Volkswagen Beetle ‘Chicken’ Coupe… I Mean Coop.

Chicken’s love beetles so this Volkswagen chicken coop makes perfect sense. Reduce, reuse, repurpose! [Imgur]

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Home Energy Efficiency (1993 vs 2009): Homes Are More Efficient, Gadgets/Electronics More Prevalent.

Home Energy Consumption chart from the EIAI think this home energy consumption chart shows what we call a hug-punch or a tickle-slap – homes are more efficient through weatherization [the hug] but we’re eating up those savings with our appliances, gadgets and electronics [the punch]. According to an article on Greentech, homes built between 2000-2009 were 30% larger than previous years and yet home energy consumption has stayed pretty much flat. We must be buying a shitload of appliances, gadgets and electronics because Energy Star can’t save us.

Even as we move towards efficient home appliances, we seem to be over complicating it. We posted a story about WiFi controlled LED lighting system that allowed homeowners to remotely control their lights via a remote, iDevice app and required a separate router. It’s the hardware stupid! Since most of us have mastered the on/off switch – use it and skip the energy consuming gadgets in order to truly save electricity. [Greentech Media]

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West Virginia Family Living Well Off The Grid.

Living off the grid in West Virginia - Sonny and Linda Jobe's Solar Powered Pothole FarmEntering retirement age, Sonny and Linda Jobe decided to make a change and live entirely off the grid by purchasing and outfitting a farm house in Doddridge County West Virginia with 20 solar panels. The solar panels produce most of the power they use – 18 panels for electricity and 2 panels dedicated to powering their hot water heater. How do they do it? By owning a small home and adapting their lifestyle. From Sonny Jobe:

“If it’s gonna be sunny, it’s when we’ll do most of the cleaning and things – between vacuuming and 3 or 4 loads of laundry.”

Check out the full story to find out how the Jobes are further adapting during the winter months. [MNN]


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Graham Hill Downsized His Life And Enjoyed It More. Why Can’t We All Do The Same?

Simple Studio ApartmentGraham Hill’s article “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” in the NY Times is an inspiring read. Mr. Hill, serial entrepreneur and founder of Treehugger.com, got rich early and had filled 5500 sq. ft of living space in two cities with stuff and then decided to simplify his life and belongings into a 420 sq. ft studio. From the NY Times:

“I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.”

If you get a chance, read the full article and see if it inspires you to downsize your life.

Our household of five doesn’t live all that large but I can not wait to downsize the inside of our house and our outside lives. What’s holding us back? Unlike Graham Hill and like many families, it’s our elem/teen/tweenage kids that might suffer from the drastic change of downsizing while they’re still in school. Now on the day my youngest heads to college, our house will be abuzz because everything will go. Not storage – instead we’ll donate, give away and sell what we can because we’ll never live larger. T-minus 8 years and counting! [NY Times]

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Upcycling A Pizza Box.

The Buzzfeed article states differently but I’m pretty sure these upcycled pizza box ideas assume you don’t have the cheese-grease stain that kept you from recycling the pizza box in the first place.

Pizza box cat bed

Pizza box cat bed (click on the image for instructions)

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven.

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven. (click on image for instructions)

Pizza box birds nest.

Pizza box birds nest. (click on the image for instructions)

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game.

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game. (click on the image for instructions)

What can you do with a cheese-grease stained pizza box? Rip-off and recycle the unstained lid and then save the lower cheese-greased section as a fire starter. Additional upcycled pizza box ideas are posted on Buzzfeed.


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Asking ‘What Good Shall I Do This Day?’ Is The Best Way To Start Every Day. Thanks Ben Franklin.

What good shall I do this day?  -  Ben Franklin
Good posted a page from Ben Franklin’s daily schedule and pointed out how he asked himself each day ‘What good shall I do this day?’ and ended each day with ‘What good have I done today?’ Everyone can define good differently but using it as a simple daily motivator is brilliant. It’s not a daily affirmation; it’s more of a daily motivation.

We’re going to tweak this a little and add it to our daily schedule as ‘What Jubbling shall I do this day?’ and so far, not showering and composting the coffee grounds are on our list. Still have 12 hours to go! [Good]

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