When Less Is More- Ecotrain Question Of The Week

in ecotrain •  23 days ago

"Name one small change you have made or could make to your life that would be of great benefit to the world if everyone did the same?" The EcoTrain Question of the Week

So many of us have grown up in a culture where the things you own, define who you are, where your status in this world is defined by the money/wealth that you have. This attitude has been pushed on us since we were little, this idea that it is possessions that will make you happy, that it is money that will carve out your future and make you successful. That if you feel like something is missing in your life well you can just buy something to help you fill that gap.

Of course money plays a huge part in our lives, I need money to but food, to pay for the internet connection I have and I need it so that I can travel and visit my family in Ireland. But as I live in a Truck with my family, I have no rent to pay or no mortgage. Me and my partner own our home and since it is a truck that we live in and not a house, there is only so much that we can fit in. So what we do fit in is what we really need (well mostly).

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We are 5 humans now in that space, it is essentially one open space that we use to cook, eat and sleep and where I work on the computer so that I can write here on steemit. To say it is intimate is an understatement, we know what is going on with one another all the time. There is no hiding how we feel or what we think, it all comes out in the open whether we want it to or not. The one place we can escape to is the outside world and how lucky we are to be surrounded by nature and have that as our sanctuary.

I am not expecting everyone to move out of their houses and move in to Tiny Houses, (well actually that would be pretty awesome now that I think about it) what I am talking about is the amount of space we as humans take up. The amount of space that our Stuff takes up. We are being sold homes that are large and airy and bright, that have 4 bedrooms and 4 toilets with a living room and a dining room and any other room we desire.

But what is the point of a home if the family never spends time together inside of it. To me that is not a home, that's just a building with too many rooms in which to be by yourself.

On top of that is the fact that most of those houses are built using toxic materials that as well as poisoning the environment are slowly poisoning the people living in them because of the VOC's being released. And then there is the upkeep of all these buildings, the maintenance. I imagine it is very expensive and once you are living that way it can seem hard to ever find a way get out. And then there is the need to buy things to fill this space that you live in, but how much of this stuff do you actually need.

Living in a big house, surrounded by stuff which is being used to entertain you and your family might seem great for some, but how much time are you actually spending with your family. Are you letting those things take away valuable time, time that you could have with your family.

I am at the other end of the spectrum , because we literally live on top of one another, we all sleep in the one space and relax in the one space. That is why for me living in a place where we have access to a lot of outdoor space is so important because that way we can be outside most of the time. We can find our own privacy out of doors, being outside, is so healthy for us, taking the time to walk barefoot on the ground, to connect with the earth is our chance to recharge our energy, to allow our body to come more in balance.

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Having less space means I am with my family most of the time. Having less material things around me means that I am more creative with my time, it means my children play with sticks and stones and make amazing Dens. Less stuff means that what I do have is what I really need (well maybe I don't need all the books I have), it is what is really important to me. This is the same for my children.

Where we are living at the moment there is a community boat, it is a space that was created where people can leave stuff like clothes and books, cutlery, small furnishings that they no longer need, anyone is welcomed and encouraged to take and leave what they wish. I have left stuff there and taken stuff from there especially clothes for my kids and myself. As a result the money I do spend is mostly on food.When you live with less, letting things go is a lot easier, so living near people who also live like this results in community projects like the boat being built and maintained.

We are so much more that what we own, we are creative, passionate, playful and inventive. We have the time to realize all of this when we have less things in our life, we realize the potential of others when we actually spend time with them and share space with them. What we need is one another, we do not need things distracting us from who we really are, from discovering our own potential.

By having less things in my life, by living in a small space, my life is full, full with my family, full of love, adventures, song, music and nature. It is also intense and full on at times, but I would not live any other way.

If everybody decided to really look at the way they live, really look at the space they take up, the resources they use, we would hopefully be living in a more conscious way. Becoming more aware about the affect of our lives on the environment and on ourselves.

What are your thoughts on this?, do you agree or disagree?, I would love to know.


All images are mine except the first, that I got here :http://thinkpositive-sharelove.blogspot.com/2016/08/3-quotes-to-follow-august.html

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I love it and I admire you guys for the way you live.
I had everything with my family (my husband and two boys) and we had a huge house with huge backyard, we had new cars, great jobs etc. but this didn't matter to me since my kids and my family were #1 and all we did was work for the house, clean the huge house and feeding it, not enough time with the boys and we finally said that is not what we want and long story short we moved to El Salvador to enjoy our lives and be free from all this rat race system and enjoyed our lives in a small house which is all we need and the best thing was that we were together as a family all the time.

