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6 Reasons Why The Tiny House Movement Is Going To Be Big Over Coming Decades

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Henry David Thoreau, the American author, poet, and philosopher (among other things) who wrote the classic essay “Walden” is somewhat of a poster boy for many in the tiny house movement. Thoreau himself lived in a tiny house (a 10′ × 15′ English style cottage) near Walden ponds. He spent more than two years living is this small cottage, contemplating life and turning conventional living on its head.

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He worked as little as possible, in direct opposition to the standard mantra of the era, which entailed six days working and one day off. The freedom his new approach to working hours afforded allowed him to gain clarity of mind. He witnessed those around him endure the monotony of everyday work, suggesting, “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” He was passionate about acting on one’s individual conscience and not blindly following laws, government, and societal norms. Thoreau’s view of the world in some way represents the essence of the tiny house movement.

Today

Thanks to people like Jay Shafer (who founded Tumbleweed, a California-based company that designs and builds ready-made models and floor plans), there has been increased exposure on tiny homes throughout the mainstream media. This exposure has helped bring awareness to the idea of alternative modes of living. The mainstream are taken by the tiny house movement with major networks and media outlets such as CNN, AP, The Guardian, Huffington Post, NBC, Oprah, PBS and many other blogs and networks featuring the phenomenon. Today the internet has been flooded with various images, videos, and stories of people living in and becoming involved with tiny homes around the world. Television shows, documentaries and You Tube clips abound. The tiny house movement, while still in its early days, will most likely be one of the biggest trends over the coming decades.

Six Reasons Why the Tiny House Movement is Going to be Big Over Coming Decades

1. Economic

In the aftermath of the financial crisis and now the Euro crisis, many people have simply lost their hard earned dollars or had their homes repossessed. This segment has had to reassess their lives and their future. When you have lost decades of earning capacity you really need to rethink things. Since the GFC, things have become a lot worse for economies, with both private and sovereign debt levels almost double what they were before. In OECD cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto, Vancouver, Auckland, London, and New York, the average price of a standard home or apartment is close to or pushing through the million dollar mark. Even in the far flung outlying suburbs of large cities properties can easily be priced from $500,000 upwards. Even if you are fortunate enough to have a well paying job or business, mortgages can take anywhere between 2o to 40 years to repay. According to “The Tiny Life” research, 21% of people who own a tiny home are under 30. 21% are between 30 – 40, 18% between 40 -50, and the majority (38%) over 50 years of age.

2. Environmental

As people become more conscious of their environmental footprints, small homes will become more prevalent throughout the mainstream. As energy prices continue to increase and the costs of living rise, the tiny house movement will grow. The overall cost of maintaining, heating, and cooling a small space is significantly less than that for larger, more energy and resource intense properties. Not to mention the resources used in the build process are often ten times less than a conventional 2,200 square foot property.

3. Simplicity

 tinyhouseontrailorSimplifying one’s life and being able to live life within ones means is a good starting point for being able to weather any economic contraction. Reducing debt and downsizing will make transition to a more sustainable life much easier. Many studies maintain that a simpler and less consumerist lifestyle can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. A consumerist lifestyle distracts individuals from more meaningful endeavours. Reducing the amount of possessions in one’s life can lead to a cleansing not only of physical possessions, but also of the mind, leading to enhanced mental clarity. Having limited space forces one to de-clutter and minimize the amount of stuff owned. Your entire life is therefore simplified, everything from clothes and appliances to furniture begins to take up less mental energy. You only carry what is essential and what is needed. Many tiny homes are roadworthy, mounted on trailers which gives owners the ability to easily relocate.

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4. Tiny Homes Give You Big Think Space

The 1950’s heralded the rise and development of suburbia which expanded throughout many Western nations. In conjunction with larger parcels of land came larger homes. It was predominately the post war economic growth in the United States and other OECD nations which encouraged the suburbanization of cities. With cheap energy in the form of crude oil helping fund this suburban expansion, consumer patterns also shifted. The baby boomers went on a spending spree as industrial output enabled people to purchase an array of goods and services that only decades earlier did not exist or were cost prohibitive. With suburbia and larger houses came a new consumer culture. These large homes needed more ‘stuff’ to make them look like they weren’t empty. Today approximately 30% of most American weekly income is spent servicing debt and mortgage repayments. In countries such as Australia and Canada the number is closer to 40%. It is easy to see why there has been a lack of dissent and free thinking among the masses. Tiny homes and downsizing free you up from the burden of expensive living and being chained to the wheel.

