About Sustainable Living

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An Introduction to Sustainable Living

"The general idea is that our actions cannot jeopardize the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A down-to-earth definition is offered in the Native American advice that we must always take into account the affects of our actions on the next seven generations.

To live a sustainable lifestyle, one must always try to be aware of the consequences of their actions since they are but a part of an interdependent web. If an activity is sustainable, it can go on forever without compromising the ability of future generations to lead a quality life. Since the act of determining if an act is sustainable is always based on the information at hand, we must continually reevaluate our actions."

The Above Text Was Taken From
the "Environment and Sustainable Living" website.
For more information, click here.

The Importance of Keeping it Small and Simple

It's common knowledge that small homes are more efficient to create, maintain, and live in. For this reason, smaller homes are a key ingredient to successful sustainable living.

Small and Simple Homes in Children's Literature

The images of homes traditionally depicted in children's storybooks are often a romanticized picture of what we imagine would be the ideal dwelling. Quite often the appearance is cottage-like. It's no wonder that children have a fascination with tree-houses, forts, and small scale play houses. Consider the following sampling of literature:

  • Dr. Seuss Stories. Homes depicted in Dr. Seuss stories are quite often simple in nature.
  • The Hobbit. The homes described in The Hobbit are typically built underground.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder series of "Little House" books. Perhaps the most famous of her writings was "Little House on the Prairie" which went on to become a popular television show.
  • Little Red Riding Hood. The woodland homes depicted in Little Red Riding Hood are quite small.
  • Sleeping Beauty. Quaint and appealing cottages make an appearance in this story.
  • Swiss Family Robinson. In this story, a family gets stranded on an island and needs to build a practical and functional home out of basic available resources. Through ingenuity and cooperation, they build a tree-house of sorts.
  • The Three Bears. The cottage home of the three bears is another example of simple living.
  • The Three Little Pigs. The homes depicted in this storybook are of various materials (straw, wood, and brick) yet they all have a simple single floor one-room construction.
  • Winnie the Pooh. The community presented in the Hundred Acre Wood is a cooperative village of neighbors who live in simple dwellings. Owl lives in a one-room tree house, rabbit has an underground home, piglet lives in the bottom of a beech tree, others live in equally simple homes.

For more about tree houses and simple houses in children's literature, visit:

Practical Benefits of Small Housing

Small housing is not just found in children's fairy tales. Today, serious builders who are developing homes for sustainable living are realizing that smaller homes are the solution to a variety of challenges. Building smaller dramatically reduces the cost to build and maintain a home.


For additional information on sustainable living, please visit our Resources page. [click here]

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