This couple converted an old school bus into a stunning tiny home

August 24, 2018 by  
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When couple Kai and Julie went to grab a cup of coffee in Berlin, their home city, they had no idea how that beverage break would change their lives. The couple saw an old school bus offered for sale and decided it would be ideal to transform it into a tiny home on wheels. They’d been mulling tiny home options for a while, but the aspect of being able to change locations at will was paramount. Kai and Julie also agreed that cooking and comfortable sleeping were high priorities. Free-flowing air and maximum light were also important. The 118-square-foot bus met all these needs with rows of windows, a skylight, and a large door that provided easy access to the magnificent outdoors, not to mention stunning views. Related: Family of five moves from a 2,100-square-foot-house to a beautifully renovated school bus Instead of trying to convert the bus’s interior piece by piece, the couple chose to strip it down to the metal chassis and start from scratch. Every day was an adventure in practical creativity because they had no master plan. As an homage to their roots, Kia and Julie built their cupboards and table from old Berlin loft flooring wood. They dismantled discarded wooden produce crates to cover the interior walls and build shelves. They carry about 26 gallons of fresh water onboard to filter for drinking, and the tiny home on wheels has a portable composting toilet. The couple agrees that the most beloved part of their new tiny home is the wood burning stove. According to them, it “makes you feel super cozy and gives the whole bus a true cabin feeling. It just makes you feel at home. Nothing beats having a candlelight dinner with the stove on. Besides the entertainment, there is a practical part, too. We heat the bus with it and we also use it to cook, which works great.” The pair admitted the project was extremely challenging at times, especially figuring out electric system installation, plumbing, insulation, and woodworking. But with the help of friends savvy about van conversion techniques and countless YouTube videos, the school bus transformation was a resounding success. + Apartment Therapy Images via Kai Branss

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This couple converted an old school bus into a stunning tiny home

Exotic pets are most likely to be released in the wild and become invasive species

August 24, 2018 by  
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With imports of Fish and Wildlife-regulated reptiles exceeding one million individuals each year, it is no surprise that many of these animals are finding their way into the wild, where they are threatening natural ecosystems. Exotic pets can be extremely endearing and are bought at a low cost when they are babies. But when these animals get too large to handle or are cast off by wavering attention spans, they invade native ecosystems. This is the case for iguanas, Chinese water dragons and ball pythons, which have become the most commonly released pets in the wild, according to new research. The massive exotic pet trade, which isn’t fully regulated, has become the leading cause of invasive amphibians and reptiles in the wild. Whether as predatory hunters or as spreaders of “alien” diseases and pests to native populations, the discarded exotic pets are wreaking havoc that ecologists and animal control workers are endlessly working to offset. Oliver Stringham and Julie Lockwood, leading ecologists at Rutgers University in New Brunswick,  researched the prevalence of specific exotic species. The paper was published on Wednesday and cross-references attributes of species that are commonly released versus those that are typically kept by their owners. The study compared data from  citizen scientists  on numbers of species that were introduced into the wild with figures of imports and sales from online pet stores. Related: It’s finally illegal to own wild animals in the UAE In total, the researchers documented 1,722 species of reptiles and amphibians that were sold on the U.S. market between 1999 and 2016. They found that species that grow to large sizes were most likely to be released. Some of the animals also have long lifespans for pets, as in the case of the boa constrictor, which requires costly care over its 30+ year lifespan. “These species are so abundant in the pet market, they’re potentially more likely to be bought by impulsive consumers that haven’t done the proper research about care requirements with some small fraction of these consumers resorting to releasing these pets when they become difficult to care for,” Stringham said in an interview with Earther . “Even if released exotic pets fail to become established, they still cause harm to wildlife by spreading new diseases.” The effects have been catastrophic for many ecosystems . The animal trade-driven chytrid fungus plague alone has devastated amphibian populations on a global scale. In the Florida Everglades, where released exotic pets are the most prevalent, Burmese pythons and tegu lizards continuously scavenge native populations. Stringham and Lockwood hope that their research will deter importers from selling these wild animals from impulsive buyers in the future; a more likely scenario is the regulation of the amount of animals or the prices for which they are sold. Via Earther Images via Paul Hudson and Thai National Parks

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Exotic pets are most likely to be released in the wild and become invasive species