5. Happiness Levels

livingbigtinyinsideWith less stress and without the burden of having to pay and repay debt, people are waking up to the realization that you don’t need to live in a monster home to be truly happy. With the average size of most North American homes increasing by over 60% since the early 1970’s, there is no evidence to suggest living in a bigger home adds to overall levels of happiness, despite what the advertisers and mortgage brokers will tell you! Having a larger home doesn’t mean you are 60% happier than those living in a small space. In fact, studies show that the larger the home, and the more time you devote to maintaining, cleaning, and servicing, the more financial and personal stress you will experience. Living light gives people space to define their worlds and gain more control over how they live life, ultimately leading to greater happiness and satisfaction.

 6. Community

Since the rapid period of ‘suburbanization’ from the 1950’s onwards, which brought about long distance commutes to central business districts, more frequent overseas travel, and consumerism, community ties and networks have been lost. People in large cities and throughout suburbia have become isolated. While there are pockets of vibrant communities, in general there has been a disintegration of community values and connection. We have become too busy working to pay off large mortgages and engaging in hedonistic pursuits which have distracted us from what really matters – family, community, and relationships. There are many vibrant developments in the small space community. Due to the relatively new nature of the movement people are coming together in collaboration to solve some of the zoning, planning, and logistical challenges that have since arisen. Projects like the Tiny House Village in Sonoma Country will become blueprints for others to follow. This project will offer shared amenities with the village structured more like a co-op.

RethinkCoverinsertCEArticle compiled by Andrew Martin, editor of onenesspublishing  and author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…  and Rethink…Your world, Your future.

Sources: Rethink…Your world, Your future.

Images: Living Big in A Tiny House

 

 

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Survivors From The MK Ultra Program Come Together To Sue The Federal Government

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According to this CTV News article, survivors and families of an MK Ultra brainwashing program run by Dr. Ewen Cameron at McGill University in Montreal in the 1950s and 1960s have banded together to bring the horrors of this program more fully into the public eye.

They are planning a class action lawsuit against the provincial and federal government, an initiative which lawyer Alan Stein feels optimistic about:

“I believe we can claim moral damages as a result of the experiments when Dr. Cameron used these people as guinea pigs.”—lawyer Alan Stein

There is reason to take Alan Stein seriously in this matter. He has successfully represented numerous survivors who were once patients at the infamous Allan Memorial Institute at McGill University.

In 1992, then Justice Minister Kim Campbell compensated 77 former patients of the program, but denied others a payout because they were deemed not damaged enough. Stein has handled several lawsuits and out of court settlements since.

Public Apology Is Primary

What is different with this class action suit is that the primary objective of the victims is a public apology and an admission of complicity on the part of the government. In previously successful individual lawsuits, money was paid out based on the extent of damage—such as the degree to which the victim had reached a ‘childlike state’—and not on the fundamental principal that citizens’ human rights had been egregiously violated.

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I will not detail the litany of human rights abuses that were perpetrated by the MK Ultra program here. This episode of the Fifth Estate might be a good place to start if you are interested in getting more details about the kind of cruel and subversive treatment victims had to endure, treatment that often damaged patients for life. Suffice it to say that none of the patients provided informed consent or knew that they were being used for Cameron’s CIA and federally funded research. Instead, they were wrongly told their treatments were medically necessary and for their own well-being.

Forced Non-Disclosure

Those survivors who were deemed damaged enough to warrant compensation or the family members who were fighting on their behalf were forced by the government to sign non-disclosure agreements. Much of the motivation behind survivors and their families coming together this time and taking collective action is borne out of the frustration that the government continues to do everything in its power to hush up the existence of this program and prevent revelations of these inhumane acts from becoming part of everyday discourse.

These events, like the holocaust, should become strongly ingrained into our collective psyches so that we can heal from them, and also empower ourselves to prevent this abuse of authority from happening in the future.

What is promising is that more and more people are rejecting the avenue of getting paid off for their silence, and are motivated to bring acts of human atrocity to the light of day, forcing those implicated to take public responsibility. The more the government resists the processes needed for healing and reconciliation that are clearly in the interests of its citizens, the deeper their hidden complicity in these tragedies will appear to those with eyes to see.


Related CE Articles:

MK Ultra Survivor Shares Her Story of How Her Multiple Personalities Were Used By The Elite For Unthinkable Things

MK Ultra – What They Didn’t Tell You About The Mind Control Program That’s Probably Still Operational


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Warning: Graphic Video Exposes A Cruel Truth Behind Designer Leather, Like Louis Vuitton

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PETA video below features footage inside multiple crocodile farms in Vietnam.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the products that you purchase unnecessarily made from animals?

So many people, particularly those of us who live in more industrialized countries, have become obsessed with our appearance. People slave away behind a desk just so they can afford that new designer handbag or some other fashion craze. Very rarely do we ask ourselves, “Do I truly need this material item, or am I using it to fill a void?”

