Empowerment Through Downsizing

Pure Salvage Living is a concept that focuses on using as little newly manufactured, imported, and modern materials whenever possible. It means trying to live organically and reduce our need for creating new crap for the landfills. After all, for many of us, our health and loved ones are the most important parts of our life such that reducing the stress, whether environmental, mental, or financial is the best way to enjoy our time we have on this planet. As people get older the time passes faster every day, I hear that savoring it becomes more important. The distraction of owning too many things can turn out to be a burdensome stress load that some people no longer wish to bear.

For many people I talk to, this is not a big stretch to want these things in life,

  • To live in a Tiny House,

  • To minimize the stuff in ones life,

  • To free oneself from the stress

  • From maintenance costs,

  • Utility costs,

  • Insurance, and

  • Taxes that come with owning a large home

  • To have the freedom to write, create, travel, fish, sleep,

  • To just sit peacefully in your own space and meditate.

  • Be unencumbered so as to travel and see the kids, family, and friends

There comes a time in many peoples lives when priorities change and they need to simplify or sort of start over. They do not have to be old to see this and want this for themselves and their families. They only need to dream a certain somewhat selfless dream. This is one of the solutions that could make that all possible for many people. Perhaps it is not what we have, but what we do with what we have that ultimately makes the biggest difference in the world. If the young people figure this out before they get stuck in big houses, and the older ones join in when they can get out of the big houses they already own, miracles could follow.

I build Tiny Texas Houses with the greatest of hopes that it will open up people’s minds to the possibilities. Each house is a giant seed that will imbed its images in the minds of millions, hopefully inspiring them, thus seeding their dreams and empowering them to believe that they too could own something as beautiful as what we have created from 99% Pure Salvage. If they like, they can most likely get all the materials nearly for free, if they are willing to do the work of taking down, or pay someone to do it and keep the materials they salvage. I attempt to show that there is a balance that many are looking for, of having what we want for a home without taking more resources than we need to create it. I want to leave something for the children who follow and inherit what is left of this planet when we are gone. If we don’t need it, don’t trash it needlessly, but if you are done with it, salvage what we can and minimize the waste. Let us save it for a time when there might not be any left at all otherwise.

We can build big or small with salvage and be ahead of all alternatives based on the resources we save. There are huge amounts of labor needed and teaching the skills to people that empower them to change their lives with their hands holds nothing but benefits in the future. Teaching people to be self-sufficient through being able to build has been sorely neglected for a long time as the public has been convinced that college is the only way to go. We need careers for people who have natural mechanical and electrical aptitudes, for people who love to take things apart or put them together. They will never be happy behind a desk and this is one of many ways for them to do very well and have meaningful rewarding lives. This concept that includes Salvage Mining, Salvage Building, and Salvage Hunting offers skilled careers that could last a lifetime and create a sustainable income for the families that get involved. It could help feed and house millions if nurtured properly with co-ops, educational tools, bartering, and guidance during the initial stages of each new facility coming on line. I hope you will help perpetuate this concept and promote it whenever you can, to carry the dialogue into the discussions about housing, retiring, or dreams for the time we can break away from the rat race.

I envision that this movement has the potential of growing everywhere people need housing, work, and solutions that do not include government handouts or promises. This will be the product of human energy and ingenuity that comes to life when given the tools and knowledge to take what is free and turn it into something everyone will want when it is complete. I want this invisible commodity to be reaped by the masses and harvested to create a new world of Salvage Building like none we have ever known thus far. Never in history of our planet have so there been so many natural resources already formed into usable building materials waiting to be salvaged and reused. They are waiting to be saved, inventoried, and brought back to life to build a new home for our children’s children. Now is the time to capitalize on this opportunity to do something meaningful in the struggle to save our planet. This can be a path toward creating space between the rock and the proverbial hard place.

Please join me in trying to bring these vast resources into the hands of the people who can benefit the most, who need the work, the people who will live in the houses that can be built, and who will pass along the skills and homes to the generations that follow. The more people who talk about it, who join in the philosophy of Pure Salvage Living, the faster the world we know will change.

I realize that I am aiming for an idealistic goal of helping change our perspectives by altering the image that building from salvaged materials normally conjures up in people’s minds. This is what Tiny Texas Houses and the Pure Salvage Living Movement have been created to accomplish. While most will not aim for 99% Pure Salvage, the intent is to move toward such a goal knowing it is not only possible, but beautiful and makes good sense. Even if people only reach 50% salvaged materials in their homes, they will make an incredible difference in the overall success of this strategy. We need a new standard, one that recognizes the value of the salvage compared to all alternatives, particularly considering the availability and the environmental benefits. I aimed for the sky with our 99% Pure Salvage Standard so that we could know what the limits of the standard could be. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be to get there. I hope you will think so too.

From this point forth, it is no small task to grow this movement and it will need the human energy of the masses to succeed enough to change our current trends quickly. This is an American born solution that requires no other country to participate for it to succeed. This is a concept that is actually possible in my vision of hopes and dreams for what could be done in my lifetime. I hope you share some of them with me and carry this message forward so that we can move the dialogue about 0 carbon footprint housing to the solutions we can be part of individually instead of the problems that we have little power or control to change.

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