Normal-Looking House Uses 90% Less Energy

March 17th, 2008 Posted in eco footprint, energy conservation, green construction, solar power, water | No Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

This made the front page on Care2, vote for it with all yer might! 

When many people think about a “green” house, they picture a small hut made out of mud where people sit on dirt floors, desperately trying to not use any energy. But by doing some careful planning and designing, and paying about 10% more on construction costs, this family’s home uses 50% less water and a whopping 90% less electricity than a similar-sized “normal” home.Some of the things they did are:

  • capturing rainwater and snow melt to flush toilets or water the lawn
  • “recycling” heat from hot water to help the water heater
  • energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs
  • Insano insulation
  • install solar panels to get some free electricity

Take a looksie at the video:

If you’re thinking about building a home in the near future, and you’d like to cut the water bill in half and the electricity bill by 90%, then here’s how. I plan on one day following some of the tips in the video to make my house as cheap (and eco-friendly) as possible, while maintaining that normal home look.

Earthships: Simply Jawsome

March 6th, 2008 Posted in eco footprint, energy conservation, green construction, green living, off the grid, recycle, reusing, save money, solar power | 2 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

Earthships are houses made with discarded tires, bottles, and cans, put together with lots of dirt. Many of them are self-sufficient, creating their own energy, and capturing their own rain-water. Since they’re made from reused/free materials, and supply their own electricity, heating, and water, they help conserve natural resources while also saving chunks of money. I’m down for anything that helps the environment AND saves me some dinero.

But I digress. I now present to you, courtesy of Earthship.net, “Earthships 101”.

Earthships 101: Part One:

Earthships 101: Part Deux

:


Dang I want one.

Get Rid of Your Electric Power Bill

March 5th, 2008 Posted in eco footprint, eco hero, energy conservation, green construction, green living, off the grid, save money, solar power | 11 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Solar Nanners! Amory Lovins, who won a MacArthur Genius grant back in 1993 (and an Eco-Hero Award just right now), has been living in a house he built since 1983. It looks like a very nice and comfy house, especially when you consider that, despite living 7,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains (where it gets pretty dang cold), he pays $0 a year on his heating. Not only that, but his house actually generates more electricity than he needs — so he sells the surplus energy to the power company for some extra cash. Here are three ways to cut your electric bill like crazy.

CLICK HERE TO SEE AN INFORMATIVE YET FUN YET NEAT VIDEO OF HIS HOUSE

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

His secret (one of them) is that he designed his house to be very well insulated. His walls are 16 inches thick, and his large super-insulated windows (made with special glass that insulates as well as 14 normal panes of glass) mean that his house can retain heat quite well.

Passive and Active Solar Heating

Lovins’ house is heated in two main ways: both from sun-rays passing through his many windows, or by means of Amory’s solar panels, which supply his house with more energy than it even uses.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Much of Lovins’ house is naturally lit by the sun. Besides that, motion-detector lights and energy-efficient bulbs help to cut down on electricity use. His fridge is thickly-insulated, which reduces its energy consumption by quite a lot. His dryer is solar powered, and looks like it uses no electricity at all (watch the video to see how).

Amory Lovins’ home took some extra thought to design and build. It also cost a little bit extra ($6,000). But by cutting his power bill to zero, the extra planning and money spent were easily worth it. If more and more contractors start building this way, you could kiss our “oil prices” and “energy crisis” problems good-bye.

Thankee to Sam for telling me about this homey

Tiny Houses

March 3rd, 2008 Posted in eco footprint, green business, green construction, off the grid | 12 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


There’s a new craze that’s sweeping the nation. Tiny houses. Many of them even smaller than this converted bus. Instead of living in a big, energy-consuming, resource-using McMansion, some people have chosen to live in small houses of about 100 square feet. It might sound crazy, but after looking at pictures and video of them, a tiny house doesn’t sound too bad.

Tiny Comfy House tiny-house-inside.jpg

Martin House-To-Go has finished their 2008 tiny house model, and they call it Fresh Start. At $29,900, it only costs as much as a nice car, but offers all the modern comforts of home. Their tiny house includes these following features:

  • 11′ high ceilings!
  • solid bamboo floors!
  • no toxic, gas-emitting materials used in construction

Anyhoo, it’s worth taking a look at their galleries. Marvelous, they are.

Moving on, we find Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed. He’s been building (and living in) tiny homes since 1997. Most of his tiny houses are about 100 square feet. He claims that the reason he started living in small houses is because he hates sweeping and vacuuming big houses. Also, since they use less natural resources (both in construction and in upkeep). Without further ado, I present Jay Shafer’s guided tour of his tiny house:


One day I might have to take the plunge and live in a mini-house. They look cool, are cheap, and are environmentally responsible. What more could ye ask for?Thanks to Tiff for telling me about this here thing.

Man Transforms Reused Bus into Amazing RV

February 22nd, 2008 Posted in cars, eco hero, green construction, inventions, projects, reusing, save money | 21 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


HOLY MOLY, THIS USED TO BE A CHEESE BUS

Look above. That used to be a yellow cheese school bus! Man, when I first saw this, I was too interested. I read all the steps, and looked at all the pictures of what Jake Von Slatt did. What he did was buy a cheap school bus (a little more than $2,000) and transform it into a beautiful, homemade RV. I like his homemade RV for a couple reasons:

  1. He did it cheaply. The bus cost about $2,000, he did most of the work himself (or with his friends), and he got a LOT from the dump, craigslist, or freecycle.
  2. He reused a lot of materials, thereby creating his RV in a very “green” way (reused bus, materials from dump, reused mess off websites).
  3. You can see the process of the bus’s conversion. Seeing all the steps it takes is really interesting, and makes me want to (one day) attempt something like this. It’s really cool, so por favor take a look at it.

Anyhoo, enough with my thoughts. Enjoy this video of Von Slatt giving you a tour of his homemade RV that came from a lil’ ol’ cheese bus.

Scrap House

January 16th, 2008 Posted in eco hero, green construction, green living, reusing, save money | 3 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Wow. These people in San Francisco built an entire house using nothing but trash. They got all their material from junk yards or scrap yards, and ended up spending less than $3,000 on the whole house! Take a look at the video, it’s pretty impressive (and cool). It makes you think about all the stuff that we are constantly throwing away instead of finding a way to reuse.

Be sure to check out their site, especially their page on green building. All in all, I’m thinking these people are some eco-heroes.

First Home Remodel to get LEED Platinum Status

January 7th, 2008 Posted in eco hero, green construction, green living | 1 Comment » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

LEED Living RoomCongratulations to the Live Green, Live Smart people for becoming the first ever to get LEED Platinum status on a remodeled house.  LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum is the highest “green” rating that they give out, so EcoJoes is sending out a hearty “Huzzah” to them, and also making them an honorary Eco Hero.

I suggest you go check out their website and read all about the blood, sweat, and tears that went into making this marvel of a mansion.