Even more rarely do we ask ourselves, “What material are my clothes made out of and where do they come from?” We just take a glimpse at a tag, recognize the label, and purchase it without second guessing what our money is supporting. If the process was shown to us visually, during our purchase, just think about how many people would walk away from that item.

This is how disconnected and ignorant we’ve become.

The sad truth is that the fashion industry is torturing and murdering innocent animals and destroying the environment in the process. A recent PETA video exposes the terrifying reality behind many designer leather items.

Warning: Graphic Video That Will Make You Ditch Leather Forever

Society not only considers it ‘normal’ to own leather products, but also encourages consumers to buy them because leather is considered a high quality material, one that only people with “higher statuses” can afford. In particular, crocodile skin has been a fad for a long time in the leather industry, as many luxury brands will make leather handbags, watches, shoes, belts, and other clothing items out of it.

The PETA video below features footage inside multiple crocodile farms in Vietnam. In the video, you can see that the crocodiles are still alive while being cut open and skinned. In fact, crocodiles can live for multiple hours after being skinned alive. One of the farms featured is one that provides crocodile leather for Louis Vuitton, which is often viewed as a symbol of prosperity, but should really be viewed as a symbol of cruelty.

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The Chilling Truth Behind The Fashion Industry

Crocodiles aren’t the only animals to be tortured, skinned alive, and forced to endure a slow and painful death. Leather can be made from a variety of animals including the more obvious choices of cows, pigs, goats, and sheep; exotic animals like alligators, ostriches, and kangaroos; and even house pets such as dogs and cats. You may be thinking, “I’d never wear leather from cats and dogs!” However, ask yourself these two questions: What makes dogs and cats so different from other animals and how would you even be able to distinguish between leather made from a dog and leather made from a cow?

No, North America doesn’t kill dogs and cats for leather, but they do import leather products from China, where cats and dogs are killed for their meat and then skinned for leather. In fact, most leather actually comes from China or India and there’s no way to determine where (or whom) your leather is coming from (source).

Wool isn’t any better either; you’d assume that manufacturers would want to keep the animals alive and treat them with care since wool doesn’t technically require an animal to die. It seems this would be more economical, yet these animals are tortured and often die as a result of the brutality that takes place on wool farms (you can read about that here).

I’ve also heard people argue that leather is more environmentally sustainable than other cruelty-free alternatives. Yes, it may have a longer product lifecycle than some vegan alternatives; however, it’s also responsible for the same environmental degradation the meat industry causes and further pollution from the dying and tanning processes. To give you a few statistics:

“Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.”

“Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day.” (source)

So, How Do We Transition To A Leather-Free Fashion Industry?

We torture and murder these animals, all for what? A pair of shoes? A wallet to hold the cards that are literally driving you into debt? I’ll admit, there’s a certain practicality behind leather because of its durability, but there are numerous vegan materials that are equally as strong and long-lasting. Some of the awesome, vegan, eco-friendly alternatives to leather include waxed cotton, paper, cork, tree bark “leather,” and one of my personal favourites, recycled tires! PETA has a comprehensive list of vegan leathers that are just as sleek and durable as real leather.

I ditched all of my leather products a long time ago; however, I completely understand the struggle to do so. If you own a lot of leather, it can be expensive and wasteful to simply throw it out. You have a few options: you could sell your leather goods, donate them to a shelter or a facility that refurbishes or recycles leather, or trade them with friends for other cruelty-free options!

It’s also important to recognize that, at one point in time, using animals to create our clothing served us. Animal skin and fur was able to provide our ancestors with enough warmth to survive in colder climates. It was also a more sustainable option for clothing at the time if they were killing the animal for food anyways (long before factory farming became mainstream).

However, now is the time to divest from animal products and move towards a cruelty-free future. We’ve seen how these animals are treated and there’s no way to justify the terror that takes place in these facilities. We know that consuming animal products is of a very low vibration and that simply cannot serve us if we want to raise our consciousness and lead the collective towards a brighter future. Animals weren’t put on this Earth to serve us; they’re not ours to take, just like the environment isn’t ours to destroy.

Say goodbye to your leather so you can look great on the outside and feel even better on the inside!

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Engineers Develop A Device That ‘Literally Generates Electricity Out of Thin Air’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Electrical engineers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have created a device that literally generates energy out of thin air.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do none of the truly "free" energy sources we keep hearing about never come to market?

A new study published in Nature entitled “Power generation from ambient humidity using protein nanowires” has discovered an interesting way to harvest energy from the environment, creating the potential for another clean power generating system that is self-sustaining. According to the authors,

“thin-film devices made from nanometre-scale protein wires harvested from the microbe Geobacter sulfurreducens can generate continuous electric power in the ambient environment. The devices produce a sustained voltage of around 0.5 volts across a 7-micrometre-thick film, with a current density of around 17 microamperes per square centimetre. We find the driving force behind this energy generation to be a self-maintained moisture gradient that forms within the film when the film is exposed to the humidity that is naturally present in air.”

