Genius elevator bed slides vertically on rails to maximize space in Alaskan tiny home

February 24, 2017 by  
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Ana White , a self-taught carpenter in Alaska, has built a number of impressive tiny homes . But her latest project literally takes her craft to a new level. In keeping with her client’s request for an open and airy space, Ana built an ‘elevator bed’ that slides vertically on rails with just a touch of a button. White’s client for the tiny home design requested that interior of the compact 24-foot-long, 8-foot-wide space be as open as possible. This challenged her to find space for the bed when not in use. As a stroke of space-saving genius, for just $500, she installed the bed on vertical rails using hardware from a garage door system. At the touch of a button, the bed slides up and down on the rails and is held in place by pins drilled into the wall. When not in use, the bed is lifted to almost ceiling height, and the sofa underneath, which also opens up into a guest bed, becomes a comfortable lounge space. Related: Missouri community is building 50 tiny homes for homeless veterans https://youtu.be/lHjJd4tkvSU Additional space-saving techniques are installed throughout the home. Storage nooks were custom created in virtually every corner, leaving no space unused. Almost all of the furniture has been created to be multi-use, including wooden box footrests that can be used as coffee tables, guest seating, and storage bins. Even the lids pull double duty as lap desks for laptops or serving trays. Additional features include a lateral shelving unit that runs the length of the large window, which provides optimal natural light . The storage shelves underneath are covered custom-made sliding barn doors that can be propped up to use as work space or dining area. In the kitchen, more sliding features include a cereal cabinet, and a beautiful barn door that separates the kitchen from the bathroom, which has a composting toilet . The closet space is also built on rails, and slides into the shower stall when not in use. + Ana White Via Treehugger Images via Ana White

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Genius elevator bed slides vertically on rails to maximize space in Alaskan tiny home

Germany’s environmental ministry nixes meat, fish at official functions

February 24, 2017 by  
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The German equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency is saying yes to sauerkraut, no to bratwurst—officially, at least. Barbara Hendricks, minister for the environment, announced last week that the Umweltbundesamt , Germany’s federal environmental arm, will serve neither meat nor fish at state events. She cited as a reason the inordinate environmental burden they pose on the environment, especially in the case of livestock farming, which studies show generate more greenhouse-gas emissions than transportation. This isn’t a novel stance for the ministry. In 2009, the Umweltbundesamt counseled Germans to return to the prewar tradition of eating meat only on special occasions, if not for their health, then for the sake of the planet. “We must rethink our high meat consumption,” said then–environment minister Andreas Troge. “I recommend people return to the Sunday roast and to an orientation of their eating habits around those of Mediterranean countries.” A nation that offers hundreds of varieties of sausage may not be so easily swayed, however. Germans consume a lot of meat—about 60 kilograms (132 pounds) per capita per year, according to some estimates . Unsurprisingly, Henrick’s pronouncement has already drawn criticism, with one political rival accusing the minister of “nanny-statism” and forcing vegetarianism on people. “I’m not having this Veggie Day through the back door,” said Christian Schmidt, minister of food and agriculture. “I believe in diversity and freedom of choice, not nanny-statism and ideology. Instead of paternalism and ideology. Meat and fish are also part of a balanced diet.” A member of Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union party, Schmidt previously called for a ban on giving meat substitutes names like “vegetarian schnitzel” and “vegetarian sausage” because they are “completely misleading and unsettle consumers.” Infographic: The true environmental cost of eating meat He also censured German schools for eliminating pork from the menu out of consideration for Muslim students. “We should not restrict the choice for the majority of society for reasons of ease or cost,” he said. Meanwhile, Hendricks’s detractors have dismissed her a hypocrite, since meat and fish will still be offered in the staff cafeteria. “The ban only applies to a handful of guests, not to 1,200 employees,” said Gitta Conneman, a senior minister from the Christian Democratic Union. “This is pure ideology, a ‘people’s education’ for the diet.” But, at least for now, the environment ministry isn’t budging. “We’re not telling anyone what they should eat,” it said in a statement. “But we want to set a good example for climate protection, because vegetarian food is more climate-friendly than meat and fish.” Via ThinkProgress Photos by Marco Verch and Oliver Hallmann

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Germany’s environmental ministry nixes meat, fish at official functions

How this photographer escaped the grid with her tiny Teardrop Trailer

February 22, 2017 by  
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Photographer Mandy Lea won’t let anything stop her from seeing the world. In order to fulfill her “insatiable desire to explore and document the beauty all around us through photography”, Lea packed up her photo gear and hit the road eight months ago in her tiny teardrop trailer – and she hasn’t looked back since. Like many intrepid travelers, Lea decided to change her lifestyle after getting burned out at her job. Deciding to live life on her terms and pursue her passion for photography, she purchased a tiny teal T@G teardrop camper to use as her home on wheels . “It simply called to me,” Lea says. “I couldn’t explain the reasoning; I just knew I had to have it. That. Exact. One.” https://youtu.be/NUjWSHzpg6k Unfortunately, that trailer was stolen shortly after buying it. It was found later thanks to an online plea by Lea that went viral, but, to her dismay, the trailer had been completely trashed. Although heartbroken at the loss, Lea was encouraged by the overwhelming support of total strangers during the ordeal, and decided to follow through on her dreams to travel, this time in her newly-bought, orange-swirled camper she named “The Phoenix”. Related: Italian woman restores old van to travel the world with her rescue dog The camper has all the comforts of a tiny home : indoor shelving, custom-made cabinets and an open kitchen space at the rear of the compact camper . For personal touches to make her feel at home, Lea added a comfy bed, curtains, custom wooden knobs, and a tv. Lea has been on the road for 8 months and has explored 28 states and three countries. In that time, she has photographed some amazing landscapes and come in contact with bears, eagles, coyotes, elk, and even scorpions! You can keep up with Mandy’s travels on her website as well as Facebook , Instagram and YouTube . + Mandy Lea Photo Via Treehugger Images via Mandy Lea

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How this photographer escaped the grid with her tiny Teardrop Trailer

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