In 2010, Jimmy McMillan ran for mayor of New York as part of a new political party called the Rent Is Too (Expletive) High.
As you’ve likely guessed, the party’s main platform was that the rent was, well, too high.
Though McMillan’s canny stunt got him some press time, he didn’t win, and New Yorkers have continued to pay their exorbitant rent.
In other parts of the world, though, people have turned to more creative outlets to gain relief from high living costs.
Take, for instance, Kris Harbour. The U.K. resident wanted to live cheaply while indulging his love for green living and hands-on labor.
So rather than turn to political lobbying, Harbour bought some land, set aside some funds, rolled up his sleeves, and got his hands dirty. His goal? To turn £4,000 (roughly $5,500 USD) into a self-sustaining, off-the-grid residence.
“I was always brought up to believe that you should earn lots of money, buy a house, be successful, get a good job, that kind of stuff,” Harbour said while explaining his rationale for building his residence, which he called a round house. “But in the last couple years, I sort of started realizing that I really hated that job. …
“I hated it with a passion. … In fact, when I had free time I’d rather do things like this — what I’m doing now.”
And do you know what the best part of the whole thing is? He documented the entire process on YouTube.
Harbour started simply enough, using old tires for a foundation and crafting a rough, octagonal frame out of logs.
From there he fleshed it out with more timbers, raising a slatted roof, creating cordwood walls, installing handmade windows and doors, and planing smooth oak flooring.
He also built a composting toilet, tapped a spring so he could having running water, and installed a solar-energy system.
That might sound as though it would make for rough living, but the roundhouse boasts a ceramic tub, stainless-steel sink, couch, computer desk, stove, and refrigerator.
This isn’t the first time that Harbour has gone native, so to speak. He has appeared on YouTube’s “Coasting Foraging with Craig Evans” channel, quite literally digging up food all along the Welsh coast.
“I want to be part of nature,” Harbour said. “It’s going to be my lifelong project to make (this area) a haven for wildlife.”
After a year of living in the roundhouse, he seems well on his way to accomplishing that. And who knows? He may inspire a few more people to duck out of the busyness of modern life.
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