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An Agent of Change

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I just found an article by The New York Times relevant to what I am studying. Read about why they are calling those interested in corporate sustainability “change agents.”


Tiny Texas House Essay Contest!

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Isn’t she a beauty? The Tiny Texas “Worker House” has been tormenting me for almost six months now since I entered the essay contest in the very first round. Brad Kittel of Tiny Texas Houses created the contest to raise awareness for “pure salvage building” a term for building new structures out of previously discarded materials.

Mr. Kittel’s essay contest was originally slated to end in September, when he would give away the home provided he had 1,000 entries. For reasons that are completely beyond me, that number wasn’t reached, however, he has decided to give away the home in December regardless of the number of entries.

For all you tiny house lovers who are already composing your essay in your head, here is the most important part, the latest count puts your competition at only 350 essays. You heard me. I’ve been on auditions with worse odds than that.

All you have to do is write 300 words or less explaining, “How would owning this Tiny Texas house inspire you?” Include that along with a $50 entry fee and you are eligible for an extra special Christmas or Hanukkah present!

Obviously, the tiny house obsessed part of me doesn’t really want any more entries- I want to win after all! But Brad’s gesture of giving the home away despite reaching his goal is inspiring.  He is so committed to sharing pure salvage building he is even considering more essay contests in the future.

Support this sustainable building practice and enter Here.

Tiny House Parking!

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Fantastic news! One of my favorite tiny house websites, Tiny House Listings, has added a new feature entitled, “Tiny House Parking” !!!

Tiny House Listings is like a craigslist dedicated solely to Tiny Houses. I spend a lot of time “shopping” around checking out the houses others have built and experiencing that horrible feeling you get when you wander in to a store you can’t afford and find something you really really like.

The new Tiny House Parking feature is a place where people who have land and are looking for extra income can list their space. It is great option for someone who wishes they had a guest home to rent out, but doesn’t want to spend the dough up front to build it.

But more importantly, Tiny House Parking is a way for people to find a place to put their tiny house. This has never been done before, mostly people park in their friend’s, or their friend’s friend’s backyards.

The best part is that anyone can put an ad up for 90 days-free! Check out mine here.

Maryland “Watershed” Wins 2011 Solar Decathlon

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The Department of Energy’s Biennial competition for the best solar powered home came to a close announcing The University of Maryland as its winner. All of the houses made by students from colleges around the globe were wonderfully innovative, extremely stylish, and I’d certainly take any of them! That being said, Maryland beat out the competition with high scores in each of the ten contests:

  • Engineering
  • Energy Balance
  • Comfort Zone
  • Hot Water
  • Market Appeal
  • Affordability
  • Home Entertainment
  • Architecture
  • Appliances
  • Communications

Maryland out shined the other homes by not only integrating solar, but also using water more creatively and efficiently.  “We’re really excited that our message and our mission goes beyond solar, but our story is also about water and how we can capture that resource and cycle it through our house.” explained Allyson Wilson of the Maryland team.

Features include a green roof, a wetland that runs through the home to filter the grey water, and an indoor waterfall that acts as a dehumidifier.  Of course now I am dreaming of how to include some of these fabulous ideas into my future tiny home.

Congratulations to the University of Maryland and all of the teams that went to Washington with their homes. I’ll be looking forward to the 2013 solar decathlon.

Swap ’till you Drop!

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Last night I attended my first “Swap ’till you drop!” Party. As risque as it sounds, it definitely erred more sustainable and less swinger. All in attendance brought things they didn’t use or wear anymore, my contributions included an espresso maker, a couple of purses and pairs of ripped jeans. Our lovely hostess had snacks and drinks, including champagne and while we all settled in, beverages in hand, we perused the second hand shop that had emerged amongst the merriment.

We were each given a coupon with a number corresponding with the number of items we had brought. The attendee who made the greatest contribution received a special gift, in this case, a pretty candle. When the time came, we all ran and grabbed the things we had seen earlier that we wanted. I snatched up a really cute navy dress and another pink one, a of couple books, a martini shaker, and a few other little diddys. No one payed any attention to how much our coupons were for, it was just a free for all, but I think it worked better that way.

We had a conflict resolution in place, if two women wanted the same item they would have to draw straws. This was never necessary since all the ladies were also conscious of what each other would want. By the end though we were jokingly drawing them over leftover items we didn’t really want, just to feign our own little cat fights. All of the leftover items are going to be donated to the salvation army.

“Swap ’till you drop!” was a really fun way to get rid of some stuff, find new treasures, and connect with good friends.

Solar Decathlon!

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Team Canada’s solar roof image – Solar Decathlon shines light on net zero-energy homes (photos) – CNET News.

The Solar Decathlon is in full swing- I can’t wait to see who wins!


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I’ve been accepted into the University of Wisconsin’s Sustainable Management program!!! I am very excited, this is a brand new, completely online Bachelor of Science Degree. I’m only taking two classes to start due to economic reasons, but I hope to be able to go full time in the future.

Sustainable Management is a relatively new field focusing on the triple bottom line- People, Planet, Profit. I can’t wait to learn how companies and organizations can change in order to sustain vibrant communities and a healthy planet.

I am suddenly very thankful for all of the community college classes I endured in order to make this possible. I had no idea why I was taking them at the time, but for some reason I hung in there and now I know what that reason was.

It’s not going to be easy, I am NOT a mathamagician and as far as science goes I took astronomy in community college, but I’m gonna make it work because someday I am going to have an incredibly rewarding job and sustainable future.