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I discovered Louis Johnson’s yurt on facebook and contacted him and he agreed to let me share some of his photos of his home.
This winter has proved to be a cold one as well, but we had a better handle on our wood harvesting this year and are in good shape.
This year we are going to try to tackle a passive solar hot water heater and maybe a solar oven. We continue to have the time of our lives living the way we do, and hope that others will realize the joy that comes with living a smaller, simpler way of life. The loft overhang above the kitchen serves the added purpose of defining our kitchen area below and storing canned goods in the underside. Two interior doors, our sink and faucet, and kitchen table support came from an architectural salvage shop. The wall supporting the loft creates a large storage room behind it with our bathroom tucked into one end.
I am one person living in a yurt so if I dont do what needs to be done it doesnt get done~and I work away from home, with animals in the home so letting it get to 35 while I am away is not an option. The Sarah House Project is an exciting affordable housing program in Salt Lake City that upcycles shipping containers into beautiful eco-friendly homes for low-income families. White’s vision was to create small communities of low-income housing, recycled from shipping containers.
Each of the homes is made from two shipping containers, which are furnished with eco-friendly plywood, sustainable bamboo flooring and other green materials.
Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. Pour voir le produit et son prix, cliquez sur la vignette, ou sur le lien en jaune au dessus de la vignette. Living in a yurt can help us re-connect to nature, sure, but the literal structure of a traditional yurt is also nature-friendly.
By combining the durable yurt concept with a few modern updates, we now have something called a yurta.
The Nomad Yurt, for example, costs a little over $5,000 (US) for a 22-foot diameter version with an insulated skin.
Then on top of all the firewood, Dave also burns $600 worth of fossil fuels every year..ouch! For someone with extreme sensitivities, you can always allow it to air out a few days or week before moving in. The reason for the tall roofs, again just a guess here, is people like tall ceilings and a taller ceiling mean greater slope of roof (which helps prevent snow build up or water pooling). The NASA-developed reflective insulation used in yurts works on a different principle from the conductive insulation we are used to, which holds heat or cold in a room.
It’s a goal of mine to drive the whole project down to the smallest dollar amount that I can and have all the comforts of the inner city.
Cool roofing is the fastest growing sector of the building industry, as building owners and facility managers realize the immediate and long-term benefits of roofs that stay cool in the sun.
I have been to outer mongolia and had the great fortune to see nomadic mongolians in their camp with their extraordinarily beautiful yurts. The outages came just a day after India’s northern power grid collapsed for several hours. It could result from other severe weather such as a tornado or hurricane, or from a disruption caused by faulty power company equipment, or even something as simple as a tree branch falling on your own personal segment of the grid. Light is the most important item on the big five list because without light we are not able to efficiently carry on the other activities of daily living. Each child old enough to walk should also have his or her own flashlight, and be taught how to use it.
Flashlights range in price from the 79 cent cheapie to the fancy multifunction $80 special. Additionally, when we discuss communications later in the article, the most common battery used in these devices is also the AA, so your life will be simplified if you stick primarily to one type of battery and don’t have to buy various odd sizes for different needs.
Batteries wear out rapidly if your flashlights are used continuously: figure two changes per week of regular use. Rechargingcan be done by means of a charger plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter outlet.
Candles are available, slightly used, at garage sales and thrift stores (5 cents to 10 cents each or less), and some outlet stores like Big Lots have new candles for 25 cents. If you live in a town or city, the loss of power to homes and businesses probably will not immediately affect your water pressure, but it could affect the purification process or allow reverse seepage of contaminants into the lines.
