In the wake of several major recent natural disasters, like raging wildfires along the west coast and record breaking hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it seems that our high impact living is catching up with us in full force -- but don't tell that to "stupid" climate change deniers (the Pope's characterization of these people, not mine).
In an era of "Make America Great Again," I wonder how my grandparents from "the Greatest Generation" faced similar obstacles and one thing struck me recently in reading the statistics about trends in home size and the growing tiny home movement.
At the time the Greatest Generation was at the peak of their post-WWII productive years in 1950, the average living space for a newly built American single-family home was 983 square feet. By 1973 it increased to 1,625 square feet and by 2015 it reached an all-time high of 2,687 square feet.
While the exact definition of a “tiny house” may vary, it usually refers to a home between 100 and 400 square feet in living space. The emerging tiny house movement goes against the trend of more than a half-century of ballooning in the size of American homes.
For people seeking to simplify, downsize, or find a sustainable and affordable way to achieve the American dream of home ownership but that don't know how to get started, the American Tiny House Association (ATHA) recently launched an expert community and buyers guide (ECO) which provides direct access to tiny home experts as well as a listing of industry suppliers. https://tinyhouse.expertcommunity.online/
And while 100 square feet of living space isn't feasible for many people, getting great "again" can be achieved by reversing destructive trends and emulating some of the simpler, low impact ways that a great generation previously lived.
As the tiny house movement continues to grow, it will have a big impact on our sustainable living patterns and could be an antidote to some of the human activities feeding the forces of climate change.