Sharing sustainable ideas from around the world since 2008
Category: Sustainable Homes and Living
This is all about the fun ways we can create our home spaces. Thankfully, a lot of us are starting to think more about smaller homes again, or even multi-generational homes.
Whether you are building, renovating, remodelling, or making your home more energy efficient, lets explore the ways that we can all make better use of our spaces in a way that reduces our footprint on the planet.
As well, many of us are trying to live with less impact on the earth, as people need to be thinking about 50 generations down the road, not just the next election. Tell us how you are making changes in your lifestyle, for a better world.
“This is the ultimate tiny house off grid paradise. Situated on 380 acres of spectacular lake-front property with private hot-springs and abundant wildlife, the land will eventually be home to a fully functioning off-the-grid, solar powered community of tiny homes which will be placed amongst a network of geodesic dome greenhouses growing organic food.
The first of the homes is already in place, with ingenious design and high quality craftsmanship. Its owner Kathleen takes us through the property and shares her vision for an amazing future.”
Bryce’s videos keep getting better and better. This one is off the charts because it shows how to create a tiny house community with sustainable food and energy production. After watching the video I realized how you could do something similar on a smaller, much less expensive scale. The owner would create double income from selling produce and leasing tiny house lots. One suggestion is a greenhouse like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uVL-PvzQxU&t=109s They say you can earn $100,000/year growing microgreens in a shipping container sized greenhouse.
“The Rocky Mountain Tiny House folks certainly outdid themselves again as we get a look at a guest tour of a home built in recent years by their team. This 26′ tiny house on wheels has a great kitchen, complete with a full refrigerator, a second loft space JUST for crafting (atop a steel framed loft to save space), and a some great storage options- some of them hidden.”
“CASD USA (Common Action for Sustainable Development) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit that facilitates funding and promotes the programs of our partner, CASD-Nepal, in order to improve quality of life through community-driven, rural development projects.
We have purchased land in a village called Malta in the Lalitpur district. In April, 2017 we began construction using earthbags to build our first community center. It will soon house an existing and thriving women’s micro-finance organization (whose previous office was damaged in the earthquake) and a variety of community driven programs.
CASD intends to implement a robust after-school education program for the local children and in-demand classes for adults. Our goal is to provide computer classes, reading and writing instruction, an agriculture program, and possibly domestic abuse counseling and sex education.
The priority is to offer our classroom as a safe space for learning and communication amongst the villagers, and to listen to their needs to determine how we shape the programs.”
Community Rebuilds is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to build energy efficient housing, provide education on sustainability, and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable program. Community Rebuilds constructs affordable and energy efficient straw bale homes, working with the homeowner and training a dedicated group of volunteer interns on each home project. These interns are young emerging professionals with the desire to participate in an experiential program as they learn how to build low carbon, modern natural buildings.
CR is currently recruiting for the Spring term (February 1st-June 30th) and Fall term (July 16th-December 15th), inviting up to sixteen student interns per project to build strawbale homes from foundation to finish under the direction of a licensed contractor and natural building experts. Interns will contribute to the foundation, frame walls, install bales, apply a variety of natural plasters, pour adobe floors, learn about electrical, plumbing, solar photovoltaics and permaculture, and take part in many other activities necessary to the completion of a home.
Semesters are subject to some variability, as the schedule of any build is dependent on many factors, such as weather and unforeseeable build challenges. However, we assure that you will be an integral part of the current build and will gain an unparalleled amount of natural and conventional construction experience. Additionally, though our internship program primarily consists of onsite, hands-on learning, the experience is occasionally supplemented with workshops, conferences, and field trips. There are no graded assignments, tests, or readings.
Our program is very team-oriented. Interns work together onsite and live together in a home provided by CR. They often get to know our selected homeowners quite well as they work with them side by side in the creation of their home. Similarly, because our CR chapters are located in wonderful, unique communities, interns have many opportunities to make new friends, perhaps volunteer with other awesome organizations, and invest a little piece of themselves into our CR communities. These partnerships are important to our organization which is based on the understanding that we are all neighbors ready to support each other and make our community better.
HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts. This time range can vary considerably depending on the tasks at hand and the host’s preferences. Some hosts may require just 2 hours per day for accommodation only, and ask you to provide and cook your own food.
Others may expect 6 hours per day in return for meals, your own room and sometimes other benefits such as free Internet use, horse riding, kayaking, bikes, local sight-seeing trips, yoga or English lessons, etc. Helpers often live with the host family and are expected to join in and offer a helping hand with day-to-day activities.
Search their site for the country you want to travel and explore.
I had fun skimming through this site the other night for a couple of hours. HelpX is similar to other WOOFer work exchange websites. Lots of the places may not be a good match, but with hundreds or thousands to choose from you should find plenty of ones to pursue. My main interest is in finding sustainable farms who give garden and natural building tours. Sometimes you can pay a very small fee for meals and a bamboo hut and not have to work if you don’t want. Most places are in scenic rural areas. Some require only 3 hours a day doing easy tasks. Some obviously want workers to do lots of hard dirty work. Each one is different. Over all it holds great promise for some trips in the future.
“Join me on a tour of my garden, just less than five years since I started with a weedy field.
No dig means surface feeding of soil organisms, which then aerate soil and make food available to plants: see how this results in my abundance of veg, fruit and flowers, and few weeds.”
Filmed & edited by Edward Dowding August 2017. YouTube
We showed one of Dowding’s videos about 1-2 years ago, but the progress they’ve made is so stunning that their garden deserves an update. With the incredible beauty and productivity it looks world class to me. In contrast, our garden is primarily fruit trees due to the extreme heat and dead clay soil. It would be very hard to grow primarily veggies in our situation. The key is learning to adapt to your climate and soil.
Enjoy a full tour of Bealtaine Cottage interior, room by room and hear a little of the work that was carried out to make this a warm and cosy home in the west of Ireland. The interior of the house is magazine quality. The garden is like paradise. Wow.
Bealtaine Cottage — The oldest, independent, permaculture smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, designed, planted and worked by one woman!
If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, completely dependent on people who value what I do, here’s how… Purchase The Book: A Cottage and Three Acres by Colette O’Neill. YouTube
This looks like one of the easiest, most cost effective tiny house solutions. “For many people, buying a cargo trailer to live in is a better choice than buying an RV. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I hope by the time you’ve seen the whole video, you may be a believer.”
10 reasons: 1. Price, 2. Better insulation, 3. Durability, 4. Weight, 5. Off road ability, 6. A blank slate (easy to fix up however you want), 7. Resale value, 8. No systems to fail, 9. Stealth, 10. Versatility. I love Bob Wells’ videos. Check out his CheapRVLiving for more videos like this. YouTube Cargo Trailer Conversion to Camper
I’m always looking for better and better housing solutions. Cargo trailers are legal on the roads, the outer shell is complete and they’re well built (strong enough for hauling tools for contractors). Cargo trailers are affordable and they come in different sizes.