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tiny house project2

I have a close childhood friend serving in the United States military, who is currently on a tour in Afghanistan. In that area of the world, as the children play in the yard in front of the house, a watchful parent stands guard with a machine gun. Here in the United States we have had peace inside our country for so long that survival isn’t a concern for us, and we are able to focus our attention on things many areas of the world are unable to consider. As a result, due to the safety we enjoy, we have a greater awareness of needs in the world, with collective talent and interest to meet all of them.

The result is possibly the most altruistic generation the world has ever seen. Also, for the first time in American History, people aren’t thinking about keeping up with the Joneses, and how to live in excess, but how to eliminate the excess, simplify, and direct resources towards doing as much good as possible instead. The timing of this paradigm shift is impeccable.

In my experience, The American Dream is not dead, but it is fading fast. As our country adopts more and more socialist ideals, trades become more specialized, which raises costs that in turn bar the way to home ownership, and locks people in to their current social class. In high school we were told that The American Dream was alive and well, and that our goals were reachable. Then we graduated and learned that [click to continue…]

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bluemarbel11

Have you heard all the buzz about “smart homes”? Today, we want to share with you a new product which was just introduced to the market. It is a garden irrigation system which allows you to set up, remotely control and monitor your garden watering.

We know, you have been using a timer for your sprinklers for a long time and there are many other controllers popping up on the market almost every week. But Blue Marble is different.

First of all, it is battery-free. The system uses proven new technology for energy storage and its power supplies can last for [click to continue…]

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Vanadium via BBC News

Vanadium via BBC News

In some circumstances you really can have too much of a good thing, or so utility company representatives are saying. With the cost of energy continuing to rise, more homeowners are converting to renewable energy like solar power. Especially if you live in Hawaii, where grid-tethered homes pay triple what most continental states pay. That is because Hawaii has no local access to fossil fuels and has to have them shipped across the Pacific.  But now Hawaiians facing another problem – storing all that excess solar power.

More than 1 in 9 Hawaiian residents have installed solar panels with other states showing a similar trend. Residents save money on utilities while their solar photovoltaic systems feed excess energy back into the grid during the solar peak from noon to 4:00 P.M.; however, the demand peak for electricity isn’t until the evening when people get home from work, switch on air conditioning or heat, turn on the television and lights, and start cooking dinner. [click to continue…]

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What if you had your own grocery store attached to your house? And what if that grocery store saved you money on both produce and energy? Well, imagine no further; the day is upon us. A passive solar greenhouse, like the most famous one in British Columbia, could make endless, fresh produce a reality – [continue reading...]

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Just when you’re thinking one can not re-invent a flowerpot… it happens. Some genius Spaniard, while sipping on Sangria during noon siesta, looks at the plant that is half bathing in the sun and has an epiphany – why not tilt the flowerpot so that the entire plant is facing the sun? Heck, why not [continue reading...]

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Arguably and despite its relatively recent origins, the current crest of the American green movement wave has been one of the broadest in terms of public awareness. However, America still has far to go when compared to the leaps and bounds that European and Asian countries have been making for over half a century, especially in [continue reading...]

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Brad Pitt has been noticed these days more for his and his wife’s humanitarian activities more than for his acting. His nonprofit “Make it Right” has been involved with many housing projects that provide earth-friendly housing for those without homes, a sort of “Captain Planet” version of Habitat for Humanity. One of his most recent [continue reading...]

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Expensive but worthwhile work should be wrapped up this fall on Canada’s northernmost Passivhaus, a 1,895-square-foot home in Fort St. John, British Columbia. Coming in at almost double the initial cost estimates and double the challenges, this unique house is built in one of the harshest inhabited climate zones and deemed by local mayor as [continue reading...]

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Sitting on top of the world and enjoying unparalleled ocean views is the newly built Casa Till in Los Arcos, Chile. This is what a German couple envisioned as their private Nirvana spot on Earth and they got it. With the help of the local firm of WMR Arquitectos the couple raised a small, single [continue reading...]

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Any energy efficiency minded home owner knows – maximizing natural daylight in key areas of the house not only lowers the electrical load but also brings enormous comfort and emotional wellbeing. When I lived in California I loved that blindingly clear bright sky but the winter nights would be so long I often wished for [continue reading...]

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