Keeping Cool in the Caribbean

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Peter and I spend the majority of our days at anchor. We sail from one place to another and settle in after finding an anchorage that is relatively protected from the wind and waves. When the wind dies down, our tiny floating home heats up like an oven in the hot Caribbean sun.

There are no big trees to park under or hillsides to hide behind. We are always positioned away from land surrounded by a glistening, reflective surface. Continue reading

Making Sure You And Your Home Are Prepared For Weather

Just two weeks ago I wrote about some steps that can help you decide whether to fight a storm or evacuate from one. It’s a good mental start considering your tiny home is probably either built on wheels or on the water or rolling down the highway or made of canvas, etc. But how can you stay prepared in order to be aware of the potential weather forming around you? Are there methods other than the old “trick knee” or a red sky at night?

storm watchingNOAA WEATHER RADIO

Advance warning is key. If the electricity goes out and you are living on the grid then your connection with the world around you goes out as well. Without that connection you can’t watch television updates, hear news reports, or call a friend from a (admittedly antiquated but still in use) land line. However, a simple way to combat this is to switch to a battery-powered, solar-powered, or hand crank-powered, NOAA radio.  This app streams more than 200 NOAA broadcasts and adds in additional information including radar, push notifications, emergency warnings for your state and detailed weather reports. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages). Continue reading

SustainaFest Launches Tiny House Contest

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SustainaFest to Sell Student-Built Tiny House for $100 and a Few Thoughtful Words!

Annapolis, MD – SustainaFest announces the Tiny House Essay Contest, which will make one person’s dream of sustainable living come true. The winner will assume ownership of a 210-square-foot, hyper-efficient, off-grid home built by Maryland middle and high school students.

Contestants are required to submit $100 and an essay of 350 words or less answering the question, “What are your keys to living a sustainable lifestyle and how would owning the SustainaFest Tiny House help you realize your dream of living that lifestyle?” Submissions must be entered by June 1 and will be evaluated by a panel of academics and celebrity judges. A winner will be announced by June 15.

In 2014, sustainability experts and students from around Maryland engaged in a month-long exploration through SustainaFest’s Student Sustainability Lab. “The program provided a life-changing opportunity for students, educators, professionals and military veterans to combine forces and build this tiny house – a fully habitable, hi-tech, mobile dwelling,” stated George Chmael, Director of SustainaFest. Since construction was completed, the awarding-winning tiny house, a Minim Homes model, has been on a statewide tour of home shows, green expos, schools and other events to promote SustainaFest and serve as an ambassador for sustainability.

“We now want to share the wonder of this construction marvel with a deserving recipient and spread the word about making more sustainable lifestyle choices,” explained Chmael. “This thought-provoking contest is a far superior alternative to selling to the highest bidder and makes home ownership attainable for one fortunate person regardless of the size of their bank account.”

SustainaFest has now designed its own tiny house models, with an eye towards addressing the challenges faced by our community’s most needy members, including the homeless and struggling military veterans. The organization will continue to build houses with students in 2015 and beyond. All proceeds from the contest will support these efforts. To learn more about SustainaFest, including complete contest rules and how to submit your essay, please visit or email us at

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Modern Prefab Cabins Soon Available in California Parks

Usually if you are camping in California, you need to have a tent, RV or reservations for a park model or yurt. Now, tiny house and prefab fans will have a few more stylish options thanks to the Parks Forward Commission. The Commission invited architecture students from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona to design new cabins to be placed in various California parks.


The Wedge cabin

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