Follow by Email

StatCounter

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I go on and on



I go on and on about living on a small boat. It's useful as it's a self contained little world that has to provide all your basic needs. If you didn't bring it you don't have it.

Almost everything could apply to living in a cabin in the woods. You need to produce your power. Cook food. Have a water supply and provide for sanitation.

My house while on a paved road and semi-grid connected, takes advantage of much of the same thinking. It has significant solar electric power, a well, woodstove, and it's own septic system.

Living in small spaces like a sailboat or a remote cabin provide very useful lessons in low impact living. You learn that a little solar power goes a long way. Being able to charge a phone, power a LED light, or use a tablet makes life a lot more comfortable. When you get back to a regular house you realize that it's not necessary to keep every light in the house on or blare the TV 24/7.

You also learn that you can get by with a whole lot less -everything from less electricity to less water to less electronic stimulation. There are times when I think we only keep a house to have space to store our books and our boats.

Most people take a lot of the basic stuff of living for granted. One simple example: water. You turn the tap on and it flows. Flush the toilet and the waste goes away. Take a day and haul all the water you use in jugs. The first thing you discover is that water is very heavy. Even a low flow toilet is going to use around 1.6 gallons of water. The further you have to carry water, the better water conservation sounds.

A lot of people find themselves having to downsize. Infinite economic growth on a finite planet is hitting real physical limits. Many in the first world are suddenly finding their living arrangements approaching the third world. It's quite a shock, especially while trying to maintain a wasteful lifestyle. Something has to give.

Think about living in places that won't break the budget. It doesn't mean you have to be sad about. Believe me, most of the folks I meet on small boats think they are living large. There plenty of happily house-less people living converted vans.

It all starts with thinking about what you really need to live. Once you've established what you need it's easy to satisfy some wants.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. Yes you do go on about living in small spaces my friend and it's good you do... there's such happiness to be had by doing such a thing and it can be so easy to do... I do have a question for your readers... just how many of you do live in or on a small yacht or boat or tiny home on wheels? How many of you have downsized to say under two or 300sq ft?
    Or how many of you are dreaming about such a thing and waiting for the time to be right, the children leaving home, becoming retired and having the time or having the courage to take the plunge... do tell...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question for all of us Mr Flying Tortoise.

      Delete
  2. "There are times when I think we only keep a house to have space to store our books and our boats." -yep.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the "books and boats" - definitely true of the books at my house. I have all but about a dozen of the Readers Digest Condensed Books (now Select Editions) since the beginning, which I believe was 1952. But my kids aren't going to want them, so what do I do now?
    And yes, Tortoise - we downsized from 3800 sq ft to 1750. It's still big for 2 people, but the out-of-state kids come to stay occasionally with teen grands, and 4 year-old-grand stays with us every weekend. He's gotta have his space for Legos and dinosaur diggings ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems I never know when someone is going to move in with me. (maybe I should downsize to the bare minimum so that doesn't happen?) :)

      Delete
  4. Hubby and I are purging things now. It's amazing to think that we've hauled some of this stuff through four moves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Purging stuff during a move is usually a bad idea. You end up moving at least 25% more stuff than you have to, but moving is stressful enough without all the extra sorting.

      Delete
  5. The question posed by The Flying Tortoise is a good one. Heck, even our RV has over twice that much space and that is without putting out the four large slide outs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need room for the dogs Dizzy. :)

      Delete
  6. Thoreau was right; we need to simplify.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thoreau was such a huge influence on my life from the time I was a very young kid. Ruined any chance I'd strive for material goods and status.

      Delete