If, instead, your water comes from an electrically powered home water pump, your water stops flowing the moment the power does. In a short-term emergency situation, only drinking and cooking water is crucial, but if that short-term incident drags out to weeks or months, daily consumption would rise to include bathing and clothes washing. One to three-gallon jugs, direct from the supermarket, run about 60 cents to $2; these store easily under cabinets and counters. You can also divert rainwater off your roof, through the rain gutters and downspouts into plastic trashcans. A drilled well with an electric pump can be retrofitted with a plastic hand pump for about $400 – $600. British Berkefeld water filters, along with various other brands, are more expensive ($150-$250), but can filter and purify water indefinitely. A person can survive indefinitely opening cold cans of beans for meals, but it wouldn’t be a very satisfying existence. Outdoor cooking of all kinds, including grilling and barbecuing, all work during emergency situations, provided you have the charcoal or wood (and matches!) needed to get the heat going. Propane and butane camp stoves are so much like ordinary home stoves that there is no difference in the cooking results. Butane stoves are also portable and run off of a cylinder of the same kind of butane that is used in cigarette lighters. General camp stoves (around $65 at department stores) operate on “stove fuel” (basically, propane in a small 1-pound cylinder – $3). A solar oven need be no more fancy than a set of nested cardboard boxes painted flat black on the inside with tempura colors, a sheet of window glass, and some aluminum foil glued to cardboard panels.
Keeping foods cool if the power goes out can be as simple as looking for shade, even under a tree. This may not seem critical when it comes to cooling your house but it is when it comes to heating it during a winter storm. Hardwoods, such as oak and walnut, and fruitwoods like apple and pear, burn better and longer than softwoods like poplar.
Kerosene heaters ($120) are freestanding units that burn kerosene in a way that is something like a lamp—it uses a wick system and flames to provide heat. One of the most efficient ways to heat is something else we have forgotten in the past 50 years—close off rooms that are not being used. Cooling a residence during a hot summer requires just as much thought and advance planning as winter heating does.
In a time of distress, keeping in contact with family and knowing about local and national situations is important to maintaining both continuity and confidence.
In general, telephone systems are on a different system than the electrical power grid, but they can be disrupted if there are earth movements or as the result of terrorist activities. If you are looking to extend your communications look into Ham radios (or amateur radios) that require only a Technician License that costs roughly $15. Camping is a learning experience and the experience will quickly teach you what you need, what to bring, and how much to bring. The education you receive while camping is applicable to your home environment when the power goes out.
This November, I had the opportunity to travel to New Mexico and study with the Earthships crew. The internship was a month long opportunity to learn more about the potential for a sustainable lifestyle while living within the thermal mass walls of an Earthship. Michael Reynolds and his team of garbage warriors are challenging conventional systems to provide a lifestyle alternative that serves the people living on this planet. In the first week of the internship, I quickly learned that the foundational theory to the earthship is that central utility systems such as power plants or water facilities are unreliable and lock us in to a rigid dependency on an outside provider (such as a municipal government).
Earthships are “self-sufficient living units that are their own systems.” These homes are built from old rubber tires, currently abundant in landfills, and other recycled materials, such as bottles and cans. Working with the Earthships crew as an intern you can expect to get dirty as the leaders of the building sites give you access to all aspects of building, from plastering and glass cutting to tire pounding and framing.


The Earthship home integrates a great deal of creativity and imagination, and can include such features as lush greenhouses within the home and even ponds. If you’re fascinated by the ideology behind the project, as I was, watch the Garbage Warriors documentary posted on youtube. This entry was posted in News and tagged Earthships, Garbage Warrior, internship, Michael Reynolds, natural building, New Mexico, off-grid, sustainability, travel by Marta N. We estimate that we will use between 3 and 4 cord this year… only one more really cold month to go.
Earlier last fall we finally got our mulch pit (for gray water) in place, that has been a very big help in getting water out of the yurt, and that enabled us to get an operable shower in the yurt. We worked with our carpenters and decided to build a wall across the back third of the yurt. In other words can I buy a plot of land, buy and or build a cabin and create my own life without being bothered? The nonprofit is headed up by real estate agent Jeffrey White, who wants to bring green living to the affordable housing market. The shipping container homes would allow for impoverished or in-transition families to enjoy the independence of having in their own home and yard, instead of living in a dens apartment complex. Recycled clothing insulation and insulating paint keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and electric radiant heat keeps utility costs down.
