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How does Micah find these sites? Cat lovers. In Japan. Gotta see it to believe it.

Micah and Container Houses

September 7, 2009

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Micah has just sent me some great information about affordable and sustainable urban housing. Check out the photos of this home- hard to believe it’s made of containers- actually three 40′ units and one 20′ unit.  The large units house the bedrooms and living rooms of the home, while the 20′ unit is dedicated as a kitchen in total taking up 1,858 square feet. It looks great and creates a very small footprint on a very small lot, in this case 5,000 square feet.

Using shipping containers as a building block is such an interesting and useful concept to me. You can even do-it-yourself with the book from containers4home.com which will provide all the details from choosing the container to designing the space using a CAD program.

I think these buildings belong in a more urban setting although Micah feels otherwise and would love to build a studio here in the wilds of NW Connecticut. Would like the bicycle built for two, though!

Easy Dinner Ideas

September 3, 2009

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Micah is a busy student on a budget. Extravagant dinners out are not an option. Here is the first of many ideas for a quick dinner:

Tacos, the old standby, with Broccoli

Ingredients:

One can organic refried beans

A few cloves of garlic, Organic cooking oil, Lettuce, shredded or torn, 1/2 avocado – diced, Carrot – grated, Grated soy or dairy cheese, Taco shells or tortillas, Salsa

Warm the cooking oil in your pan, add crushed and chopped garlic, low heat, stir, do not burn!

Add can of beans and heat on low flame. Stir occasionally as you prepare the other ingredients; Toast taco’s on low in oven or low in toaster oven. Don’t burn these either, please.

Meanwhile- wash, cut and steam broccoli.

Put together your tacos, add broccoli on your plate. Yes, you have to eat your broccoli. And enjoy simple dinner.

TOMORROW’s lunch: leftovers, or Avocado sandwich with leftover 1/2 avocado, lettuce, shredded cheese, add hummos or seitan. Yum! ( have a few leftover broccoli’s too)

“Green” Paint

January 25, 2009

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This post is courtesy of Micah who sent me the link through Inhabit.com, a hip and smart design and technology blog that looks at sustainability in the field about yet another new “green” paint on the market. 

The EPA tells us the quality of indoor air is often worse than ourdoor air, particularly in the winter when the windows are closed. Smoke, radon, mold and cleaning products provide some of the bad air. One of the worst offenders is the out-gassing of the VOC’s from our paint. Some other obvious toxic out-gassers are mothballs and nail polish- anything with a label reading use ventilated area. However, there are many hidden and more subtle toxins that are in our air, as well.

But this post is about paint.  Sherwin-Williams has launched several lines of paint that claim to offer eco-friendly alternatives to standard VOC-laden paints. There is a no-VOC and a low-VOC line now available. I don’t really understand why they would go halfway- why not just make the change? Newly trademarked names like “Harmony, Duration and Greensure” are alluring, aren’t they? I go for names like that, but the question is do they do the job? I know that many painters still turn their noses up at the spreadability and drying time as well as quality and consistency of coverage of the lower VOC paints. I am not so fussy. I would rather live in a healthy home. Even though we use healthy paint in our house, we still do use air filters all year round- in summer for allergens coming in, and of course in the colder seasons as well.

I am also very interested if the company walks their talk and Sherman-Williams seems to be going in that direction. Using biodiesel  in their trucks and recycling and choosing a non-discharge and re-use policy for solvents that are used in their not-green paints. But why not just go green, Sherwin-Williams?

But to really understand the green-ness of a company you can always check with DegreeofGreen.com a company that does product reviews and licensing for the “green” distinction. They point out three key questions and provides answers to: What are the health, sustainable and environmental qualities of the products? 

Hats off to all the companies who have chosen to re-create non-toxic paints and feature them, hopefully phasing out the toxic paints in the near future.

Easy file sharing

December 7, 2008

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Leave it to Josh to know a very way cool way to share files via his friend’s site: drop.io . So now, I can use this site to upload information for business or for friends and drop.io provides a place for retrieval for private viewing or you can even publish drops on your facebook page.

“Each drop is:

A private place for exchanging photos, video, audio, notes, docs, and more. Each is accessible only to those whom you tell exactly where to look.

No signup and no account. We don’t even ask for your email. Create as many drops as you want.”

Now no excuses for sharing music and photo’s from Thanksgiving, Micah!

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A French blog,fubiz, just highlighted a stop-motion video by Micah! Some of the comments include what I suppose must be slang like cool and terrific- but read like: “epatant” and “bof”….He created the video “Stop-Motion Day in the Life of a Born Digital Human” for Josh’s presentation to an advertising forum on how people are “hyper-connected” today. You can view it here. And fyi fubiz music broadcasts interesting sounds.

Congrats and thanks to Micah.

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