Two Ways

Think you can’t take your living situation to the bare minimum because you’re X or you’ve got Y or it would never work out because of Z? Maybe you’re right, but two stories I read recently suggested that you might just be wrong.

In the first, a couple abandons their condo (along with many elements of their modern lifestyle) to build a home in rural Iowa entirely without debt. With $7,000 and the help of friends and family, Hap and Lin Mullenneaux built a tiny cob house along with an open shed, summer kitchen, and a straw bale house. For water, they collect and filter rain. For heat, they use a small wood stove. And to power a laptop, modem, light, and fan, they have a wee photovoltaic system. Simple stuff, except when consider that they designer and manufactured everything themselves after taking a workshop!

In the second, two adults and two kids aaaand two cats lived for six years in a itty-itty camper and tiny tepee to save money and use fewer resources. It was much less luxurious than cob house living, with outdoor showers, water hauled from springs, human waste composting, and freezing winters. But you know what? They survived and enjoyed themselves, and while they’re in a house now, they seem to miss scaled down living as they practiced it.

There’s a song that says “love grows best in little houses” and my guess is that both families profiled above would be inclined to agree. I might agree, too, so long as you let me append the statement with something like “when the kids are grown up and there are no teenagers around.”

2 Responses to “Adventures In Scaled Down Living, Two Ways”

  1. acp girl December 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    I’m fine with people wanting to scale down their lifestyles, but if you have kids, that’s where I draw the line. It’s practically child abuse to bring up two kids in a one-room trailor thats freezing in the winter. I’m surpised no one called child protective services on those people.

  2. ASD January 10, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    Yes, people who can’t afford central air clearly should not be allowed to have children. Even though children were raised just fine for almost the entirety of human history without indoor heating.