The materials are recyclable and should you decide to pick up and move your yurt, there’s no residual damage to the ground because no permanent foundation is used.
This form of micro-architecture has optimized the original yurt concept to create a shelter that is steadfast, quick to install, light-weight, easy to transport, minimal in footprint. If a few comrades pooled together for land, you’d have yourself a yurt commune and giant step forward and away from the unsustainable life.
I would love a small house of some kind, but I can’t afford it at the moment, but I like the blog.
I am hoping the newer 4G standard will improve things significantly over the poor standards 3G delivers (under 100kbps most of the time – even though they advertise it as a 3600kbps modem). My electric bill for my apartment is under $200 a year, which includes electric heat, electric stove and refrigeration. Though Howie Oakes of GoYurt Shelters did develop a wool insulation from locally sourced Oregon wool.
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Sooner or later, the power will go off, and you won’t know when (or if) it will come back on.
Their lifestyle is so dependent upon the grid’s constancy that they do not know how to function without it. Each of these is critical to daily survival, as well, so when making preparations for emergencies keep these in mind.
These cost about $40 – $65 each, give an excellent clear white light, and are easily portable in a pocket or purse.
Alkaline batteries last longer, give a more powerful light, but cost more than regular batteries.
This means you would need several sets of rechargables for each flashlight (some would be recharging while you use the others). These DC powered rechargers can be found at auto supply stores and at Radio Shack for about $30 or less. The light from these lamps is not quite adequate to read by unless it is placed very close, and the light does waver a little. And this presumes that the family has prepared a sanitary “outhouse,” so flushing isn’t needed. These can be partially buried underground to keep water cooler and less susceptible to mold and bacteria. If you live in the Midwest, Northwest, or East Coast, rainfall is adequate to make this your primary backup water source. These systems sit side-by-side with your electric pump down the same wellshaft, and can be put to use any time the power is off. Fifteen drops of bleach per gallon of water costs less than 1 penny, and ? cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) per gallon will also destroy bacteria. It’s difficult to cook much more than meats and a few firm vegetables over open heat like this, though. Place a well-kneaded pound of bread dough into a heavily-greased or oiled Dutch Oven and put the cover in position.
Portable RV 2- burner propane stoves are often available used—mine cost $5 at a garage sale—and can even do pressure canning because the heat is consistent and reliable. Solar cooking is another option, if you have plenty of unobstructed sunlight and someone who is willing to adjust the cooker to face the sun every half hour or so.
During the winter, your parked car will stay at the same temperature as the outside air—below freezing on those cold nights—so you can store frozen goods there safely. Canning low-acid foods like meat calls for a pressure canner ($90), canning jars ($6 for 12), a source of consistent heat (like a propane RV stove), and some skill. New wood heaters run from $100 to several thousands, depending on materials, craftsmanship, and beauty. Better home insulation and better quality hardwoods will decrease the amount of wood you need to use. Use safety precautions, too: wear ear and eye protectors, heavy gloves, and don’t chainsaw alone.
A plain one ($200) can be mounted on the wall in the home’s main room, or more fancy models that look like built-in fireplaces complete with fake logs ($450) are available. These are best used in areas that can be easily ventilated, because of the potential for buildup of carbon monoxide. If these surfaces are exposed to sunlight, say, indoors next to a south-facing window, they will absorb heat during the day. If doors aren’t available, you can hang curtains in doorways (or even tack up a blanket, in a pinch), and keep your heat restricted to the room you are actually in. Battery and solar powered fans help keep air moving, windows can be shaded by fast-growing vines and pole beans, and—planning way ahead—fast-growing trees like poplars can be planted on the house’s south side to shade the yard.
