Erin and Dondi’s Off-Grid Tiny House

More and more young people seem to be ditching the typical suburban “first home” for a tiny house and Erin and Dondi Harner in Colorado are no exception. Their 100 percent off-grid tiny house has just recently been completed and contains all the necessities for a totally self-contained 181 square foot home on wheels. The couple named their home “Soleil” because it runs off the sun.

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Dondi is a civil engineer who works in Fort Collins and Erin is a nutritionist, author and business owner who is working on her second master’s degree in nutrition. Their home is 29 feet long and 8 1/2 feet wide and contains a shower and bathroom sink, composting toilet, six solar panels and a 300 gallon water cistern for fresh water. Water is heated with an on-demand heater. The home also has a loft with a small staircase for quick access, a kitchen and dining space, an office, a closet and even a sofa that converts into a guest bed.

Some nice details of the home include lodge poles on the deck and by the stairs, tongue and groove aspen paneling on the walls and bright red panels on their kitchen cabinets. You can read more about their build and traveling adventures by visiting their website. Continue reading

Sidecountry Sessions Tiny House

If you live in a ski town, keep an eye out for a truck towing an elegant tiny house and five ski bums on the lookout for some great powder and free Wi-Fi. For six weeks, Molly Baker, Zack Griffin, Neil Provo and their videographers Sam Griffin and Andy Walbon will be road tripping around North America in a 112 square foot house on wheels and will be posting their videos online. The idea behind the trip is to find grassroots ambassadors for the outdoor gear company, Outdoor Research, ski some of winter’s best deep powder and meet fellow ski enthusiasts. They also wanted to take this trip in a tiny house to show that a passionate and low-impact lifestyle could be had for little cost.

“We are refining the entire process of living as ski bums,” Zack said. “It is really about figuring out what you do and don’t need. For me, I want to ski and there isn’t much else that I need.”

Initially, the group thought they would take the trip in a van with a wood stove – similar to one that Zack lived in in the parking lot of Mt. Baker. But, after seeing some of the Tumbleweed tiny houses, the crew decided a custom built house would meet all their needs. Continue reading

Living in the Future

According to the Lammas ecovillage in Wales, living in the future means looking to the past. This series of videos shows the baby ecovillage’s plans and struggles to develop a low impact village in the open countryside. The series also profiles several other successful ecovillages around Europe. The village is named after the pagan holiday that celebrates the abundance of the fall months.

Lammas is the United Kingdom’s first planned ecovillage and is sited on 76 acres of mixed pasture and woodland in Pembrokeshire. The houses use low-impact architecture which uses a combination of recycled and natural materials. The village will contain five detached buildings and one terrace of four dwellings. The homes will be built of straw bale, earth, timber frame and cob; they will have turf roofs and wool insulation and will blend into the landscape.

The videos (also available as podcasts) cover everything from searching for land, working with local codes, inspectors and design councils, examples of different types of natural building including straw bale and cob, surviving cold weather, self-sufficiency, growing your own food, and keeping community intact. The ecovillages profiled are Cae Mabon, The Village, Ireland and Findhorn. That Roundhouse by Tony Wrench is also featured. Continue reading