Thursday, November 8, 2012

Living Off the Grid, Part One Creating Power Sources

I have a friend who is taking a class. Not sure the exact term but it's a biology class and her most recent environment is about living off the grid, so she got me thinking. What does that mean to you? When we were kids it meant, living with the hippies in the hills in Laguna Canyon, or running or to a commune (usually in Oregon.. hey that's where California sent all it's crazies) or escaping to Montana or Idaho..come on you know what I mean.. But by today's standards living off the grid within society is the dream..

As this topic really got to me I am going to write my own thoughts about it in a three or four part blog (not sure how long this will capture little old ADD me so it's three or four for now)

Part one.. creating living environments

Recently, I was surfing the internet looking at some fun options for houses and found that people have found some new and exciting ways to create their homes. Sometimes living in small spaces and others by combining used resources along with creative architecture. Imagine looking for a home and deciding to use shipping containers. You know those huge square, steal, containers that they use for shipping product around the world? There are hundreds of affordable used shipping containers just waiting to be maximized. Eight feet tall, eight feet wide and either 20 or 40 feet long, they may not have much space but designers and architects have found a way to link some together or combine them with more traditional housing components and build something unique. There have been container cities, container vacation homes, container beach homes, portable containers and one of my personal favorites temporary homes for hurricane relief.

Not just for resourceful squatters, container architecture is taking the world by storm. Recycled freight containers bring efficiency, flexibility and affordability to innovative green buildings, from small vacation cabins to movable cafes, schools and skyscrapers.” The Daily Green

These homes are affordable and unique. In fact they are awe inspiring. Another option available to individuals might not be quite as green but equally unique would be living in a small home and by small home I mean small. An entire house with 900 square feet. A Cute country cottage, with three bedrooms and three baths, 1500 square feet. 
Small homes are the perfect blend of form and function. They provide enough room for most families and their smaller frames will allow for building on a narrow lot while saving you money on building costs as well as keeping you from paying such high utility costs.” Small House Plans

Both the container homes and the small house concept help an individual or family leave a smaller footprint and yet allow for the individual needs, from whimsy to classic designs.

 Talk about a fun way to live. Can you imagine buying a lot and putting in a container home? Or buying a standard size lot and putting in two small homes, not duplexes but unique, individual homes sharing a lot? What would the neighbors think?

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