These portable devices can be carried with you into the field and used to stay in contact with neighbors and family when you are away from the house. Check your local area for Amateur (Ham) radio clubs for classes – Amateur Radio Relay League. I was alongside about thirty other interns learning about concepts like thermal mass and passive solar heating with everything from the Water Organizing Module which allows water to travel to planters within the house called “botanical cells” to the cisterns that catch rainfall. Reynolds’ philosophy is based on respecting the earth and its natural systems with his idea of Radically Sustainable Buildings. Decentralized utilities or homes that produce their own utilities save individual homeowners money and reduce the costs on the communities they live in. Their guided tours explain all of the inner workings and functions of the Earthship, which proves time and again to be a workable substitute to the orthodox home. Taking part in an earthships internship can be a transformative experience on the journey toward meaningful work – and it gives you a chance to meet the guru behind the project himself, Michael Reynolds! Featuring all necessities for a vacation, the small cabin is covered in horizontally placed natural wood planks on the exterior in two complimenting colours – a darker tone accentuates the lighter wood. We only use our microwave and toaster on very sunny days and supplement our lighting with a propane light and candles if necessary. We added a three foot overhang to the center just wide enough to accommodate a mattress above. We cover the inside opening with the piece cut from the wall insulation and the outside is covered with the velcro trimmed canvas provided.
Each home is made up of two recycled shipping containers and costs less than $120,000, including the land it sits on. The homes also teach each tenant a lesson in sustainable design, showing that living green can be affordable. Once more construction is underway, White hopes the cost will be reduced to $75,000 for each home. Vous pouvez rendre votre contenu inaccessible sur ce site - en l'excluant de l'indexation par le robot du moteur Bing.
If you see a house covered in snow, with a mushroom-cap roof, it’s either unheated or has GREAT insulation so none of the heat escapes to melt the snow. It is, however, very effective and yurts in cold climates can be toasty warm without using and inordinate amout of resources.


Tuesday the northern grid collapsed again, said Shailendre Dubey, an official at the Uttar Pradesh Power Corp. Most rechargeable batteries are suitable for flashlights, but should be recharged when the light begins to dim a little.
Solar rechargers work slower but produce the same results for about $30 and are great when your car battery finally dies during a long-term power outage.
A single lamp can provide enough light in a room so that you don’t bump into furniture, but two or three may be needed to provide good functional light.
Water that is free of bacteria and contaminants is so crucial to our survival that it should be a special concern in your preparations. In that case, 5-10 gallons per day per person would be a more reasonable amount, with a weekly communal bath becoming the routine. You can also store water inexpensively in large, covered plastic trash cans; they hold 36 to 55 gallons each. These run about $1 per gallon of holding capacity, so a 350-gallon tank new will cost $350. Typical delivery is about 2 gallons per minute, and pumping strength varies from 11 to 20 pounds—a good but not exhausting workout.
When shopping for filters, if they only offer “better taste” they won’t protect you from bacterial contaminants. The simplest way to heat a meal is the Boy Scout method: a couple of bricks or rocks set around a small outdoor fire, with the bean can propped over the flames. A typical 18-gallon propane cylinder, the kind used for barbeques, costs around $30 new, and a propane fillup is about $7.
You can also find camp stoves that will cook off of unleaded gasoline, and there are some that are “multi-fuel,” using either kerosene or gasoline—handy in case of a shortage of one fuel or the other. It will get hot fast, easily up to  325 degrees, and hold the heat as long as it faces the sun.
In considering your time requirements, it took me two days of steady canning to put a 230-pound pig into jars. Better stoves hold heat longer and may have interior baffles that let you use less wood to produce more heat.
If you plan to secure and cut your own firewood, be willing to acquire a good-quality chainsaw—any that cost below $200 will only give you grief. Cutting your own wood will decrease your heating costs significantly, but increase your labor.
You will need a propane tank, regulator, and appropriate copper lines, but these will all be installed by your propane company for a small charge. At night, with the window curtains closed, the surface will release heat slowly and steadily into the house.
In an emergency situation, you can curtain up a room and set up a tent-like “den” for the family to snuggle in under blankets. In areas where wind blows routinely in the summer, you can soak a sheet, ring it out, and hang it in front of a breezy window. And they show you just how beautiful these homes become with all of the basic amenities of your basic home plus custom building throughout including custom bottle walls, tile work, cob walls and more.
