Dezhou Solar City (China)

Posted by & filed under Building, Eco-Villages, Energy Systems.

For one day only we were able to make a stop in Dezhou, one of China’s famed ‘Solar Cities.’ As a bright and cheery advertisement explained, "Just like the Silicon Valley, this is the Solar Valley." The ad was remarkable for several reasons. First, China’s economic development plan of copying hallmark Western institutions was essentially… Read more »

Emergency Shelters Made From Paper (TED video)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects.

Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part… Read more »

We the Tiny House People (Video)

Posted by & filed under Building, Consumerism.

What does it mean to have a house? What defines a home? Is there an appropriate size or should there be a legal amount of space per inhabitant? What is enough or too much? Our Western education teaches us to own a house at all costs, to move away from our parents and build our… Read more »

Geoff Lawton’s Zaytuna Farm Video Tour – Part II

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Bird Life, Breeds, Building, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Fish, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Livestock, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Seeds, Swales, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Conservation, Working Animals.

Last year I took some time out to make a Zaytuna Farm Video Tour for you all (embedded here, with lots of photos and text). The positive comments, both on our site and on YouTube, along with additional questions (see comments below this post), encouraged us to make another! This new video, above, shot 11-12… Read more »

Permaculture Gardening in a Wildlife Environment – the Real Meaning of Food Security (South Africa)

Posted by & filed under Building, Fencing, Land.

There are many challenges involved in building your own permaculture garden. The choice to avoid inorganic fertilizers and pesticides makes the art of gardening a balancing act which is trouble enough on its own. However, what happens when your garden is located in an area naturally inhabited by wild animals? Even living in an urban… Read more »

How to Build a Rocket Stove Mass Water Heater

Posted by & filed under Building, Energy Systems.

With deforestation still moving ahead apace, dealing with the global demand for fuel wood is critical. Life without heat and hot water would be very unpleasant. Life without trees is impossible…. And to satiate our hunger for heat, richly biodiverse forests are being replaced with ‘sterile’ monoculture tree plantations which give rise to tree diseases… Read more »

Australia’s First Earthship

Posted by & filed under Building.

by Danielle Wolff-Chambers and Shelley Clements Here we are in Queensland, May 2013, half way through an Earthship build. It is the first one to be built in Australia and has been experimental in many ways. We started the build in January with a very diverse group of about 50 people ranging in experience, age… Read more »