16-Year-Old Builds His Own Tiny House

September 1st, 2011 Posted in eco hero, green construction, save money | 4 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!


Have you ever wanted a tiny house of your own, but thought it’d be way too hard to build? What if you found out a 16-year-old (by the name of Austin Hay) was about to finish his very own small home? It’s just 130 square feet, but it’s 100% custom-made, plus has no mortgage!

Not only does it waste a lot less building materials to build (plus use a less resources to maintain) a tiny house, but it can save you a chunk o’ change. As Mr. Hay himself put it, “Living small means less bills, living big means more bills. I don’t want to pay big bills”.

Without further ado, I’ll let Austin take it away and give you a tour of his very own tiny house.

If you’re all pumped up now to go off and build a lil’ casa, take a looksie at this tiny house book, first, just to see what you’re getting into.

Is a Tiny House Right for Me? Little House on a Small Planet

May 10th, 2011 Posted in books, construction, eco footprint, green construction, green living, save money | 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!



A few months back I came home to find a nifty book on the front stoop of one of my houses. After becoming intrigued by the title, Little House on a Small Planet: Simple Homes, Cozy Retreats, and Energy Efficient Possibilities, I dove into this tome.

I have to say, I enjoyed reading it a lot. If you have any questions or curiousity about living in a tiny house (or even just a smaller-than-normal house), then I recommend this book. It examines this lifestyle from many different angles, and covered some questions I didn’t even have a clue I had.

I’ll go into some of what’s inside Little House on a Small Planet here, in bullet point form: READ MORE »

15 Free CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) Bulbs from Duke Energy

January 10th, 2011 Posted in electric, energy conservation, free, save money | 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!


15 free CFL bulbs
Alright, so you may have seen posts on here about free CFLs before. But have you ever seen an offer for 15 free CFL bulbs at a time? That’s right, fifteen free compact fluorescent light bulbs!

Well, if you’re a customer at good ol’ Duke Energy, then I suggest you CLICK ON THIS LINK and go get yourself some free CFL bulbs. Not only will using CFL bulbs help you use less electricity, but it’ll cut down on your power bill.

 

Once a CFL Bulb Has Died…

If your compact fluorescent bulb happens to smash or die from old age, por favor be sure to recycle your old CFL bulb.

Three Cool Earthship Videos: Eco-friendly cheap house

April 13th, 2010 Posted in construction, eco footprint, energy conservation, green construction, reusing, save money, solar power | 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!


Earthships. The very name conjures up an image of otherworldliness, but there are more earthships around than you might think. Whether you have no idea what an earthship is, or you are an earthship guru, hopefully you can enjoy the following moving pictures (“talkies” as the old-timers say), and maybe even learn a thing or two about these mystical structures.

Earthship Video Uno

Earthship Video Dos

Earthship Video Tres


Dang, now wasn’t that informative? If you feel that your brain can handle yet MORE information about earthships, then head on over to Earthships 101.

Programmable Thermostat Saves Money and Electricity

January 9th, 2010 Posted in electric, energy conservation, save money | 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!


It's getting hot in hur
Have you ever wanted to save money on your heating and cooling bills without sacrificing your precious comfort? What to do?? I, too, was in the same boat as you, until last weekend when I installed a programmable thermostat.

“What’s the big deal about a programmable thermostat, anyhoo?”, I hear you ask. Well, I’ll let the good ol’ U.S. Department o’ Energy tell you:

[During winter], by turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for 8 hours, you can save about 5%–15% a year on your heating bill—a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.

Gadzooks. If your average power bill is $70 a month during the 4 coldest months of the year, a programmable thermostat can save you between $14 and $42 during those 4 months! Not to mention the painless energy savings.

But it doesn’t only conserve energy and save money during the winter, oh no. During those hot months, you can set the temperature higher while you’re gone, and have it cool down more when you’re actually at your house. Voíla, even more energy and monetary savings!

Read instructions carefully when installing a programmable thermostat

Me and some friends tried to install my thermostat on one of the coldest days of the year. We wired everything up perfectly, but the heat wouldn’t come on. A day later, my friendly neighborhood electrician fixed the problem by reading the manual and figuring out that you had to tell the programmable thermostat that we had a heat pump. Dang, that one night without heat was a cold night
indeed, but I learnt a valuable lesson about reading instructions.

Homemade Cat Litter from Reused Newspaper

November 17th, 2009 Posted in animals, cleaning, paper, reusing, save money | 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!


Cats. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. These fine feline friends are great pets, but when it comes to cleaning up their god dang litter, that is certainly not the cat’s meow.

Not only is cat litter not great fun to clean up (and buy), but most clay-based kitty litter is made from clay that is strip mined from the Earth, which is horrible for the environment. The U.S. Bureau of Mines estimates that in 1994 alone, approximately 1.5 million metric tons of clay was mined to make clay cat litter.

A good way to avoid clay litter, and to reuse, is to just use old newspapers as cat litter. Here’s how to make your cat(s) some homemade newspaper cat litter.

1) Sprinkle some baking soda on to the bottom of an empty litter box. This is optional, and helps absorb some of that atrocious cat pee smell.

2) Tear newspaper into narrow strips (less than an inch wide). Pro tip: It’s a lot easier to tear vertically than horizontally.
Precious newspaper strips

3) Use your hand muscles to tear those newspaper strips into pieces that are about half a foot long. Use a ruler if you want to, kitty will appreciate the extra precision.

4) Make it rain. Flutter, throw, or somehow get all that newspaper into the cat litter box. It should be over halfway full (it’ll flatten a lot when it gets wet).
Making it rain

Et voila, you are finished. It’s recommended to change the wet newspaper daily, or else it’ll stink up your house. Hopefully your cat will give the newspaper litter the ol’ thumbs up, and you’ll be on your way to a greener kitty litter box.

Library Saves Money and Helps Environment

August 6th, 2009 Posted in books, green business, paper, recycle, reusing, save money | 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!


The green movement is making inroads even in the lil’ town of Garner. I was in the library last week, lamenting my near-illiteracy while I looked for the picture book section, when I saw READ MORE »