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living in a box…a very nice box – Boucher Grygier container house


You’d think living in a box would have you feeling, a little…well, boxed in.  Au contraire, my little bird!  The space created by the three insulated cargo containers used to form this 1350 square foot home create a pleasantly open, three bedroom residence.  The home was designed by Leger Wanaselja Architects of



Two, forty-foot containers are stacked on one side and a third is cut in half and stacked on the other creating protective walls for a two-story living room featuring a space enhancing atrium, which lies between the boxes.  Bay windows in the upper containers provide added width.


The three containers are repurposed refrigerated shipping containers.  The containers provide weatherproof exterior siding, insulation, and structural framing.  Minimal insulation needs to be added to the roof and floor.


The house is designed to minimize energy use through passive solar design that uses well placed windows to supply day-lighting and summer ventilation.  Additional energy and water saving features include:  stacked plumbing, roof rainwater collection, high efficacy lighting, and solatubes to further reduce the home’s carbon footprint.  Among other green features, the interior of the home has 100% wool carpets and bamboo flooring.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

10 Inexpensive & Easy Ways to reduce our carbon footprint


(photo credit: 350.0rg)

Author and eco activist Bill McKibben’s a man with a mission.  And along with other advocates, he’s created a nonprofit, to support that mission.

There’s some heavy duty science behind their rally cry to reduce carbon emissions from today’s 390 parts to million back to a tipping point of 350 parts per million. (In an overly simplified nutshell – as David Letterman so eloquently put it, “we’ve got too much carbon in the air – warm air holds more vapor than cold – no wonder India and Pakistan are experiencing so much flooding, and Greenland and other ice caps are melting...”)

No doubt, to alter our course and achieve success, what’s needed is changes in policies at the very top – in industry and government on a worldwide scale.  But our individual actions on a moment to moment, daily basis all add up and collectively make a difference as well…So in support of’s 10.10.10 Climate Conscious Campaign, we’ve compiled a quick list of ways that we can curb our carbon dioxide output without even trying.  As always, feel free to jump in.  There are probably at least 350 ways that we can reduce our carbon dioxide emissions…

  • Drive Less – walk or pedal more.
  • Pull the Plug – unplug or switch off unused electronics & phone chargers when not in use.  Use a surge protector or switchable power bar with multiple sockets to cut vampire power (energy sucked when in standby mode).
  • Hang Dry Clothes – Use a clothesline or rack to air dry after washing.  Or just use hangers & place by sunny windows or on shower rod in bathroom.  Works great and saves money, too.
  • Choose CFLs or LED lighting – Switch out your power chugging incandescent electric bulbs.
  • Stop the Drips – repair leaking faucets and showers (wasted hot water = wasted energy).
  • Recycle & Reuse Everything – tremendous amounts of energy are required to make durable goods so don’t just throw that stuff away – find other uses for unwanted, outgrown and pre-loved items. (Recycled glass reduced related air pollution by 20% & related water pollution by 50%; it can take a million years to decompose in a landfill.)
  • Drive Green – control your acceleration and breaking, use cruise control (delivers up to 15% better mileage), obey speed limit, be conscious of how you’re using fuel, idling, etc.
  • Adjust those thermostats – raising heat or lowering air conditioning by just one degree saves money & energy. (tip: invest in a programmable thermostat to regulate temps when you’re home or away; it’ll pay off in no time)
  • Eat Less Red Meat – mass production of cattle requires tons of energy, trees and water.  Gases from animals destined for dinner plates account for nearly a quarter of all emissions worldwide, (source: Medical Journal of the Landcet). 2500 gallons of water is required to produce one pound of beef.  (There are many other options rather than Mickey D’s and steaks.)
  • Eat Local – support local farmers and farmers’ markets (due to the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in – don’t buy food that was shipped in halfway across the world)

Relatedpreviously on altCon
eco media minute 9.5.10

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