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Turn A Pringles Can Into A Lean, Green, Hot Dog Cooking Machine

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If you have a hankering for a roasted hot dog but you don’t have any fire, and you left your solar oven behind, you might still be in luck, assuming you have an empty can of Pringles laying around. This quick and easy DIY will show you how to re-use the empty can to heat a hot dog (or anything else you can skewer) up to 170 degrees in the sun.

First you need to outline the panel on the can

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Cut the panel out and save the piece of cardboard to use as a stand.

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Get a skewer and poke it through the end cap.

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Drill a hole in the bottom of the can to place the other end of the skewer into.

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Voila! A DIY hot dog roaster is finished.

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Use your cut out panel to make a stand, and set it in the sun, where the highly reflective interior will warm up to a toasty 170 degrees.

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She Transformed A School Bus Into An Artistic Ecovillage Dwelling

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Once a perfectly ordinary yellow school bus, Aubergine is now an unusual tiny house in an unusual community, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri. Dancing Rabbit is a commune with a focus on ecological sustainability, so when their bus reached the end of its mobile life it was only natural to find a new use for it. In contrast to many bus conversions no attempt has been made to retain a bus aesthetic, and the bus itself has all but disappeared behind a sheet-metal roof, earthen berm and adjacent greenhouse.

Here’s Aubergine, getting towed into her final resting place…

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There are good practical reasons for all of the add-ons. The roof diverts rainwater to a collection system, the berm protects the bus body from the wind, and the heat from the greenhouse radiates so well to the living area that the woodstove inside is only needed at night.

Rainwater from the roof fills the blue plastic barrels, and the simple sun porch looks like a great place to read a book.

Aubergine 1Aside from heat, the greenhouse provides kale, horseradish, and strawberries.

Aubergine 6With the greenhouse on one side and an earthen berm on the other, Aubergine stays in the high 60s even when covered with snow.

Aubergine 5The drawback is that the interior’s rather dark, but colored glass bottles serving as small windows brighten it a bit.

Aubergine 4Katherine’s workspace – and coworker looking less than enthusiastic about the photo op.

Aubergine 3There’s no bathroom, but plenty of space for working, relaxing, and sleeping.

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Dancing Rabbit residents built Aubergine over several years at a cost of about $6,000, and it’s now home to eco-artist Katherine Hanson, who’s even found room for a small studio workspace inside the 150-square-foot bus frame. If you’d like to learn more, check out the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage website.

Burt’s Bees Co-Founder Lives In A Tiny House

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Have you ever wondered who the “Burt” behind the famous natural products company Burt’s Bees was? Perhaps you have, but you probably don’t know much about the reclusive man, and for the most part that’s the way he likes it.

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Burt’s Bees co-founder Burt Shavitz may have missed the big payout for the company, but he did get a pretty nice tiny house out of it. He’s still living in it and doesn’t seem inclined to leave – even for a little while.

“A good day is when no one shows up. And you don’t have to go anywhere,” says the famously reclusive beekeeper.”

If you’d like to spend a little time with him anyway, there’s a new documentary about his life, Burt’s Buzz, available for rent on Amazon; you can also watch the trailer there or check it out below.

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Watch the video below to learn more about his life

When This School Brought Meditation Into The Classroom, Some Rolled Their Eyes – Until They Saw The Results.

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When Vistacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco decided to implement meditation into the curriculum back in 2007, more than a few teachers and parents rolled their eyes at the thought of this new age approach having any impact.

Meditation has been around for centuries, and numerous studies have shown its benefits, but until now we didn’t know what effect it would have in a classroom setting. The school in question had its share of troubled teens acting out, resulting in fights, low test scores, and other disciplinary problems.

Many thought it seemed like a waste of precious time. They were wrong.

“The kids see guns on a daily basis,” the school’s athletic director, Barry O’Driscoll said, adding, “there would be fights here three-to-five times a week.”

After a lot of discussion the school introduced “quiet time” where students put their heads on their desks and practiced transcendental meditation twice each day, for a 15 minute period of time. To counter the lost 30 minutes in each day, the school extended the day by the same amount of time, thus negating any complaints about lost teaching time.

Four years later they saw a 79% decrease in suspensions, a 98.3% increase in attendance, and a 400% increase in GPA. Those numbers proved quite substantial, and changed even the most skeptical teacher’s minds. Today Quiet Time is widely regarded as one of the most dramatically successful initiatives in the Bay Area, and perhaps best of all is that it requires zero resources – all you need is silence.

This sort of approach to mindfullness could easily benefit many children around the country, and with that in mind a new campaign was created to pursue integrating meditation into more classrooms.

Learn more about how you can help fund this promising initiative

Washing Clothes Offgrid Just Got A Whole Lot Easier

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Washing clothes by hand is difficult, time-consuming work. But then, getting a standard washing machine to run off solar panels is pretty difficult too. So aside from trips to the local Laundromat, hand washing, tiresome as it is, has been the best option for many people who live off-grid.

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Now Canadian company YiREGO is looking to change that with a 5-liter foot-powered device that looks a little like a high-tech wastebasket. The size means you can’t wash very many clothes at once, so it wouldn’t work for a family, but for someone living by herself it could probably save a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately it won’t ship until July of 2016, but you can pre-order now to lock in an introductory price of $129.


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