BBC.com science columnist Gaia Vince discusses the implications of a steadily growing population on the planet’s ability to sustain life in the future. According to Vince, the global population reached an estimated seven billion halfway through 2012, with trends pointing to an increase of two billion in 40 years or less. While there are success stories like Machakos in Kenya, whose population increase was essential for the town to flourish, the article also states that there are more cases where overpopulation caused the opposite.
Overpopulation generally leads to accelerated resource consumption, which wouldn’t be so bad if the supply is replenished in a timely manner. However, according to the 2012 Living Planet Report released by the World Wildlife Fund and other organizations, resource consumption rates outpace replenishment rates by approximately 50 percent. If the estimates are correct and the world is looking at nine billion people before 2050, then it is clear that the name of the game will still be effective resource management—something a professional builder of tiny homes for sale deals with every day.
Tiny homes are exactly what their name suggests: small living quarters that seldom go beyond 400 square feet. These downsized domiciles have been touted as one of the possible solutions for reducing one’s ecological footprint, first through the sustainable materials required for their construction, and second through their minimal resource needs for everyday function (i.e. space, energy, etc.).[clip id=”LQH8YBEdWyzWIi3w41SnIWgrXXD8SUryRL5e” width=”656″ height=”924″ scale=”disabled”]
Tiny house builders like American Tiny House say that there are other reasons to purchase this type of abode, such as lower maintenance costs and lesser taxes. The financial ease it affords the homeowner is a good enough hook to sign up a decent number of sales per day. Despite this, they do not lose sight of their true focus, which is to provide people with an eco-friendly housing alternative. With smart designs and precise construction, tiny houses can capitalize on what nature can offer in spades, without having to destroy something just to harness it.
The BBC article also mentions what needs to happen for the planet and its inhabitants to survive: “We will surely have to become less numerous over time and limit our consumption to sustainable levels. It will mean improving efficiency and reducing waste, but also being less greedy.” Moving into a tiny house merits lifestyle changes that involve taking or using less than what one is accustomed to. Advocates say that those who can and are willing to make these sacrifices can help the planet in a major way.
Yes, overpopulation and sustainability are issues that are too big for any one solution to address. Perhaps, though, a tiny house is a good place to start.