A few years ago, we made a little film about a friend of ours named Dee. Wondering whether the cost of owning and maintaining a house was really worth it, Dee had decided to change her life, and downsize her home to something with a smaller footprint. A much smaller footprint. Her little home, built on a trailer and little bigger than an area rug, was small enough to tow behind her biodiesel truck and cute enough to turn heads around the nation. Remarkably, something about living simply, unencumbered by stuff, struck a chord with people. They watched the film and posted comments. Some thought she was crazy, most admired her creativity. Oprah called. And slowly but surely, people began asking her for plans for how to make little houses of their own.
Out of that little seed, Dee and her partner Katy grew Portland Alternative Dwellings, providing design, construction and hands-on workshops for folks who want to make “little houses” of their own. They built a second little house, the Don Vardo—and an accompanying dog house. And recently, they launched their website, http://portlandalternativedwellings.com.
If you’re tired of making small changes and are ready to take a bigger step this Earth Day, PAD is a great place to start. Featuring plans, photos and lots of positive encouragement, it’s an inspiring example of how thinking differently and taking action can create positive change.
(hat tip to Eric @ ShiftAdvantage; that’s his puppy in the doghouse)