In Meghalaya, India, "the wettest place on Earth", summer monsoons cause floods and rapids that are nearly imposible to cross. Residents have responded by building "living bridges" out of the roots of fig trees. These still-living roots allow bridges that continue to grow and strengthen over the years. No one person can complete a bridge alone, so the practice is passed down from one generation to the next, with the construction of bridges spanning entire lifetimes. This is sustainable architecture in practice, and a stunning testament to the power of collaboration.
“Since 1970, the average house size in the United States has doubled. But for some people, bigger isn’t necessarily better.”
In this preview for Tiny: a story about living small, a documentary about the tiny house movement, Christopher Smith interviews people who have decided to strip down and move to a own tiny abode. Tiny houses are an economical and DIY way to live sustainably, and a radical alternative to the unnecessarily bloated and overpriced McMansions that litter America’s suburban landscapes.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) recently published an e-book (PDF) advocating complete democratization of the electric grid by abandoning a system that is dominated by large, centralized utilities for a 21st century grid made of independently-owned and widely-dispersed renewable energy generators
In 1864, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill which granted Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove to the State of California “for public use, resort and recreation.” Though Yosemite later became a national park, the precedent for state-operated parks in California was set and in 1902 the California State Park system was established. Today, the system numbers 278 parks and lures visitors from around the world with its beaches, forests, historic landmarks, reserves, recreation areas, and museums.
Did you know that on a clear night, the temperature in a city with 1 million people or more can be up to 22°F hotter than nearby suburbs?
Over 20 million people call the New York City metropolitan area home, meaning that in the summer, temperatures inside the world's "coolest" city are nothing short of sweltering.
What's the cause of all this extra heat?
Although it's one of the only forms of energy to offer a 100 percent return on investment, solar energy has only been adopted by about 1 percent of the U.S. population. A recent solar energy industry report indicated that cost and complexity were two of the biggest reasons why people are slow to invest in solar technology.
“You don’t actually drink the milk do you?” When acquaintances learn we have dairy cows on our small farm, many ask us that very question with incredulous expressions.
We’ve also been asked, too many times to count, if we really eat the eggs from our hens. “Don’t they, like, come out of a chicken’s butt?” a colleague asked my husband. She was accustomed to eggs laid at distant factory farms, comfortably far from her awareness.
In celebration of Earth Day 2011 (this Friday, April 22,) Shareable presents a series of stories about sharing, food and sustainable living. Check back all week for new stories, essays and interviews about why collaborative consumption is the greenest kind of all.