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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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net zero house in santa monica1

When you’re looking to build on a tight urban lot, the task is already daunting enough. But when you’re building that urban house in order to push the limits of net zero, ecological responsibility, and outdoor living, it helps if you’re an architect. The challenge is exactly what architect Buzz Yudell, principle architect at Moore [continue reading...]

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styrofoam6

While Styrofoam may be just about the last thing that comes to mind when it comes to eco-friendly materials, it turns out that it can be used to build a surprisingly energy-efficient, low-cost home. In fact, the very thing which makes it such a nightmare in landfills—the fact that it is very slow to degrade—makes [continue reading...]

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solar salesman secrets

I started a part time job at SunGevity in 2013. We were not even trained in the knowledge about leasing vs. buying. Mostly 20 year old kids trying to “get a date” purveying the people at Lowe’s for SunGevity – a total exploitation of the people to only offer the average 5-7% savings for something [continue reading...]

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portland-plane-home

There are people who are eager to defy conventionality to such lengths that they are willing to live plainly on a plane. Bruce Campbell, 64, a retired electrical engineer from Portland, OR., calls his home a 737 Boeing Jet, purchased in 1999 and turned it into his personal residence. Ever since Bruce hauled the aircraft [continue reading...]

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The Kantor Home7

When Etta Kantor decided to build her dream home in New Canaan, CT, she didn’t care about LEED certifications, or any recognition for that matter. Guided by her caring nature, Etta simply wanted to do the right thing – live in harmony with nature, use alternative energy and recycled materials, and conserve natural resources. When [continue reading...]

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Great Gulf House exterior

When it comes to new-home construction, people are used to it being about, well, themselves. New homes are supposed to be built around people, right? How they like to live, relax, cook, clean, move? What if new homes were not built this way? What if homes were built to the land first and then tailored [continue reading...]

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s surrey passive house front

While making great leaps forward, the modern passive house concept has intersected with historical values in South Surrey. Wanting a house that met the standards for a passive house, the world’s most rigorous efficiency standard, but also requiring a structure that would house three generations at once, the family behind British Columbia’s South Surrey passive [continue reading...]

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