Jasmine (my 15-year old daughter) and a friend Larni (16) are building a Tiny House out of second-hand, discarded and waste material for the Fair Share Festival next month. As the theme of the Festival is over-consumption, waste and upcyling, their project is attracting a lot of interest in the lead up to the event.
They became friends at an Upcycling workshop and both have a passion for creativity and upcycling. As you can tell from the above video, they already have an impressive collection of upcycled items. The Tiny House, however, is a whole nother level.
With support from Ian Dawes (a builder), Cayde Tasker (an artisan welder), Michael Mattey (who was keen to get involved) and Cathy (Jasmine’s mother), they have been drawing up plans, finding materials, creating the frame and preparing for the build. They will be putting it all together over the weekend of the festival.
This “tiny” project has turned out to be much bigger than they expected and is requiring a large commitment from the girls and their supporters. It seemed a good idea at the time, and both girls are still enthusiastic, but I know it’s taking much more work than Jasmine expected. Even that can be a valuable lesson, and it will certainly be something they will be able to look back on with pride.
We looked into finding a sponsor but it was hard to find ones who were consistent with the focus of the Fair Share Festival, and we didn’t want to lock Jasmine and Larni into expectations from an external source. Instead, we decided to try a crowdfunding campaign. While their MyCause site says they’ve only raised $160, more than $1200 has also been donated offline. This is helping to cover the costs of the Tiny House (e.g., of buying a trailer) and any extra cash will go towards the Festival (which is being run by volunteers on a shoe-string budget).
What’s really exciting is that a national TV show (we can’t say who yet) is going to follow their progress! Not only are they learning about planning, project management and construction, but they’re also going to learn about media and communication.
In many ways, the growing interest in Tiny Houses is part of a groundswell looking for alternatives to affluent lifestyles where bigger is better. By building the Tiny House at the Festival, Jasmine and Larni hope to inspire others (especially their generation) to use waste creatively and to get involved. Transition Newcastle is supporting this project as it demonstrates alternatives to our current unsustainable levels of consumption, and highlights young people making a difference.
I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful daughter (actually two wonderful daughters) who keep life interesting and inspiring!
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