The study also mentions that “connecting several devices linearly scales up the voltage and current to power electronics” and that their results “demonstrate the feasibility of a continuous energy-harvesting strategy that is less restricted by location or environmental conditions than other sustainable approaches.”

So, how is this all possible? Well, more than three decades ago a “sediment organism” was discovered in the Potomac river that could do things nobody had ever observed before in bacteria. The microbe belonged to the Geobacter genus, and over time scientists discovered that it could make bacterial nanowires that conduct electricity.

Electricity Out Of Thin Air

According to the team that published the study, their device uses this finding to create electricity from the atmosphere. One of the electrical engineers, Jun Yao, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, stated that they are “literally making electricity out of thin air.”  They are calling it the “Air-gen” and it generates clean energy 24/7, thanks to the electrically conductive protein nanowires produced by  Geobacter.

The idea that a device can create energy with nothing but the presence of air around it is quite exciting, it works by using a thin film of the protein nanowires mentioned measuring just micrometres thick that are positioned between two electrodes that are also exposed to the air. It’s because of this exposure that the nanowire film is able to absorb the water vapour that’s abundant within the atmosphere. This is what allows the device to generate a continuous electric current.

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The new technology developed in Yao’s lab is non-polluting, renewable and low-cost. It can generate power even in areas with extremely low humidity such as the Sahara Desert. It has significant advantages over other forms of renewable energy including solar and wind, Lovley says, because unlike these other renewable energy sources, the Air-gen does not require sunlight or wind, and “it even works indoors.”

The researchers say that the current generation of Air-gen devices are able to power small electronics, and they expect to bring the invention to commercial scale soon. Next steps they plan include developing a small Air-gen “patch” that can power electronic wearables such as health and fitness monitors and smart watches, which would eliminate the requirement for traditional batteries. They also hope to develop Air-gens to apply to cell phones to eliminate periodic charging.

Yao says, “The ultimate goal is to make large-scale systems. For example, the technology might be incorporated into wall paint that could help power your home. Or, we may develop stand-alone air-powered generators that supply electricity off the grid. Once we get to an industrial scale for wire production, I fully expect that we can make large systems that will make a major contribution to sustainable energy production.” (source)

An addition to the Air-gen, Yao’s laboratory has created several other applications using protein nanowires that are showing strong potential. Apparently this is just the beginning in a new era of protein-based electronic devices–if this technology is actually allowed to fully develop.

Human beings have so much potential, and we’ve had solutions to many of our problems for quite some time. Developments like this never seem to come to commercial scale as promised, and are not really ‘put out there’ nor marketed as they should be.

The Invention Secrecy Act of 1951

I’ve personally always wondered about the Invention Secrecy Act that was written up in 1951. Under this act, patent applications on new inventions can be subject to secrecy orders. These orders can restrict their publication if government agencies believe that their disclosure would be harmful to national security. I believe, as expressed by Julian Assange and many others, that national security has now become an umbrella term not to really protect national security, but corporate security and profits. After all, many corporations have a stranglehold of influence on the government.

The fact that Steven Aftergood from the Federation of American Scientists obtained a list from 1971 and reports the restriction of a new energy device is suspicious to me.

“The 1971 list indicates that patents for solar photovoltaic generators were subject to review and possible restriction if the photovoltaics were more than 20% efficient. Energy conversion systems were likewise subject to review and possible restriction if they offered conversion efficiencies in “excess of 70-80%.” (source)

Perhaps there are technologies that are kept under wraps that have the potential to change our world? Perhaps these technologies threatened the power of some people? Who knows.

Without diving down the conspiracy rabbit hole, the point is, even with what’s available in the public domain, we have and have had the means to change our world in a number of ways, yet it seems these technologies never seem to be implemented en masse. The solutions aren’t the problem, so ask yourself, what is?

The Takeaway

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about what I’ve been into for the past 15 years, it’s that scarcity is a joke, and it doesn’t exist. It’s made to exist, and it’s necessary for economics, and anything that comes along (there have been many examples) that threatens the idea of scarcity is done away with, fast. A lack of scarcity, especially of key resources, completely destroys modern day economics and the foundation of what our ‘new world’ was built off of. We have more than enough ways to provide abundance to all. But a world of abundance has to be a world that is not driven or motivated by power. The solutions to all of our problems exist, in ways that continue to be hidden from us.

Free: Regenerate Yourself Masterclass

In this free 7-part masterclass, Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo, explains how revolutionary new developments in biology can be leveraged to help prevent and manage the most common health afflictions of our day: cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic syndrome.

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