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thank you @joalvarez, and well done on downsizing, did you get back to El Salvador and your garden?I know you were away for a while xx

I love your take on the EcoTrain question this week. Now I understand why your name is trucklife-family :) . I completely agree with your words. My husband and I used to own a brand new large home, 2500 sqft, four bedrooms, three bathrooms just for the two of us. We had one acre property, but we were never outside. People looking in always thought our lives were perfect, but they did not knew how empty we felt inside. We slowly changed the way we looked at the world and ourselves. We changed the way we view success. We realized we were truly slaves. Slaves to the material things we were told we needed.

It took a lot of soul searching to find the courage to change what we thought was normal life. We moved to the country, down size to a one bedroom home, started a garden, learned to take steps toward self-sufficiency and so on. Living a minimalist lifestyle as much as we can has really made me aware of what is truly important and what we can't live without. You are right, I absolutely feel more fulfilled now living this way knowing we are doing our part to try to make this world a better place for the next generation. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It's a wonderful read!

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thank you @thelaundrylady for your great feedback and comment. Really happy to hear you are enjoying the many benefits of downsizing, it is very freeing, really happy to have you onboard the ecotrain too xx hope you are having a great weekend xx

I think the way that you guys live is amazing. I couldn't do it myself just psychologically because I tend to be someone who needs a lot of personal space and quiet to keep a healthy balance. I don't need a ton of space--I actually do pretty well in small spaces, since I'm small myself... I find it comforting. It's more about needing a space to call home where I can retreat from my world and be by myself with my thoughts, and then make room for other time to be out in the world and with family. I like spending time indoors. I do think that our culture emphasizes holding on to way too much stuff and that we could all get by much better if we didn't focus so much on buying and holding onto (or even worse, discarding) the things we don't need.

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thank you @malloryblythe, it suits us how we live, everyone really needs to do what is best for them ultimately them and the environment. Holding on to things is a huge problem for sure.

This is a great response to the QOTW. I know the value of small space living and can attest for It, especially for the way the outdoors becomes your second living area!!! Where I live people have MASSIVE houses they can't fill and big mortgages they can't pay. I feel sorry for them. Give me a small house and a big outdoors any day xxx Feels more ethical xx

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thank you @riverflows I knew you would know exactly what I am talking about. xx

I also think it is not necessary to live in a huge space. To live in a smaller place makes it possible for us to spend more time with our family, to work less and to learn more about yourself. I always wanted a big house,I love space and being free, but I start to realize, that I don't need a big house anymore, I need the nature. We now live in an apartment with 2 rooms, and this works well for us. When my little boy was born we lived in a one-room apartment, but it was too small for us, as we couldn't find any quietness, and as my partner was working fulltime by then, he needed to sleep during the night, while my baby was awake most of the time during the night. So we moved when my baby was 3 weeks old. And it was such a relief!;)
But I totally agree with you, that we mostly live in too big spaces and have a lot of stuff that we don't need.
Well written sweety! When are you going back to Spain?

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thank you lovely, I am in Spain now, but go to Ireland again in a week till the end of July xxx

Great answer and ur choice of lifestyle is admirable and inspiring! Im sure it has its challenges, as im coming to know living in a caravan right now.. but as u have explained, the advantages just stack up in so many ways!

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thank you @eco-alex, this was such a great question, I could have wrote about a few things really, but I chose this one, even though it's not really a small change x nice that you are in a caravan, they are built so well for storage I am always very impressed with the layout in most of them, and you certainly hear so much more of the outside world, I love that about not living in a building, forgot to say that actually, that and the sound of the rain on the roof, can't beat that xx

I love this! I really admire you for taking to the road and downsizing. It really makes a huge difference to not be so reliant on material things. Kudos to you beautiful lady :-) <3

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thank you @holisticmom, hope you are having a lovely weekend xx

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You're most welcome. Yes it's been very good for the soul so far. Hope you are having a good one too? ❤❤

I think this is a really important point. As a species, we often occupy way too much space. I also think communally owned tools and things like that is a great idea. We also live in a one room house, and that is wearing me pretty thin. I'm feeling the need for my own bedroom. A second toilet would be really nice. There's often someone banging on the door, especially when it's raining outside. Other than that, I really don't need much more. Well, we need a kitchen sink. We just have the one sink in the bathroom. A kitchen sink would be revolutionary. Anyway, I'm way happier since getting rid of all that stuff. I got rid of so many things, and it's much better. We had four bedrooms and two bathrooms for the 6 of us, and it was nice, but it was unnecessary.

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thanks mama, it is challenging for sure living in a small space, for me having the outdoors is so important and freeing, it really is important to look more at what we need rather than what we want and we are forced to do that when we downsize xx

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Precisely. Sometimes our outdoors is so buggy, but it's definitely beyond the beyond of beautiful. Differentiating between need and want is really important and sometimes hard to see until we're backed into a corner.