This off-grid tiny cabin in the Australian wilderness is just what you need for a late summer getaway

August 23, 2019 by  
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If you’ve been stuck at your desk all summer, now is the perfect time for a little break, and this beautiful tiny cabin in Australia is just the place to get away from it all. Designed by Sydney-based firm Fresh Prince , the Barrington Tops cabin is an off-grid eco cabin that is nestled into the remote wilderness. Located in New South Wales, the 150-square-foot cabin , which is available on Airbnb , is surrounded by pristine woodland just steps away from a babbling brook. The serene location inspired the architects to create something classic and minimalist. Related: 160-square-foot off-grid Elsewhere Cabin invites us all to live a little simpler Clad in matte black Weathertex (an eco-friendly, locally sourced timber product made from forest thinnings and other industry by-products), the prefab structure manages to blend in quietly with its location. Built on a wheeled chassis, the lightweight cabin is quite mobile. Designed to be used as an off-grid retreat, the cabin produces all of its own energy and was built to have minimal impact on the environment. A solar array is affixed to the pitched roof, which generates sufficient power for the residence. The design also features sustainable plywood lining, a composting toilet and low-E glass windows with operable louvres that provide a natural system of air ventilation. The dark black exterior gives way to a bright, light-filled interior thanks to a large glass door. The door, along with several windows, let in an abundance of natural light , which, paired with the lightly-hued plywood walls, opens up the compact space. The layout is simple , with a bed at one end and a bathroom at the other, separated by a compact kitchen with a small refrigerator and a two-burner gas stove. There is a small dining set in front of the door, which can be moved outside to dine al fresco. To make the most out of the cabin’s limited interior space, the architects went with a function-first mentality. Fresh Prince founder Richie Northcott explained, “Working within a small footprint, everything must earn its place; there is no room for waste or inefficiency. The cabin was conceived as one continuous piece of joinery, interlocking and aligning to provide space for storage, cooking, sleeping and sitting, without disrupting the overall space.” + Barrington Tops Cabin + Fresh Prince Via TreeHugger Photography by Rachel Mackay via Fresh Prince

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This off-grid tiny cabin in the Australian wilderness is just what you need for a late summer getaway

Giraffes win CITES protection

August 23, 2019 by  
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Giraffes are doing a victory dance today after winning international trade protection on Thursday. Delegates at the World Wildlife Conference in Geneva voted to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ( CITES ). Countries will now be required to issue non-detriment findings before exporting or importing giraffe parts. This means that in order to get permits, a scientific authority of the state must decree that the trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species. The number of giraffes has declined by 40 percent over the last three decades, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council , which calls the situation a “silent extinction.” Habitat loss, poaching for meat, trophy hunting, disease and trade in their parts has left giraffes more endangered than elephants. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified seven of the nine giraffe subspecies as threatened with extinction. Related: Don’t forget to fight for these “less glamorous” endangered species Giraffes range through 21 sub-Saharan African countries. Six of the range states — Central African Republic, Chad, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal — submitted the proposal to curtail indiscriminate trading of giraffe parts. The U.S., E.U., New Zealand, much of South and Central America and 32 African nations supported the proposal; however, some countries in southern African wanted to be exempt. CITES discourages this kind of split listing, as it makes things difficult for law enforcement to distinguish between legal and illegal trade. Fortunately, this idea was overruled. Because giraffes haven’t been listed under CITES in the past, there is not much international data on the trade in giraffe parts. But U.S. data points to a heinous level of trade, with nearly 40,000 giraffe parts arriving in the U.S. between 2006 and 2015. This equals at least 3,751 whole giraffes. Skins, bone carvings and raw bones were the parts most commonly intercepted. Taxidermied trophies and knives made with giraffe bone handles were other frequent imports. The long-necked ruminants and all their supporters are hoping that the U.S. will soon list giraffes under the Endangered Species Act . After conservation groups spent more than two years petitioning for protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finally conducting an in-depth review of the status of giraffes. Hopefully, it will act sooner rather than later. + CITES Via Reuters and NRDC Image via Loretta Smith

