Month: July 2015

UK’s first low-cost ‘positive energy’ house built in Wales – Channel 4 News

UK’s first low-cost ‘positive energy’ house built in Wales – Channel 4 News.

The three-bedroom family home near Bridgend – which took just 16 weeks to construct – can export more power to the grid than it consumes, experts say.

The property has been designed by a team led by Cardiff University. It combines technology which both reduces energy demand, and generates and stores renewable energy.

The house features glazed solar panels built into the roof and a battery storage system so that power generated can be used at a later stage.

It also uses a range of insulation techniques to cut power consumption – including thermal insulation to reduce air leakage and structural insulated panels.

The designers predict that for every £100 of electricity used from the national grid, the house should be able to export £175 of electricity back.

2015 | The Buckminster Fuller Institute Inspiring Video on winning solutions over the years WATCH THIS #onn #olsx #solutions #environment

2015 Call for Proposals | The Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Buckminster Fuller led a prolific life of research, invention, writing and teaching. He developed a comprehensive systems approach to understanding complex global problems and a unique set of “design science” principles that embodied a deeply attuned ecological aesthetic. Fuller conceived and prototyped new strategies intended to enable all of humanity to live lives characterized by freedom, comfort and dignity without negatively impacting the earth’s ecosystems or regenerative capacity. He emphasized that the technology and know-how already exist to successfully surmount our global challenges and he advocated “doing more with less” by increasing the overall performance of every resource invested in a system.

TIME TO ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE | One Million Climate Jobs #onn #olsx #climatechange #solutions

TIME TO ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE | One Million Climate Jobs.

The Million Climate Jobs pamphlet is a fantastic tool for mapping the kind of climate justice future we should all be working towards. – Naomi Klein, author This Changes Everything

To halt climate change we need drastic cuts in the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases we put into the air. That means leaving most of the existing reserves of high carbon fuels in the ground. We need workers to insulate and retrofit homes and buildings to conserve energy. We need workers to build enough renewable power to meet all our energy needs. And we need workers to maintain the new systems the future of humanity depends on.This booklet calculates and explains how we can allow for a just energy transition for workers, society and the planet.


This Dutch architect’s big idea makes even our ‘greenest’ cities look gray. #sustainable #architecture #future

This Dutch architect’s big idea makes even our ‘greenest’ cities look gray..

What kinds of places do you think of when it comes to “green” cities?

If you’re like me, you’re probably imagining places with subways and solar panels, electric cars and urban farms. And you’d be right. Those things are important for a city to be considered “green.”

2015 study of the nation’s 150 largest cities by Nerd Wallet ranked eco-friendliness by looking at where people live, how they get around the city, where their energy comes from, and the quality of the air. Some examples of the nation’s greenest cities include…

The sixth annual London Permaculture Festival – London Permaculture Festival #permaculture #festival

The sixth annual London Permaculture Festival – London Permaculture Festival.

The sixth annual London Permaculture Festival

Sunday 19th July 2015

Workshops in 2015 will include:

  • Big Picture Permaculture – Inspirational projects near and far! Maddy Harland, Editor Permaculture Magazine
  • Introduction to Permaculture will run through the day with presenters: Shamaila Akram, Randy Mayers, Natalie Mady
  • Permaculture’s Next Big Step: Andy Goldring, CEO Permaculture Association
  • Wildlife Gardening: Kate Bradbury, author of The Wildlife Gardener, Guardian writer and occasional presenter on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time
  • The Barefoot Beekeeper – practical & natural beekeeping in top bar hives: Phil Chandler author of Barefoot beekeeping
  • Green Roofs: Lee Evans, owner of Organic Roofs, winner of National Federation Roofing Contractors green roof of the year 2015
  • Best crops for pots: Mark Ridsdill Smith, Guardian writer, founder of Vertical Veg
  • Sneak preview of the International Permaculture Convergence & Conference: Andy Goldring & Alan Thornton
  • Seeds of Fashion – Grow a garment: Zoe Burt & Kate Poland (the project was the runner up for the English Epic award)
  • Soil as a living ecosystem: Sue Amos Glengall Wharf LAND project
  • Urban Permaculture In Action: Ruth Robinson, Juliet Kemp and Liz Darley on their experience of the Diploma in Applied Permaculture
  • Singers Circle: hosted by Robin Grey from Three Acres and a Cow
  • Come and Meet My Hens – Urban Chicken-keeping: Owen Griffiths
  • Building with Bales: Eileen Sutherland, Partner in Straw Works
  • Transition and Permaculture: Ros Bedlow
  • Getting started with Worm Composting: Paul Richens designer and creator of the Kings Cross Skip Garden
  • Edible Forest Gardening: Kevin Mascarenhas
  • Herbal Medicine for Common Ailments in a Modern World – How to make a medicinally infused oil and cream: Sarah Gray (Herbalist) and Rasheeqa Ahmad (Hedge Herbs)
  • Projects people want to be part of – what works: Anna O’Brien
  • Practical Tips from our Urban Permaculture Garden: Cecilia Litvinoff and Pamela Bhanvra Adams
  • Edible Garden Makeovers – come and meet the Permablitz London team
  • Aranya, author of Permaculture Design – a step-by-step guide

