Grist ogles the CompoKeeper, a sleek and spendy (70 smackers) compost bin with a six-gallon capacity and hands-free functionality. The father-daughter team behind the bin — the "Tesla of compost bins as Grist deems it — are currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter to help bring the product to market.
The New York Times chats with character actor/woodworker Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson of "Parks and Recreation") about the importance of shop class, heirloom furniture, and his new book, "Paddling Your Own Canoe." It's also worth noting that last night's episode of "Parks and Rec" which finds the no-compromise Ron struggling to go off the grid was nothing short than brilliant.
The Washington Post is mighty impressed by the latest project from green builder/developer Tanya Topolewski: The net-zero renovation of a 90-year-old townhouse in D.C.'s Petworth neighborhood. The project, which is also LEED Platinum certified, is the first net-zero overhaul of a rowhouse in D.C. and one of only a handful of net-zero remodeling projects in the U.S. Green Building Council's database of LEED homes. “To say that you’ve built a net-zero building puts you at a different echelon of green builder,” Topolewski says. She sold the home back in June for $725,000.
The Atlantic Cities wonders: When Are Micro-Apartments Just Way Too Micro?"
Designboom shares "Nomad Living," a project from Portuguese design firm Studio Arte that aims to give the humble retired shipping containers into a variety of uses: "a start up for young home owners, a holiday home, a concept for holiday resort planners, a shed for guests, a home office, a home studio, a pop-up, or a hotel room." Designboom goes onto explain: "Nomad Living is a mobile, sustainable and economical getaway – a functional shell that can be transformed by adding various architectural, mechanical and engineering features." That's the lovely — and very orange — prototype Nomad Living container pictured up top.
TreeHugger stirs up a worthwhile discussion about net-zero energy building with a look at Klopf Architecture's Net Zero Energy Modern House in Cupertino, Calif. Writes Lloyd Alter: "This is a very beautiful house; there is so much about it I love, from the furniture to the natural light to the Eichler-like gray beams in the ceiling. However, every time I see the claim of Net Zero I have to stop and look at what they have done to reduce the demand side by insulating, controlling the amount of glazing and right-sizing the house, and how much they have spent to provide the supply side. I can't help thinking that it is a silly metric that doesn't promote green building, but is just a measure of how many solar panels you can afford. As they get cheaper it just gets sillier."
The Los Angeles Times has got you covered when it comes to the 2013 U.S. Solar Decathlon with continuing dispatches straight from the biennial collegiate solar home design/build competition in Irvine, Calif. And there's already been a bit of drama: fierce and potentially damaging Santa Ana winds whipping through Orange County forced the event to shut down temporarily. The S.D. runs through Oct. 13.
Co.Exist talks borrowing with Daan Weddepohl, the man behind the sharing economy's latest online resource: Peerby, a site that promotes the sharing of household items — power drills, kitchen appliances, you name it — amongst neighbors. The idea for the site, which promotes friendly neighborly interaction and buying/throwing away less stuff, came to Weddepohl after his apartment burned down, his girlfriend left him, and his mother fell ill: "At first, having nothing was terrible thing, but after a while I started accepting it and realizing that it was okay. It helped me create very strong human connections. People were happy to help me out, and they felt really good when they shared."