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Sleep in this restored WWII air control tower full of historic charm

February 15, 2019 by  
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A unique Airbnb listing in Scotland is inviting guests to stay at an amazing restored WWII air traffic control tower. Located in the Scottish Highlands area of Tain, the HMS OWL Air Control Tower dates back to the second world war, when it was used as an airbase for planes coming in and out of the country. Now, the tower has been renovated into a vibrant guesthouse with design features that pay homage to its military past. The old air tower is located in Tain, a former WWII air base that sits adjacent to the North Coast 500 Scenic Route. The former military structure was bought by Justin Hooper and Charlotte Seddon, who converted it into their family home. The family lives on the first three floors, but the top floor of the building is available for rent starting around $100 per night. Related: Sleep hundreds of feet in the air in this renovated air traffic control tower The five-year renovation process was extensive, but the couple went to extreme lengths to retain the military character of the building. To blend the tower into the expansive grassy landscape, Justin and Charlotte painted the exterior a jet black. They also left the original steel-framed Crittal windows that let in optimal natural light into the property. On the interior, large concrete pillars and exposed brickwork gives the living atmosphere a chic,  industrial feel. Large leather sofas and chairs, along with a wood-burning stove, make the living space extra warm and inviting. The top floor’s  unique guest room sleeps up to two people in a comfortable king-sized bed and beautiful en suite. The room has plenty of large windows to let in natural light as well as to offer the stunning views of the Scottish countryside. + HMS OWL Air Control Tower Via Curbed Images via HMS OWL Air Control Tower

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Sleep in this restored WWII air control tower full of historic charm

A tiny farmhouse in North Carolina is as energy-efficient as it is adorable

November 13, 2018 by  
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For those looking to get a taste of tiny home living, this charming, energy-efficient home located on a working farm outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina is just for you. Despite its small stature, the Roost 18 is a sustainable powerhouse, complete with sheep’s wool insulation, energy-efficient kitchen appliances and a composting toilet. The adorable abode can be rented out on Airbnb starting around $88 per night. Located on the rolling hills of a historic farm just outside of downtown Winston-Salem, the Roost 18 is a dream getaway for anyone looking for a serene retreat in the country. The tiny farmhouse is clad in white wood panels with an itsy-bitsy but welcoming front porch. The black, A-frame roof pays homage to the many barns in the area. Related: Enjoy a mint julep on this tiny farmhouse’s charming front porch The living space offers a small bench for sitting and enjoying the views or simply snuggling up with a good book. The home is kept warm and toasty during the colder months thanks to the sheep’s wool insulation and the mini wood-burning stove. For added sustainable measures and to reduce waste, the kitchen was installed with energy-efficient appliances. The small bathroom, which has a stock tank tub for soaking, is installed with a composting toilet . The tiny home sleeps up to four guests, with one queen-sized bed in a sleeping loft and a fold-out sofa bed downstairs. The interior of the home benefits from plentiful windows that provide stellar views of the stunning natural surroundings. (According to the reviews on Airbnb, this is a prime spot to watch the sunset.) Better yet, guests can enjoy a stroll around the working farm, which has a number of free-roaming animals and historic farm buildings. + Perch and Nest Via Tiny House Talk Images via Perch and Nest

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A tiny farmhouse in North Carolina is as energy-efficient as it is adorable