The slightly pitched roof visually connects the entire design and matches the porch and edges of the cabin. This allowed us plenty of sleeping room and put our heads nearly under the dome, a real treat. This has greatly reduced the mess, keeping snow, mud, moisture and most of the wood debris outside where it belongs.
Ultimately, white hopes to build entire communities of affordable shipping container houses to provide housing for underserved populations. The structures were well-suited for the nomadic lifestyle because only a few oxen were required to carry a family’s entire home. A handful of yurt owners might be able to heat using “sustainably cut wood” from large plots of land, but how long would the forests last if everyone did that?
How do your children find their way to the bathroom at night if the light switches don’t work?
This is an absolute minimum, and covers only your real drinking and cooking needs; bathing is out of the question. Bleach is effective against both cholera and typhoid and has kept American water supplies safe for decades. Park it in the shade of the house, or cover the windows and roof with a blanket to keep the interior cool. The air passing through the window is cooled as it moves against the wet sheet, and helps to cool the house.
Large floor-to-ceiling windows connect the interior public living space to the outside, while the sleeping quarters are protected by the walls and natural light comes in through smaller windows.The environmental-friendly prefab house can even be considered for long-term living on a budget. But the structure was also easy to heat in the cold Mongolian winters where temperatures might reach 50 degrees below Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit). About the same time, the eastern grid failed and then the northeastern grid followed, energy officials in those regions said.
Better yet if you have one for each member of your family, with fresh batteries, plus three extra sets of batteries for each flashlight.
They come in both AA and AAA and are rechargable at least 1500 times and hold their charge for months. The typical American currently uses around 70 gallons a day, taking a nice long hot shower, flushing the toilet several times, washing a load of laundry, letting the water run while brushing teeth, and for cooking and drinking.
Collecting water can be done by hand with 5-gallon plastic buckets if you live near a river or stream (it must be filtered and purified before use). The chlorine taste can be easily removed with a charcoal filter system (such as Brita Pitcher or Pur brands for home use, about $30). Now, pile about an inch of hot ash around the oven and cover with glowing coals, then another layer of ash to keep the heat in. You’ll also need a feeder hose and pressure regulator for the stove, which can be prepared by your propane dealer for $20 or so. Our first solar oven had a black plastic trash bag as a heat absorbing inner surface; it worked superbly until the plastic actually melted.
Heating a 3-bedroom home that is moderately insulated will use about 8-12 cords of wood throughout the winter. Woodstoves require heat-proof surfaces surrounding them, an insulated chimney pipe (about $90 per 3-foot section), and some building skills in order to install.
All the facilities have quality features at maybe half the cost of a built house, so you might want to consider this option in your search for your dream vacation home.
I have and indoor hand pump from the same place they got theirs and my toilet looks suspiciously like a 5 gallon bucket. Even in the dead of winter, the south-facing walls will feel noticeably warmer than the shaded north facing ones. Many details aside, I believe that one could build a structure of similar dimensions that would be cheaper and more efficient. Store your flashlight where you can quickly reach it in the dark night—under the mattress of your bed, for example.
Chimneys need to be thoroughly cleaned of the black crusty buildup, creosote, at least twice each year (and more often if you use the stove continuously). In a homestead or traditional yurt lifestyle, as in that in past eras, someone would always be home keeping the fire going, or be able to go home to do so.
I think a passive solar cabin, in which you might not even have to run the stove during the day, is the way to go. I signed a 15 year warranty on my yurt, and the outer vinyl cover will have to be replaced at some point, due to breakdown from UV rays. Yurts in East Wakefield, NH for a reasonable price and I believe that they have gotten a little cheaper with more options since then.
This option was not available when I bought it, and costs extra compared to the velcro and zipper deal. Yurts are cool, but for year round living, you can do better for the money you spend, especially if you can use the resources from your own land.



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