The viability of shipping container homes is something that I am constantly finding an uphill battle with as many people dismiss the idea as unrealistic. I think tied with the peak oil issues and population explosion of the planet although people want the big spaces they are used to with all the gadgets I think its more realistic to see people downsizing in future years as the cost of living increases. Its good to see though this snippet in mainstream TV showing that shipping containers aren’t only viable but also already here.
Still a bit of a rant with me simply because the size of a shipping container home makes a lot of sense and many units are a lot smaller that people reside in round the world. Maybe people complaining should look at the home they are living in and ask do they need all that internal space? do they utilize it? Would they have been better with a smaller house and bigger open spaces outside?
Because I have lived both lives and to be honest I prefer the minimal living to the cluttered life of consumerism. I still have my gadgets, I still have a double bed and plenty of clothes but what I don’t have is stuff I don’t use and don’t need.
This is our bedroom currently as you can see its got a bunk bed for our two kids plus our double bed. Out of shot is a chest of drawers,bookshelf, wardrobe but the size of the room is actually smaller than a 20ft shipping container, our kids are 3 and coming up 1 so they are still young at the same time we are only running one light at night and one air conditioning unit, not one of each in Ewe’s room, Zoei’s room and our room. Our energy costs are 1/3rd of what they would be in a western styled home. Next door we have a room that is around the same size with a bathroom attached to the exterior. That is used for a day room with kitchen, dining and TV facilities. Are we struggling? Are we crammed in like sardines? Answer is no we have plenty of outdoor space and generally I will work in my office during the day (the bedroom has my desktop PC, Laptop and desk as well). All these things give us a space to live in without costing too much in space or energy. Its not a shipping container home but its pretty much built in similar dimensions due to the shape of the bit of land that was available for it.
I think its peoples perspectives that need to change as Filipino’s here generally live in smaller homes, Japan is similar in fact most of Asia. So who’s right and who’s wrong?
For me the Shipping Container Home is not only likely to become the home of tomorrow but the moral choice of today. There are many reasons behind my thinking although recycling is part of the reasoning more importantly is abandoning consumerism as this isn’t recycling its stopping things being used and wasted in the first place.
Shipping container homes generally are smaller and designed round specific needs to peoples requirements rather than the cluttered lives that many people live. I remember as a child a teacher mentioning that he nailed his loft hatch shut and the reasoning behind that is if something goes up into the loft its very likely you don’t need it and more importantly it will never come down again. Different teacher had similar thoughts about a bag in the fact you might as well have a small bag that is easy to carry as carrying a big bag you carry a lot of things you don’t use. Both thoughts have method in the madness as I look at many homes and I see under utilized space all over the place. But also just as important disregarded items which is why you see things like “send in your old mobile phones for charity” as they know people shove last years phone in drawers never to use again after they got an upgrade. But for me I think why do I need an upgrade? can’t I have a downgrade in my costs? Last years phone is designed for many years of use why would I want to shove it in a drawer just for the sake of getting a new shiny toy?
I think this is part of the consumerism gone mad that has leaked into society that shipping container homes can improve how people see the world for what it is. If there is a TV company out there maybe its a reality show you can work on and take some major consumers away from all the gadgets and give them a more minimalistic lifestyle but monitoring not only the impact it has on productivity and general wellbeing but also financial gain from not wasting money on things they never needed. Although don’t see advertisement companies too keen on this idea.
The discussion came up the other day with a friend of ours heading back to the UK as we live in a similar way where all our possessions can quite literally fit into 2 bags ready to move anywhere in the world. Neither of us are hippy, neither of us are poor in fact when you balance it up we are probably a lot more wealthy than the majority of people as we abandoned everything that was associated with fixing a location or more to do with increasing our burden. We rent rooms when we are working in a location and long term we don’t live in the UK we just work there. Someone’s going to convert my air miles here to do with my carbon footprint I am sure at the same time take into account that my energy consumption in the Philippines is well below consumer UK not only in home wastage but the fact my commuting is heavily reduced.
But getting back on track it was the abandonment of consumer goods that has made huge financial gains for those that choose to remove the iPAD and BMW lifestyle on credit for hanging onto the car for another few years or getting a new unfashionably economical car over ego, or keeping the desktop PC instead of a shiny new iPAD that looks good but offers up nothing worth writing home about. More importantly having money in the bank!
This all fits into Shipping container home lifestyles as the minimalistic approach is what comes as part of the package. As well as the fact you can build yourself and in modular form meaning the only real upfront big investment is the land your sitting the new home on. Everything else can be added as and when it can be afforded or needed. Its the common sense approach to life having what we need rather than what we want, sure its nice to eat lobster and dine out but everyday? having large houses and having to heat/cool them are a wasted expense alongside the fact energy resources are getting more and more expensive yet downsizing you would instantly be saving even if you didn’t go down the shipping container home route.