Denver firefighter uses 9 shipping containers to build a stunning family home

November 13, 2018 by  
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Denver-based firefighter Regan Foster used to spend his days putting out fires, but while recovering from a work-related injury, Foster decided to try his hand at building his dream home. The results are breathtaking. Using his own designs, Foster converted nine repurposed shipping containers into a massive 3,840-square-foot home with sophistication that rivals that of any professional architect’s work. Working with architect Joe Simmons of BlueSky Studio , Foster created the design and worked as the principal contractor on the project. To build out the frame of the home, four shipping containers were placed on the ground in pairs set 24 feet apart. Another four containers were then stacked on top of the first level, with a few pushed forward so that they cantilever over the ground floor. The ninth container was placed perpendicular to the back of the second level. Related: Starburst shipping container home to rise in the California desert The team topped the sections of the home with a series of flat roofs, and they covered the front facade in wood panels, contrasting nicely with the corrugated metal. An abundance of large windows were cut out of the containers in order to provide the interior with natural light . Although the exterior of the home is outstanding, the interior of the seven-bedroom, five-bathroom home is just as impressive. Walking into the great room, visitors are greeted with soaring 25-foot ceilings and an open floor plan that leads out to a large patio. As part of the master plan, Foster was determined to maintain the inherent industrial aesthetic of the shipping containers . The inside of the exterior walls were insulated and covered in drywall, but the interior walls and ceilings throughout the living space were left intact so that the corrugated metal would be visible. Foster, who has a passion for furniture making, used reclaimed wood in many of the home’s custom furnishings and design elements. For example, the flooring throughout the home is made with reclaimed barn wood and boards from a felled tree. Foster even refashioned an old walnut slab into a sliding door and used some waste lumber to create a cantilevered walkway that runs the length the second floor. Needless to say, the process of building his own home sparked a new professional path for Foster and his family. After completing the project, Foster retired from the fire department and started his own design and construction company, Foster Design . The family also rents out their home on Airbnb. + Foster Design + BlueSky Studio Via Dwell Photography by Regan Foster and Chris Boylen via Foster Design

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Denver firefighter uses 9 shipping containers to build a stunning family home

A couple builds a fairytale-like rental cabin near a volcano for $30K

November 6, 2018 by  
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When Caroline and Julien traveled across South America in their Volkswagen Kombi, the couple noticed a dearth of quality accommodations and decided to fill that hospitality gap by building a beautifully crafted rental cabin in Chile . After 19 months of construction, the couple realized their dream on the slopes of the Calbuco Volcano in Ensenada. Designed and constructed for an approximate cost of $30,000, the cozy, handcrafted home — dubbed Casa Nido — has been listed on Airbnb starting at $116 a night . Designing and building Casa Nido was a big adventure for the couple, given that they didn’t know anything about construction before starting. Yet all parts of the cabin , from the design and interior finishes to the electrical wiring and water systems, were carried out by the duo without any outside help. “We are offering tourists and travelers high quality, fully handmade accommodation, somewhere to relax and contemplate far away from consumer society,” said Caroline and Julien. “It is also the ideal place to rethink one’s priorities and experiment, for a given time, what is ‘going back to the essential.’” Inspired by images of fairytale cottages , Casa Nido spans two floors, with a ground floor of 290 square feet and a smaller second level of 129 square feet. The curved roof beam is constructed from plywood, and all the other timber materials are locally sourced, native species. For instance, Patagonian Cypress was used for the windows, doors and furnishings while Manio was used for the outside siding, interior lining and flooring. In addition to a bedroom that sleeps two, the cabin comes with a living room overlooking Calbuco Volcano vistas, a fully equipped kitchen that frames views of Osorno Volcano, a ground floor terrace and a wood-fired hot tub. Related: Award-winning glass cabin is nestled inside an Australian rainforest The cabin is powered by a photovoltaic solar system that provides enough electricity to meet daily needs, while the water is sourced from a nearby natural spring higher up in the valley. Wastewater is treated with a photo-purification system. The couple also plans to build a homemade biodigester to replace the use of gas cylinders for the cabin’s gas system. To wake up to volcano views at Casa Nido, check out the listing on Airbnb . + Casa Nido

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A couple builds a fairytale-like rental cabin near a volcano for $30K

