Monday, 29 December 2014

New Years Resolution

Busy ...

Ancient underground City discovered in Turkey

Wow !   Massive 5,000-year-old underground city uncovered in Cappadocia, Turkey

The region of Cappadocia in central Turkey is home to one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world – deep valleys and soaring rock formations dotted with homes, chapels, tombs, temples and entire subterranean cities harmoniously carved into the natural landforms. Cities, empires and religions have risen and fallen around these unique underground havens, and yet it seems they still hold a few more secrets. Archaeologists in Turkey have uncovered another massive underground city in Cappadocia, consisting of at least 7 kilometers (3.5 miles) of tunnels, hidden churches, and escape galleries dating back around 5,000 years. Calling it the “biggest archeological finding of 2014...   Article

Expand your knowledge ...

Monday, 29 September 2014

Some Very Good News ... 100 % Solar in 14 years

Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years — as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs.

Energy usage will keep increasing, so this is a moving target......

But, by Kurzweil’s estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more energy than the world needs in less than 20 years.

 Even then, we will be using only one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the Earth.....

Friday, 26 September 2014

Living off the grid in Costa Rica ...

Considering a move to Costa Rica to live off the grid ? Costa Rica's traditions of peace, democracy, and universal education have long attracted retirees and vacation home owners. The nation is also a world leader in ecological preservation, boasting proportionately more square miles of national parks than anywhere else on earth. Costa Rica offers a very low cost of living, while also providing all the modern conveniences.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica first in its 2009 Happy Planet Index, and once again in 2012. The index measures the health and happiness they produce per unit of environmental input. According to NEF, Costa Rica's lead is due to its very high life expectancy which is second highest in the Americas, and higher than the United States. The country also experienced well-being higher than many richer nations and a per capita ecological footprint one third the size of the U.S.

With more than 90% of its electricity generated from renewable energy sources and goals to reach 95% by 2014, Costa Rica is certainly one of the greenest countries on the planet. It also is on track to become the world’s first carbon-free economy.

Costa Rica is among the Latin America countries that have become popular destinations for medical tourism. In 2006, Costa Rica received 150,000 foreigners that came for medical treatment. Costa Rica is particularly attractive to American tourists because of its proximity and short flight, the quality of medical services, and lower medical costs.

Costa Rica has become one of the most stable, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America. It permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming the first of a few sovereign nations without a standing army.Costa Rica has consistently been among the top-ranking Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), placing 62nd in the world as of 2012. Christianity is the predominant religion, and Roman Catholicism is the official state religion according to the 1949 Constitution, which at the same time guarantees freedom of religion.

According to the most recent nationwide survey of religion, conducted in 2007 by the University of Costa Rica, 70.5% of Costa Ricans are Roman Catholics (44.9% practicing Catholics), 13.8% are evangelical Protestants, 11.3% report that they do not have a religion, and 4.3% belong to another religion. Because of the recent small, but continuous, immigration from Asia, other religions have grown, the most popular being Buddhism.

A "Renewable Paradise" Mother Nature has greatly influenced Costa Rica’s commitment to renewable energy. The country is blessed by copious amounts of rainfall – most of the country receives more than 100 inches of rain per year. Thus, it’s no surprise that over 80% of Costa Rica’s electricity is generated by hydro facilities. The country also boasts considerable geothermal power as well as growing wind assets, solar, and biomass facilities.

The literacy rate in Costa Rica is 94.9%, one of the highest in Latin America. When the army was abolished in 1949, it was said that the "army would be replaced with an army of teachers." Elementary and high schools are found throughout the country in practically every community. Universal public education is guaranteed in the constitution.

Costa Rica's "Dry Season" (sunny and warm Beaches ) extends from December to April. The "Green Season" (lots of rain) is from May to November. So you have 5 months to collect Solar power and 7 months to collect water. A perfect balance. I will post affordable properties, small houses and land available for sale below ...

How about building and living in a Treehouse ? Finca Bellavista

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Living off the Grid for 7 days and nights in a Sukkah. Oct 8-15

A sukkah (Hebrew: סוכה‎, plural, סוכות sukkot ; sukkoth, often translated as "booth") is a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Festival of Sukkot (September/October). It is topped with branches and often well decorated with autumnal, harvest or Hebrew themes. The Book of Vayikra (Leviticus) describes it as a symbolic wilderness shelter, commemorating the time God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness they inhabited after they were freed from slavery in Egypt.It is common to eat, sleep and otherwise spend time in the sukkah. Sukkot is considered a joyous occasion and is referred to in Hebrew as Yom Simchateinu (the day of our rejoicing) or Z'man Simchateinu (the time of our rejoicing), and the sukkah itself symbolizes the frailty and transience of life and its dependence on God.

A sukkah is a structure consisting of a roof made of organic material which has been disconnected from the ground (the s'chach). A sukkah must have 3 walls. It should be at least three feet tall, and be positioned so that all or part of its roof is open to the sky (only the part which is under the sky is kosher.)
Sukkot, Succot or Sukkos (Hebrew: סוכות‎ or סֻכּוֹת sukkōt or sukkos, Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (varies from late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The holiday lasts seven days (eight in the diaspora). The first day (and second in the diaspora) is a sabbath-like yom tov (holiday) when work is forbidden, followed by the intermediate Chol Hamoed and Shemini Atzeret. The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, "booth or tabernacle", which is a walled structure covered with schach (plant material such as leafy tree overgrowth or palm leaves).

