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straw bale off-grid home – edge architects


This striking high desert home, designed by Taos, NM’s Edge Architects, is uniquely suited for the widely fluctuating climate conditions of its wild desert  location. The home is designed to be completely off-grid and self-sufficient. For cooling and heating purposes, the home’s north, east and west walls consist of 24 inch thick adobe wrapped in straw bales.


Photovoltaic panels provide all electricity for lights, computers, television, water pumps, washing machine, etc. The home’s solar panel array is situated for maximum solar exposure while maintaining its proximity to the utility room, where a bank of batteries stores the electricity, and an inverter converts the 24 volt DC electricity to conventional 110-volt AC power.


All the residence’s roofs slope to a single location so that rain water can be captured and stored in two 1,700 gallon cisterns buried on the north side of the house. The only reliance on an outside source of power is a propane tank, which provides fuel for the range and hot water heater. (more…)

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Monday, February 27, 2012

February is for the birds – upcycled bird feeders


Did you know that February is National Bird-Feeding Month? The event was created to encourage wild bird feeding and bird watching, and is sponsored by the National Bird-Feeding Society. For those who enjoy hanging out with our fine feathered friends year-round, Hipcycle features a variety of cool birdhouses and bird feeders made from upcycled materials.

Above are a couple of personal faves:

  • bird feeder made from recycled wine bottle & wiring $30
  • birdhouse made from reclaimed cedar $24

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related: more bird feeder reviews on The Alternative Consumer

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ecomonday – green news roundup


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