Enjoy a mint julep on this tiny farmhouse’s charming front porch

November 2, 2018 by  
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If there is one thing that typically eludes tiny home design, it’s open-air space. That’s what makes this gorgeous, modern farmhouse so incredible. Designed by Perch & Nest , Roost 36 is a tiny home on wheels with a large front porch, which was built out of 100 percent recycled composite materials. Even better, the house, which is listed on Airbnb , is located on an idyllic 4-acre farm, letting guests enjoy the amazing scenery from one very cozy front porch. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Roost 36 was created for a family of four. It boasts non-toxic materials and many energy-efficient features . The exterior is an elongated volume painted white with an A-frame roof, reminiscent of barns and farmhouses found in the area. At one end of the tiny home is a surprisingly large deck, which was built from 100 percent recycled composite. A glass entry wall can be opened completely, blending the interior and exterior spaces. A brilliant system of retractable screens lets residents further open the space or close it off completely while still enjoying fresh air. Related: This tiny farmhouse on wheels starts at 63K On the inside, a comfortable sofa faces a wall with built-in shelving with enough room for the television and various knick-knacks. Large windows and four skylights on the cathedral ceilings naturally brighten the space. There is a fully-equipped kitchen with concrete countertops, a deep farmhouse sink and a very cool, renovated SMEG icebox as a refrigerator. Past the kitchen, a rather spacious bathroom comes installed with a farm-style tub and a composting toilet . There are two sleeping lofts on either side of the tiny home. The master bedroom is reached by steps that double as storage. Underneath the master bedroom is a smaller sleeping nook that can be used as a kids’ room or guest room. On the other side of the home is another sleeping loft, which is 8 feet deep and reached by a library ladder. The tiny home is available for rent on Airbnb , starting around $120 per night. Guests can enjoy the serenity of the area, especially the roaming farm animals and expansive nature found on the site. Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain state parks are a short drive away and offer tons of hiking and biking trails. + Perch and Nest Via Tiny House Talk Images via Perch and Nest

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Enjoy a mint julep on this tiny farmhouse’s charming front porch

ESCAPE offers free tiny home rentals that could earn you money

September 11, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever wanted to earn some side cash with a tiny home rental but never had the means or time to invest in one, here’s your chance. After having long wowed us with its luxurious tiny house builds, Wisconsin-based ESCAPE Homes has launched the “Free ESCAPE Tiny House Program,” and it is looking to partner with anyone with a qualifying property. If you’re approved, ESCAPE will deliver and set up one of its award-winning homes as a rental unit on your site, completely free of charge. Outfitted with all the comforts of home, plus a luxurious touch, ESCAPE’s tiny homes allow guests and homeowners to live large in small spaces. Their popularity has taken them throughout the U.S. from New York’s Hudson Valley to as far as the Hawaiian Islands. The units are well insulated to stand up to extreme weather conditions and to minimize energy use. While many units have been used as travel RVs, others have also been adapted into stationary weekend retreats, in-law suites and even lucrative Airbnb vacation rentals. “We’ve seen the interest in tiny home vacations soar,” said ESCAPE founder Dan Dobrowolski. “Launching this new program allows us to introduce the vacation experience to more people across the country, while offering our partners a chance to build a tiny (bad pun intended) business along the way.” Anyone with an acceptable site and good credit is welcome to apply to the ESCAPE Rental Program, which is actively looking to recruit partners with property in urban and rural settings within 100 miles of the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. A suitable site needs a flat and solid pad — the ESCAPE homes do not require a foundation — and preferably access to utilities including power, water and septic. Related: This tiny home on wheels lets you change your Vista on a whim Qualifying partners would manage the tiny house vocational rental in a one-year contract and receive 40 percent of the total revenue after any booking, credit card or other rental-associated fees on Airbnb or equivalent. As long as ESCAPE retains ownership of the unit, partners are not allowed to use the rental for personal means unless they book through the rental service. However, partners do have the option to purchase the tiny homes with advance notice. Interested in getting into the tiny house gig economy? Learn more on ESCAPE’s website . + ESCAPE Homes Images via ESCAPE RV/Steve Niedorf

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ESCAPE offers free tiny home rentals that could earn you money

