InishOge Farm – Storing Warmth and Real Wealth

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Staying warm is one of those essentials for human life — like food, water, clean air. In the northern latitudes, staying warm requires good shelter. To rely only minimally or not at all on outside utilities (e.g., for electric heat) requires smartly-designed good … [Read more...]

Living Tiny, Finding Community (256)

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When we met Logan Smith and Tammy Strobel in A Young Couple Find Freedom in Simple Living, they'd already gotten out of debt and simplified their lives. (Tammy's book You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap) recounts how they did it.) Fulfilling a long-held dream, they're now … [Read more...]

Natural Buildings for Urban Living – The Tour, part 2 (247)

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The Craftsman-style bungalow looks normal on the outside, but the surprise is on the inside: straw bales inside the framing provide super insulation. Natural builder Lydia Doleman designed this 800-square-foot small-footprint house to last centuries, with its metal roof and … [Read more...]

Natural Buildings for Urban Living, part 1 (246)

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Wanting to demonstrate that "cities can be less impactful on the planet," natural builder Lydia Doleman bought and remodeled a Portland house to demonstrate her values. Composting toilets reduce water usage while feeding the soil. Growing food shortens dependencies. Building … [Read more...]

Simple Living Enables Dreams – A Tiny House Tour

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July 29, 2013: Chico, California. After visiting with our friend Mary Nelson, we biked to the Tiny House where Logan Smith and Tammy Strobel are now living. Their dedication to simple living has enabled them to achieve several dreams since we taped Young Couple Find Freedom … [Read more...]

Earth, Wood and Sun – Natural Building, Local Style (239)

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"When we're able to successfully work with local ecologies to meet our needs, we do the Earth a better service. And we are becoming empowered in our own lives." Natural builder Chris Foraker gives a tour of work-in-progress at Aprovecho Center, Oregon. The structure's clay, … [Read more...]

Dignity Village – A Community By and For the Homeless, part 2 (224)

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"No violence. No theft. No drugs or alcohol. No constant disruptive behavior. Everyone must contribute to the village." While finishing our tour, Jon Hawkes lays out the five agreements residents must abide by, all forged by real-world experience. What would it be … [Read more...]

Dignity Village – A Community By and For the Homeless, part 1 (223)

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"Anybody can come through our gates 8 am-10 pm and use all of our facilities. We have hot showers, a telephone, free computers internet-ready, our commons, offices, [and a free store of donated items.] Anybody has access to this." Tour guide Jon Hawkes highlights this … [Read more...]

Titanic Lifeboat Academy — Navigating a Path to Resilience (216)

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Caren Black and Christopher Paddon couldn't find mentors to teach them self-reliant living when they became aware of peak oil. So they created a homestead and opened their doors to training others. People can take a personalized Lifeboat Course online or in person, where … [Read more...]

Portable House, Simple Life (197)

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Embarrassed by her middle class affluence after a visit to Guatemala, Dee Williams grabbed her hammer, built a tiny house on wheels, downsized to less than 400 possessions, and parked her house in a friend's yard. Her living arrangement then blossomed into a … [Read more...]