Monday, January 22, 2007

Eco-Living (And A Little Rant)

Were mesmerized with the Hobbit's dwellings in Middle Earth in 'The Lord of the Rings'? Did you want to live in the Shire? Think they had a magical life? You will love looking and these websites and conjuring up in your mind what it would be like to live in a eco-friendly house. I am not sure I could sustain a life with only an outhouse. The idea of a simpler, quieter life does appeal to me.

Frankly, I have not understood the way we build houses, especially in the last 15 years. Pre-menapausal me, before I felt like I had a volcano bubbling inside somewhere, I would take very long, very hot baths. I felt so guilty about wasting that perfectly good grey water that I would haul it one bucket at a time downstairs to the backyard. Why is it that we don't have some little switch somewhere in the bathroom plumbing so I can send that water to the flowers? Why did they built this house in 1960 with NO insulation? Why aren't solar panels included as standard home-building procedure? Why don't gutter systems come equipped with a rain barrel? It should be all inclusive and most important affordable!

As a side note, I think our government keeps us so confused with wars and talk of wars. I think most of us are so busy driving back and forth to work, making money to pay our bills. We are so busy with the business of survival, we do not have so much time to think about the future of a more earth-friendly existence or doing much about it.

Life in an eco-roundhouse, a house, made of wood, turf, straw and recycled materials, is designed to make as low an impact on the environment as possible, on BBC.

Simon and Jasmine's exquisite house in West Wales.

Matavenero is an ecovillage in North-west Spain.

A gallery of low-impact dwellings.

The Cae Mabon Retreat Centre has been evolving since 1989.

Building straw bale project. Sonoma home built with straw bale.

The baleraising of Lou Harrison's Desert Retreat.'s Straw Bale Home Tour. Article about Down to Earth Homes from Mother Earth News.

A very expensive home built out of an old missile silo.

Pre-fab by Weberhaus. KitHAUS K1 module from Prefab homes.

Green roof tiles by Toyota Roof Garden. I saw the Library in Ballard has grass on their roof. I think it a looks beautiful and more about green roof at

And how many times do I have to tell my son and husband to turn off the lights when they leave a room?


Anonymous said...


If you or your readers want some practical tips on doing up old houses in an eco-friendly way, I've been chronicling my experiences of my 110 year old house on my blog.

See here, here and here for examples.

athena said...

my husband and i (or mostly i) have been thinking of simplifying our lives by being more self sustained especially where we are in texas where we've been thinking how to convert some of those sun rays into electricity for our home. that sort of thing. we looked at the adobe houses and other eco homes too and the pics of the homes you have above are adorable.

athena said...

we installed gutters in our home. coming from australia and new zealand where gutters are EVERYWHERE, we thought it was odd that most of the homes in the states didn't have them. we installed rain barrels too and are thinking of installing a water tank on our property that would be used to irrigate our property. the plants on our property though aren't natives to the area and while they look gorgeous, they sure drink alot of water. even things like keeping one or two chooks to help keep grubs out off the lawn and at the same time fertilize the property and give us eggs! :) we had a friend back in asutralia, they owned a huge mansion. one day when i was there i saw a couple chooks wandering her backyard. i thought it was odd because most rich folks i knew never kept anything of the sort. but it certainly was a good idea.

Anonymous said...

LOVE this sort of thing! Here in our neck of the woods we have a very small community of 10 or so homes that are the hay bale variety. It took several years before they could actually get the project off the ground (rules and regualtions, that sort of thing). But now they have a terrific neighborhood!

and yes, I am jealous!