Category: Design

How to Make a Compost Water Heater

Everyone loves hot water in the home, but the ecological cost of long, hot showers powered by fossil-fueled water heaters adds some guilt to those long hours in the bathroom. What if you could have a huge supply of hot water heated by the compost pile in your garden. Instead of greenhouses gasses, the byproduct of your hot water would be more fertile soil. The Ecological Cost of Heating Water […]

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Benefits of Evaporation Fridges

If you are planning on going off grid or living in a tiny home, a huge obstacle can be putting in a refrigerator. If you are using solar or wind power, a refrigerator can be extremely taxing on an already stressed system. You could completely forgo a refrigerator and opt instead for preserving food and a root cellar, but that doesn’t let you keep cold drinks or many dairy products […]

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Benefits of a Composting Toilet

Benefits of a Composting Toilet

When contemplating living off-grid, a tiny home, or reducing your use of natural resources in your home, one of the biggest things to come up is what type of water system you will use. There are plenty of options to choose from, you could use a well, a gray water system, water directly from a stream or river, or the simplest kind, a rain catch. If you are choosing a […]

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Passive Solar Design with Earthen Homes

During a long and cold winter, many of us might wonder if it is possible to stay warm without the benefit of a fossil fuel powered central heating system. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that close to 50% of all the energy used in American homes is for heating and cooling purposes. While it is nice to be able to walk barefoot in one’s home during the dead of […]

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How Realistic is Going Waste-Free?

When people say they have gone completely waste-free, they’re inaccurate. That’s not to say they’re “lying”; they probably avoid garbage like the plague, carrying totes, eating food with compostable scraps, the whole to-do! They may think they live a zero-waste lifestyle, but the truth of the matter is that the way our world currently works, that statement is just not feasible. While the effort is humbling, there’s so much happening […]

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8 Ways of Using Old Firewood for Something New

Our keen permaculture minds are too sharp to ever believe that something so precious as firewood, past its prime or not, could be of no use. We, of course, can always simply toss it back into the forest and let it do as it would have done anyway, cycling nutrients through the ecosystem. However, after all the work of harvesting, chopping, and storing it, most of us would rather find […]

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Broome Residents Question their Lack of Solar Power

The lack of access to solar powered energy has been a long fought battle for the Western Australian residents. Even though the Kimberly town of Broome is considered one of the sunniest locations in Australia, only a mere 10% of the town’s power is backed by solar energy. The state-owned energy utility, Horizon Power, is responsible for the electric grid that Broome falls within. According to them, the reason that […]

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Closed-Loop Farming in Costa Rica

I woke up to the sound and smell of a chicken coop. It was a mild March morning in La Argentina, a small town on Costa Rica’s southeastern edge. I was staying on a small-scale, family farm of the gracious Señora Ana. Her farm, as with many of her neighbor’s, incorporates animal, vegetable, and fish production into a closed-loop system. Closed-loop farming is, in essence, the most primitive form of […]

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The Benefits of Energy Free Appliances

As people become more aware of their environmental impact there is a growing desire to reduce our energy consumption and move closer to a net-zero energy lifestyle. Every day more people are choosing to live off-grid, installing solar panels and finding ways to reduce the amount of non-renewable resources we use in our daily lives. It is becoming an undeniable fact that humans have a drastic effect on the environment […]

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My Permaculture Experience at Zaytuna Farm

Discovering Permaculture The past nine months have gone by so quickly it is hard to believe all that has happened. The events that have unfolded in just the past three have caused us to look back at everything that led us to this point and question many aspects of our life that had become an accepted part of our day-to-day routine, as well as long-term goals for the future. In […]

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Kerosene transition to off-grid lighting solutions – Situation Analysis

Some 1 billion people do not have access to clean and sustainable light sources because they are not connected to national grids. The only accessible option for some is kerosene lighting and cooking (Kaygusuz, 2012). The major population who have no access to light is concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa with around 598 million people living in darkness and relying on conventional energy sources like the kerosene. Kerosene lighting has detrimental […]

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The Future of Up-Cycling

Spring onion grow in used water bottle, vegetables plant for urban life.

Sustainability and up-cycling efforts should not solely be focused on the consumer. Instead, corporations are, and need to continue marketing ideas for up-cycling efforts of their products after the end of their useful life. In the recent years, there has been a huge push towards corporate responsibility, including energy conservation, fuel conservation via the supply chain, recycling efforts, and the use of more sustainable materials and packaging. Though all are […]

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