Dutch Aquatecture: Engineering a Future on the Water – Al Jazeera English

Dutch Aquatecture: Engineering a Future on the Water – Al Jazeera English.

The Netherlands is one of the lowest lying countries in the world. Over one-quarter of the nation lives below sea level.

As sea levels rise, the Dutch are preparing for the worst. Engineer David van Raalten is constructing new sea walls as part of a huge programme to eradicate weak links in the country’s coastal protection.

But a growing number of urban planners and architects believe that as well as fighting rising sea levels it’s time to find ways to live with the water.

Koen Olthuis calls himself an ‘aquatect’, an architect who uses water to help improve the design of a city and work with rising sea levels.

He has created over 100 floating houses in the Netherlands in the past 12 years, ranging from apartments to luxury villas but believes his technology can also make a big difference to people in poorer countries who are most vulnerable to rising seas.

Russell Beard travels to the Dutch coast to see how the Netherlands is engineering a future on the water.

About Us | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself

About Us | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Off-Grid reports on the people, technologies, events and influences throughout the global off-grid community. The Landbuddy section helps you find others to go off-grid with and the free classifieds are full of ads for off the grid real estate as well as personals and jobs. We have the best lonely hearts colimns in the off-grid world.

The Off-Grid101 section is packed with basic information from the right kind of solar cooker to how to gather rainwater.

With daily news stories and a busy forum, is an indispensible part of daily routine for many off-gridders.

The brainchild of author and campaigner Nick Rosen, the site now has 75,000 visitors a month, mainly from the US and UK, and continues to expand. is an eclectic mix of practical advice, news from the on-grid world and issues rarely covered by the mainstream media.  It promotes the many enterprises that are working for a sustainable future. It campaigns on issues affecting people who live or work off-grid, including zoning/planning permission where we are calling for changes to allow people to receive special permission to set up off-grid homes in places which do not currently have residential permission.

We want to see large-scale off-grid developments in towns and in the countryside, so that the hundreds of thousands who would like to live this way are free to do so.

The UK edition of the book “How to Live Off-Grid” is published by Bantam. In the US, Nick Rosen’s book “OFF THE GRID – Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government and True Independence in Modern America” brought the off-grid lifestyle to national attention.

Two new U.S. solar initiatives could help level the playing field for low income households : TreeHugger

US Solar initiative

Two new U.S. solar initiatives could help level the playing field for low income households : TreeHugger.

Solar has the reputation of being only for the middle and upper classes, but a couple of new initiatives could help to bring solar energy to low income residents.

The dropping cost of solar over the last decade, coupled with advancements in solar cell efficiency, new solar financing options, and rising energy prices, continues to drive the adoption of renewable energy for homes and businesses, which is good news in the climate change arena. However, the cost of installing a solar array remains out of reach of many Americans, especially the ones who could most benefit from reduced energy costs. And renters and residents of subsidized housing have few to no options for renewable energy at home, except for opt-in clean energy programs through their local utilities (which are often higher priced than standard electric rates).

The Balkan Ecology Project is a permaculture-inspired, grassroots project based in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria)

The Balkan Ecology Project is a permaculture-inspired, grassroots project based in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria). We are devoted to the design and exploration of ecologically-sound human habitats and serve as a demonstration site for local residents, communities and visitors from abroad. Our efforts aim to develop thoughtful approaches to food, shelter, community and commerce, while promoting and preserving the unique biological diversity associated with the Balkan region and the world at large.