The Thames and Komos Power House teaches kids age ten and up how it's possible to live sustainably by harnessing energy from the sun, wind and earth. The kit comes with 10 building projects including a solar collector and wind generator.
Have you noticed how many seriously cool schools are being built these days? I never thought I would be so jealous of them, but I totally am. There are tons of ideas to use in your own home - check out this solar outdoor space, for example!
This is exciting news: last year we wrote about 1Bog, the San Francisco-based company endeavoring to make solar purchases more accessible and affordable by having you sign up and pay for solar panels as a group. Well, while previously only residents of the largest solar markets could take advantage of the group pricing, the program has been such a hit that now every place in the nation is eligible if you can get enough people in your neighborhood to sign up!
If you're pining for solar, you may find that installation costs in your area won't be too bad thanks to available rebates and other funding programs. But if your city isn't offering rebates, for instance, and you'd still like to go solar, how about this: install those panels yourself.
Outdoor lighting — it's an easy way to add ambience, as Cambria noted in her favorite outdoor lights post yesterday, mark a pathway definition, or illuminate a garden. Solar and LED options are a no brainer for reduced energy usage, but actually the ideal solution because of the sun's free and abundant energy, LEDs don't attract bugs and there's no annoying wiring! Here are a few more of our favorite lights to jumpstart your outdoor nighttime fun!
A set of solar panels, a wind-powered well, and passive sustainable strategies enable this home (named the Casa Cuatro) to go off-grid. The beach house floats atop a 180-foot cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and its long list of sustainable features includes a thermal mass wall that absorbs heat during the day and releases it during the evening, and a wind-powered well that brings water from a 150-foot-deep hole to the surface. [Via Dwell]
A research team from MIT recently debuted these smart, clean energy charging stations, or "SOFT Rockers," as part of MIT’s 150th-anniversary Festival of Art+Science+Technology (FAST) celebration. They're disguised as conventional outdoor rocking furniture, but their sleek solar design will charge or run any USB device, including speakers, cell phones, and music players.
A lamp on the dining table is something we think can bring an extra level of warmth and intimacy to the dining room. But what about bringing that feeling to outdoor dining, and doing it without cords or a need for electricity?
Interested in going solar but don't have the money or means to do it by yourself? Solar Mosaic is a marketplace/hub for people looking to create, organize, and finance solar projects in their communities. They connect people who want to go solar with the buildings that have the ideal roofs and space. Watch the video above to see how it works:
Unlike typical homes which are connected to power, natural gas, water and telephone lines, off-the-grid homes are self-sufficient wonders. By relying on methods like solar, wind, and geothermal energy, rainwater harvesting, and composting toilets, off-the-grid homeowners are able to reduce their reliance on fossil-fuels and provide for everything themselves. Here are a few examples of homes that do just that: