Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged ecofriendly

Creative Houses From Reclaimed Materials

This funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he’s built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own creative drive.

Ecomatic – Sink Dishwasher

So one thing that I have often wondered about living in a Tiny House is if I will miss a dishwasher.  Now it is not for the reasons you think.  While convenience is a nice plus, the big thing for me is that it uses such hot water to clean, helps sterilize.  I am a bit of a germ freak when it comes to the kitchen, especially with raw meat.  Today I found what looks like to be a possibility from Electrolux.  This is a sink and dishwasher in one.  While it only has a limited capacity, it will certainly help out.  It also uses some green technologies to help reduce water consumption and power consumption.

Via

Osprey House

Here is a Tiny House that was designed to be eco-nomical, eco-friendly, and eco-logical.  Measuring at 523 square feet and $50,000-$100,000 this Tiny House is designed to be setup off the grid.

The Osprey includes a bedroom, bathroom, living room, galley kitchen, and integrated decks.  It can easily go off-the-grid, as well, if that’s what the homeowner wants or needs.  The standing seam metal roof has room for thin-film solar to generate some or all of the home’s energy needs.

  • Energy Star, low-e windows;
  • Energy Star appliances;
  • R21 walls, R19 floors, and R50 ceilings;
  • 15.5 SEER/8.5 HSPF ductless HVAC;
  • On-demand tankless water heater;
  • Zero-VOC paints and an air filtration/cleaning system;
  • Low-flow faucets and showerheads;

Via

Eco-Village For Homeless

What many of you might not know is that there is a growing subset of Tiny House folks that see these houses as a solution to homelessness.  I covered one group based out of Atlanta called The Mad Housers, a group that make modular Tiny Houses that they setup in a few hours.  They do this all for free.

Here is another group that is taking on this challenge with design of Tiny Houses:

Fresno architect Arthur Dyson says he has the solution to the city’s homeless problem: villages of tiny homes built with recycled materials and surrounded by fruit trees.

The first structures — some measuring only 80 square feet — are already under construction on the Fresno State campus, where Dyson has been working with students in a construction management class to develop concepts.

But the structures won’t become living spaces for the homeless unless city officials can find a suitable spot for them.

Gregory Barfield, Fresno’s homeless prevention and policy manager, said the city is ready to assist Dyson with the project, including finding a site.

No finished house photos yet….

Via

How Green Is The Next National Security Plan

So I have been kicking around this idea for a week or two now and it certainly isn’t a entirely new concept, but it is the concept that by taking actions on the green front, will actually enhance our security.  Now before we get into this, I would like to steer clear of political aspect of this discussion, with the side note those who focus on Green initiatives are sometimes seen as the polar opposites to those who focus on National Security.  I think many would disagree with this view and those who didn’t could be brought to the table and see both sides.    The other thing that I would assert is that this concept isn’t exclusive to America, I speak generally about the world.  So here are a few examples of the threats I see and their solutions.

To expand on what I consider national security I think it is important to note that national security extends beyond terrorism and nuclear armaments.  It includes anything from any source that can threaten our safety, well being and long term livability.  This includes drought, blight, natural disaster, war, terrorism, etc.

Food

If you have ever seen the documentary Food Inc. (which I highly recommend) talks about how 90% of the corn and 60% of all soy beans come from one company that are one strain.  This means that a blight, whether engineered or natural, were to hit our country, we would loose 90% of all our corn in one fell swoop.  This is pretty concerning when you truly understand how much of our food comes form corn and in really unexpected forms.  If you look at how many individual strains of food we actually grow for the majority of our food, we are talking 22 types of plants with a specific strain make up 80% of our food.  Can we afford to lose 80% of our food?

So how to fix it.  We first need to encourage a larger diversity of plants, the idea being that some blights will effect some strains of plants and not others.  We then need to decentralize our food production, moving food production closer to the people.  This will take time, money and in all honesty could turn out to be more expensive as economies of scale decreases, but we also need to put a price on sleeping soundly at night.

Energy

I don’t think it takes any stretch of the imagination to see how us depending on other countries  for oil is a bad thing.  Especially when you consider that most sources of this oil are in politically unstable areas.  One thing we see as an option is to drill off shore, which as of late, we have seen how bad that has turned out to be.  The fact is that there may be a large volume of oil out there, but it is still a finite resource and it is getting harder and harder to get to.  With increased difficulty comes increased risk and while innovations can mitigate those risks, I am still left doubting it.

So the solution, I say save what we have in our country and lets focus on sustainable technologies.  While people talk about nuclear, I have to remind them of the heavy subsidies they get every year.  Nuclear is a pretty mature technology, I assert that if we took these subsidies and used them to develop solar/wind into mature technologies that we could come out on top.  The added benefit to this is that we can then decentralize power production to avoid 50 well place bombs to take out most of our power production.

To sum up I think that we are beginning to see how Green is better for everyone in many ways.  I found this video done by Pew which is pretty interesting.

Climate Patriots from Laura Lightbody on Vimeo.