Experience the good old days of off-grid living at the El Cosmico vintage trailer park

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

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Although some may think that tiny home design is a relatively new concept, trailer living has been around almost since the dawn of time, or at least since the creation of the iconic Airstream . For those looking to go back to the good old days of simple living, El Cosmico Trailer Park located in Marfa, Texas, is home to 11 restored vintage trailers that have been painstakingly revamped back to their heyday state of “nomadic recreation.” El Cosmico Park is a colorful trailer community that sits in the desert plains of Marfa , an art-loving community known for its incredible landscape. The vintage trailers have been restored to their original glory as much as possible. Most have marine-varnished birch interiors and no-frills amenities geared to those looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Related: The Vintages boasts 15 painstakingly restored trailers in one retro park The 11 vintage trailers – that are available to rent throughout the year – come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all with their own unique character. The 42-feet Imperial Mansion, for example, has its own bathroom and a full kitchen. Its lovely wooden deck is perfect for a smokey bbq dinner under the stars. Little Pinky, on the other hand is a quaint, she shed-esque 13-feet trailer that also comes with a sweet little deck, but shares an outdoor toilet and shower with her neighbor, Amigo. Each trailer has the basic equipment for cooking, dining, sleeping, bathing, etc., and most have open-air decks. All of the trailers are also equipped with heating and cooling for year-round stays. However, in true off-grid fashion, there is limited Internet, which is only available in the lobby. For those looking to go a bit more rustic, the camp also offers yurts and teepees . + El Cosmico Trailer Park Images via El Cosmico Trailer Park

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Experience the good old days of off-grid living at the El Cosmico vintage trailer park

Watch this groundbreaking new solar device open and move like a flower

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

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The Smartflower is a groundbreaking solar panel that can’t—and won’t—sit still. Arriving Stateside this month, the portable all-in-one unit mimics the behavior of certain sun-tracking blooms by rotating its solar-module “petals” throughout the day. This format, according to Austria’s Smartflower Energy Technology, allows the system to be 40 to 50 percent more efficient than traditional photovoltaic arrays , which tend to be limited by their fixed tilt. The company claims that a single Smartflower can produce the equivalent of a 4 kilowatt rooftop system, which it hails as a breakthrough for a standalone solar product. You can tell that the Smartflower is designed for residential and small-business use. To add to its visual appeal, it’s available in a slew of colors with names like “berry,” “jungle,” and “porcelain.” The Smartflower’s day starts at sunrise when it deploys its panels, which are backed by brushes that slough off any dust and debris. Related: Tesla unveils discreet new rooftop solar panels Turning to face the sun at a 90-degree angle, it uses GPS-based dual axis tracking to calculate—and shift—its optimal angle as the day progresses. The modules fold up at night, or when sensors detect high winds that may cause them damage. The basic Smartflower model, which starts at around $16,000, can be used in a variety of “plug and play” settings, including juicing up an electric car. A pricier “Plus” version includes battery storage that lets you squirrel away harvested energy to tide you over cloudy days. About 1,000 Smartflowers have already been installed at sites across Europe, including the Botanical Gardens in Madrid and the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein in Austria. Related: Google’s Project Sunroof expands to 7 million homes in Germany Arnold Schwarzenegger , the actor and former governor of California, is apparently fan. “Even though I like size, sometimes something small is very effective, “ a brochure quotes him as saying. “And when it comes to photovoltaic solar there is nothing better than, for instance, the Smartflower. I mean what a brilliant idea, you put this in front of the house, you plug it in—no installation, nothing.” + Smartflower

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Watch this groundbreaking new solar device open and move like a flower

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