After breaking in the new tiny house in Pennsylvania for a few weeks, I got a call from my friend, Kelly who thought it would be a wonderful idea if we brought our tiny house to St. Mary’s College of Maryland where she works. She mentioned that there was a wonderful Environmental Studies Department where a large group of students were actually building a tiny house. Since Maryland was just 6 hours away from where we were in Pennsylvania, we packed up the house and hit the road.
Department head, Prof. Barry Muchnick had us speak to his students at the top of the week about our sustainability tour and then later that week invited us to visit the students’ tiny house build site. The experience was so very cool. It was super rad to see the students looking at blueprints, painting the siding, and putting on the shingles. All high schools, colleges and universities should offer hands-on programs like this one.
On Friday of the week, we pulled our tiny house right in the middle of campus to do our first open house at a U.S. college. Although Professor Barry put up only a few flyers, the house itself is a pretty large billboard. Within four hours we had over 400 students and professors pass through the house.
To speak candidly we had a few hesitations at first about burning our privacy flag and letting thousands of people across the United States walk through our house, city after city. But after the first group of enthusiastic students took a pass through our 180 sq. ft. abode, we instantly knew it was an essential part of our tour and could have incredible benefits. Everyone had such wonderful compliments about the work the builders had done on everything from our ceiling to our bathroom vanity (84 Lumber has some talented builders).
As expected, each person had different questions ranging from, “What it was like downsizing all your stuff?” to “What statement are you trying to make by living in a box?” Others didn’t ask questions at all, they just stared at everything, imagining their life if they decided to go tiny. If I was in their brain I would assume they were thinking about how freeing it would be to not have a mortgage or how nice it would be to get rid of a bunch of things they don’t actually use. Perhaps they just love the idea of living in an adult fort! Every 15 minutes or so we were able to let another group of five inside and we actually had to politely ask a few people to move on in order to let others in. For the better part of four hours we were busting at the seams with people wanting a look inside!
In debriefing that night we realized this U.S. tour is going to rock! In just a few short weeks we have already met hundreds of amazing, like-minded people who are utterly fascinated with the idea of changing their American Dream to something that fits their beliefs and lifestyle better, while still decreasing their footprint on our shared home: Earth. If we can provide an inspirational tool to help let their creative juices flow, then the Creative Animal tiny house door is always open.