Escape into nature at Alberto Kalachs timber cabins in Oaxaca

July 16, 2018 by  
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Renowned Mexican architect Alberto Kalach has designed a series of idyllic timber cabins along the Pacific Ocean in Oaxaca , Mexico. Available to rent on Airbnb, these cabins were developed as part of the Punta Pájaros, an ecological development located approximately 25 minutes from Puerto Escondido, a port town with stunning surf, pristine beaches and a buzzing nightlife. The cabins, which are strategically placed away from the hustle and bustle and are oriented to face the ocean, offer a blissful opportunity to reconnect with nature in all directions. The Alberto Kalach-designed cabins include Casa Mar and Casa Arena as well as eight other cabins with private pools and gardens. These holiday getaways are built almost entirely of timber and are raised approximately a meter above the ground to minimize site impact. Each dwelling is fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom and al fresco shower. Sliding doors built of palm wood completely open the interior up to the landscape, let in cooling cross breezes and provide panoramic views of the stunning landscape. “Each cabin was designed based on a simple wooden structure, reticulated in modules of 3 x 3m, concentrating the wet core at the center of the house, to leave a bedroom and common area at opposite ends with views of the landscape and a wide perimeter covered terrace,” explained Kalach’s firm. “Using the same modulation, other rooms were allocated to kitchen and dining services. The houses are camouflaged in the local landscape, being identifiable only by their twisted water covers, which look like bird profiles.” Related: Casa Bruma’s blackened concrete pavilions create a serene retreat in Mexico The cabins face a long, nearly private beach with rock climbing and fishing opportunities on one end and the Manialtepec Lagoon on the other. The cabins are also very close to Casa Wabi , a multicultural and multidisciplinary community artists’ retreat designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando . The cabins start at around $200 USD a night. + Alberto Kalach Images via Alberto Kalach

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Escape into nature at Alberto Kalachs timber cabins in Oaxaca

This tiny home lets visitors experience life as homesteaders

July 5, 2018 by  
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Homesteading is a full-time job, but for those who’d like to just try it briefly, you can rent out a beautiful 300-square-foot tiny home made from reclaimed materials located on a six-acre working farm. Available to rent on Airbnb , the Tiny House Farmstay on the  Chittle Homestead  is a small rental home just an hour outside of Seattle that lets guests experience the best of sustainable living. Guests looking for a simple homestead experience can head up to the historic fishing village of Gig Harbor to stay on the charming Chittle Homestead. On their land, Tessa and Tim Chittle built a tiny home out of locally-sourced building materials such as recycled denim insulation and reclaimed cedar wall siding. The house boasts non-toxic paints to create a healthy environment. Related: Cool homestead retreat with vintage trailer brings glamping to Mojave desert At just 300 square feet, the tiny home is designed to maximize space while putting the focus on spending time outdoors. The wood-clad interior houses a small living room and two private bedrooms — a sleeping loft with a queen-sized bed and a Murphy bed on the ground floor. The bathroom is small but functional with a tiny sink and shower, as well as an odorless composting toilet . Outside the tiny house, a long farm table welcomes visitors to enjoy a meal or socialize with one another. According to the owners, guests at the farm will wake up to the sounds of roosters crowing and views of sheep grazing in the expansive meadow that surrounds the home. The land is home to plenty of farm animals and gardens that produce fresh herbs and veggies. The homestead owners are more than happy to share their knowledge with visitors looking to test out the world of homesteading. Guests can assist with the daily chores of taking care of the farm animals, or they can choose to stroll down the beach, go on a kayak adventure or tour the local antique shops. Best of all, guests at the Chittle retreat will take comfort in knowing that the cost of their stay, which averages around $100 per night, goes toward improving the tiny home and its farm. According to the family, “All proceeds from your vacation booking goes to homestead projects that improve the sustainability of the homestead… improving soil, creating habitat for wildlife, increasing food self-sufficiency, and future dreams of solar panels, rainwater catchment and aquaponics.” + The Chittle Homestead Via Tiny House Talk Photography by Markie Jones Photography and Jenna Spesard

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