I had no idea that how we had chosen to live, here at El Pocito, was actually part of a huge movement, a global one too. Not until I got a copy of the latest title from the stable of Lloyd Kahn, entitled TINY HOMES. All the SHELTER books are brilliant, but this is a real treat, with literally thousands of photographs of wonderful and original small houses, plus links to their websites.
To qualify as tiny the house has to be less than 500 ft2 in floor-space (46m2). Nothing more. And this is my only quibble with the book. It meant that at least half the pictures were of commercial/ holiday/ or second homes, and I thought that detracted from the usefulness of the work. So to redress this I’d like to feature photos here of what I think are real tiny homes, and invite people to send them in.
TINY HOMES = small shelter, which as far as I am concerned means (in no particular order):
- is a primary residence. Not a second home or holiday cabin/ boat/ recreational vehicle/ whatever.
- it’s a place where the owner has put down roots.
- the design is totally theirs, and made to fit exactly their needs.
- built using as much free labour & recycled materials as can be found locally, and without any additional finance (loan), including the power system/ water provision/ and all fittings & appliances.
- to live in, as sustainably as our species currently permits – without reproduction or earning in total more than 5000 € a year (£4000/ $6625 US). Over-population and money being the major cause of ecological destruction.
- keeps the inhabitants warm and dry with the minimum of heating.
- is a healthy place to live (see below).
- and an example of taking responsibility for the planet. Where the owner is not only getting a home for very little cash outlay, but developing the land it sits on to increase ecological diversity and fertility, protect it from pollution, and in return can coppice for fuel/ materials, and forage for food/ medicine.
TINY HOMES should also aims to have as many of the following (though not necessarily all):
- no mains electricity, relying solely on alternative energy, generated from natural renewable sources (wind/ solar/ or water power).
- no internal wiring or mains power.
- no metal in the structure.
- no fixed phone line, no mobile signal.
- no mains sewage, no septic tank, no mains water (all waste being composted on-site).
- plenty of natural light, roof-lights especially.
- no toxic chemicals used in construction/ furniture/ or maintenance.
- and located as far as possible from public roads/ urbanisation/ industry.