The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and some people sleep there as well. On each day of the holiday, members of the household recite a blessing over the lulav (closed frond of the date palm tree, bound with boughs and branches of the willow and myrtle trees) and etrog (yellow citron) (Four species).

According to the prophet Zechariah, in the messianic era Sukkot will become a universal festival and all nations will make pilgrimages annually to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast there.(Zech 14:16-19) Rashi in Parashat Pinchas (Numbers, 29:18) writes that the 70 bulls offered whenever the Jewish people are able to offer animal sacrifices, the sum total sacrificed throughout the seven days of the Sukkot festival, correspond to and benefit the 70 national-linguistic groups encompassing all of humanity

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Camping in Comfort

Can this really be called camping ? Sure looks cozy !

Curious to know how they transport the bedroom suite.... maybe camping with a u-haul ? We'll have to try this next time we go camping.

Turtleback Trailer mobile offgrid living

What a great concept -  Off-grid, mobile Tent Trailer. Carry your home on your back. (behind your ethanol fueled 4 x 4)

Everything you need in one small space, on wheels and ready to go.

Read more here :

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Beautiful Structural Fabric homes for homeless.

‘weaving a home’ by kuwaiti designer abeer seikaly proposes a disaster shelter for refugees that is based on temporary huts of nomadic tribes. the use of structural fabric references ancient traditions of joining linear fibers to make complex three-dimensional shapes – the resulting pattern is easy to erect and scale into various functions, from a basket to a tent. the project incorporates technological advances and new methods of assembly of the material, envisioning a system composed of durable plastic members that are threaded to form a singular unit. these flexible envelopes fold across a central axis, with the hollow structural skin enabling necessities such as water and electricity to run through it, similar to a typical stud wall.`-

Saturday, 1 March 2014

An easy to follow Earthship Design....

Timber Frame Straw Bale House for Sale, Missouri

Timber Frame House Features:

Handmade wood spiral staircase leads to 2nd story bedroom
500 sq. feet interior heated space
168 sq. ft enclosed north porch
168 sq. ft enclosed storage loft
78 sq. ft. west-facing balcony
Professionally designed and engineered timber frame (hardwood frame with all wood joinery)
Fully wrapped straw bale wall insulation (approx. r-35 – r-50, a.k.a. “r-enough”)
Concrete pier foundation (professionally engineered for weight loads)
Living roof with 7″ of polyiso roof insulation (approx. r-45)
20″ of cellulose insulation under the floor (r-70)
Chimney hookup for wood heat, passive solar orientation
Designed for south greenhouse attachment
Hand-built cantilevered spiral staircase
Steel wrapped oak roof edge detail, designed for gutter system, no cistern
Wiring is installed, power system not included
Reclaimed wood floors throughout entire house
Earth plaster interior, scratch coat
Lime plaster exterior, scratch coat
1″ white oak siding on north porch and storage loft
Handmade insulated loft doors (2)
Deadmen (support blocks) placed in walls for shelving and baseboard (marked)
100% no plywood or drywall in construction
100% natural wood sealers (Land Ark)
99% built with hand tools and human power
Tool shed is 8×12 (96 sq. ft) with loft, cedar siding, reclaimed wood floors, 6×12 east awning for extended
storage/firewood – can be converted to guest house if desired
Cob oven with 5×5 roof shelter
Leasehold size is approx. 4500 sq. ft.

Timber Frame Straw Bale House for Sale  Located at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri.

Friday, 28 February 2014

There is great satisfaction hidden within Simplicity

Wood-fired Cedar Hot Tub

"The Underwater Wood Stove is nothing short of ingenious: you heat your Snorkel Hot Tub with a wood stove — an underwater wood stove made of marine grade aluminum coated with a corrosion-proof finish for years of trouble-free service. Completely submerged except for air intake, fuel feed, and chimney, the stove transfers heat to the water so efficiently, the underwater portion of the stove stays cool to the touch. The heating efficiency of the Snorkel® and Scuba® Stoves is far greater than outside the tub stoves which depend on thermal convection and with no plumbing there are no concerns of plumbing freezing and bursting."

Wood-Fired Hot tub kit from - Products and Prices

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Cabin near Juneau Alaska

Cabin overlooking the Taku and Norris Glaciers near Juneau, Alaska, USA. Contributed by Ron and Nan Schonenbach.

Friday, 14 February 2014

$45 LED Light bulbs ? Why ?

Why do we have to pay $45 for LED light bulbs or $ 2.23 for Mercury filled CFL ? I have 25 Watt Incandescent bulbs on dimmers that have lasted 15 years and more. If we use Solar for power I'd rather stay with my incandescent light until they invent Solar Lighting. What are your thoughts ?

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Conversion of a 1959 bus to travelling Tiny Home.

A Renovation by Winkelman Architecture :  "Comprehensive restoration of a 1959 Chevrolet Viking short bus. Designed to safely travel 12 passengers and driver on the road, it converts to guest quarters for two as two single beds or joined in the center as a queen. Complete with plumbing (toilet and sink) and power (120v and 12v)."

Successful Man ? Which would you choose ?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014