This amazing renovated school bus is a bright, airy home for a family of six

March 5, 2018 by  
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Converting an old school bus into a living space is never an easy task – but when you’re trying to create enough room for a family of six, the project becomes a whole ‘nother beast. When Gabriel and Debbie Mayes began to embark on their skoolie refurb, they knew it would have to accommodate themselves as well as their four children for years to come. The result is an amazing, light-filled home on wheels that has plenty of living and storage space for the entire family. The Mayes Team began their renovation by buying an 250-square-foot, 2000 Thomas High Top with the seats still intact. Excited as they were about their new adventure, the ambitious couple soon discovered that the old bus was a “rust bucket.” However, they moved forward by gutting the entire interior, and creating a specific layout that would meet their needs. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel After months of hard work, the family managed to convert the old bus into a comfy 250 square feet of living space by using several space-efficient tactics. Instead of creating a long, shotgun type of home, for example, the wanted to separate the living space from the bedrooms. Putting the living room towards the front of the bus, they created a natural barrier with an L-shaped kitchen, which blocks the view of the sleeping area in the back of the bus. For the sleeping area, the kids have four bunk beds positioned over the wheel wells, with the parents’ bedroom at the very back of the bus. The bed was positioned over the engine, leaving enough room for clothing storage underneath, again making use of every inch of available space. Upon entry, the living space is divided into two sides, with two couches on either side that can fit the entire family. The couches can also fold out into a full bed for guests. The interior design scheme revolves around predominantly black, white, and grey tones, giving the interior a polished look. Using white walls creates an airy, spacious interior, which is enhanced by various large windows that flood the space with natural light . The design also incorporates various wood accents to add a sense of warmth to the design. As is the case with most tiny living spaces, creative storage solutions were essential in this project, especially with a large family. Throughout the bus conversion, hidden drawers and cupboards were installed in every available inch of space. The team installed storage under the couch and even a shoe shelf by the front door. According to the family, these areas are incredibly helpful to help the big family avoid clutter, “This has been such a blessing and has helped us to keep the bus organized.” The family, who is now “parked” in California while the kids go to school, posts updates about the project and their travels on their website and Instagram . + The Mayes Team Via Dwell Images via The Mayes Team

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This amazing renovated school bus is a bright, airy home for a family of six

How one woman turned an old school bus into the coziest little home

July 27, 2015 by  
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Rising sea levels are suffocating already-endangered turtle eggs

July 27, 2015 by  
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As climate change drives sea levels to rise around the globe, scientists are warning that it could have a devastating effect on turtle populations. In the new research, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science , scientists found that the survival rate of endangered green sea turtle eggs dropped by 30 percent if the eggs were immersed in water for just six hours. This discovery raises concerns about the dwindling birth rate on Raine Island, near the Great Barrier Reef , where 100,000 female green sea turtles lay their eggs each summer. Read the rest of Rising sea levels are suffocating already-endangered turtle eggs

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Rising sea levels are suffocating already-endangered turtle eggs

How living in a 200-square-foot school bus has made me an ultra-minimalist

February 16, 2015 by  
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Sometimes, I sit in my lawn chair at night next to the campfire, and look at the big blue bus in my campsite spot—or wherever we may be at the moment—and I think: “Wow. This is all I own in the world.” Everything in the world that I have to my name is currently inside a 1975 International Harvester school bus, and really, we don’t have much. We bought the bus in Alaska and have driven it over 4,000 miles in 6 months, exploring the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest. Read the rest of How living in a 200-square-foot school bus has made me an ultra-minimalist Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: full time rv , how to live minimally , living in a bus , minimalist living , rv traveling , school bus renovation , small house , tiny house , tiny house living , voluntary simplicity

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How living in a 200-square-foot school bus has made me an ultra-minimalist

Architecture Student Retrofits School Bus into Sleek Mobile Home for the Ultimate Road Trip

August 21, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Architecture Student Retrofits School Bus into Sleek Mobile Home for the Ultimate Road Trip Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: architecture final project , hank butitta , Justin Evidon , LED lighting , mobile home , reclaimed flooring , Reclaimed Materials , retrofit home , retrofit school bus , retrofit skylight , school bus , school bus architecture        

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Architecture Student Retrofits School Bus into Sleek Mobile Home for the Ultimate Road Trip

New Supermaterial Carbyne May Beat Out Graphene and Diamond as the World’s Strongest Material

August 21, 2013 by  
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Carbyne could be stronger that Graphene (pictured above). (cc) AlexanderAlUS/ CORE Materials A new research paper published on Arxiv describes in detail the properties of Carbyne, a supermaterial that is stronger than graphene and diamond, and can be synthesized and stabilized at room temperature. Carbyne is stiffer than anything that scientists have seen before, and could potentially have a wide variety of applications in nanomechanical systems and electromechanical devices. Read the rest of New Supermaterial Carbyne May Beat Out Graphene and Diamond as the World’s Strongest Material Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Carbyne , graphene , green materials , green technology , lightweight materials , microlenses , nano-structures , nanomechnical systems , nanotechnology , nanotubes , research paper , rice university , scientific study , sensors , strongest material on Earth , supermaterials , US scientific study        

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New Supermaterial Carbyne May Beat Out Graphene and Diamond as the World’s Strongest Material

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