I noticed this headline in The Olympian: “Olympia woman shrinks her footprint â€” to 84 square feet“.
Of course, the author of the headline should have known better, but headlines aren’t always written by the author of the article. However, this person’s footprint is not 84 square feet, but it appears that her floor plan is.
Further, there was a much better article about this in the June/July 2007 South Sound Green Pages [LGT a sad, stale blog], and was written by the owner of the house. That better article also appears directly next to another article about what an ecological footprint actually is. Because, it’s not a floor plan, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, there’s no version of the two articles online that I found when I looked.
However, the South Sound Green Pages articles do offer a now broken link to a page that helps one calculate one’s ecological footprint [instead] and a short film about the little house viewable online.
It’s nice for The Olympian to pick this story up after it ran in another publication, but of course there are a lot of people finding ways to live on little; whether that’s their floor plan or their footprint, whether by choice or necessity. And, the tiny house meme was so long ago. On the other hand, I suppose some coverage is probably better than none, right?
Update @ 17jul07, 10:56am:
I keep thinking about this. For one thing, I find it amusing that the owner of this house is respectable enough for the mainstream to talk about. There’s plenty of people living like this in Olympia, just, apparently, not with as respectable day job. So, that demonstrates the high water mark of socially acceptable minimalism.
The other thing that keeps rattling in my brain is: how is this legal? It must be due to the fact that it’s a mobile trailer. That’s how she’s getting around the need for full plumbing. The reason this is a thing for me is that the Ecovillage in Port Townsend was having trouble with building small houses that weren’t en suite, and there was work needed to convince the city to allow people to live in spaces that had shared plumbing in a central location. So, ironically, the way around this is to have each person in what amounts to a Romani Bardo … making houses mobile is the way to skirt the rules.
Well, that’s only one step away from the people that find themselves living in their cars or campers on the streets of the city. And, what’s amusing to me, in a not really funny way, is that it’s those very car campers that the city can’t say is probably a major target of on street parking reform …
Minimal living then is pinched on both sides …
I know people living in what are officially designated as garden sheds, but are quite nice spaces. But, those people can’t risk talking about their places in the paper.