not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cave Sweet Cave - Eco Friendly Homes.

I always get excited about new ways of living green. I am particularly interested in eco-friendly homes, because really, there is no way that this house I'm sitting in right now makes any sense at all. I often watch Planet Green, one of the only watchable channels aside from Discovery, National Geographic and occasionally Bravo (Top Chef!). From watching Planet Green I have made some huge discoveries about how ungreen I live and simple ways to have a smaller carbon-footprint. The beauty and selling point of these 'green houses' is that they are trying to make them available for the SAME price as a new, ungreen house would cost. That way there is more of an incentive to go green. They have...

Straw Bale Homes:

Hillside Stone and Mud Homes:

Free Spirit Spheres:

I could go on and on. These are bit a extreme, but I find them interesting. This brings me to this mornings newspaper. There was an article that I'd like to share with you "There's No Place Like Cave", and it's about these cave homes in China that have been around for thousands of years. I always laugh when people talk about green this and green that - because my Dad has been living green for years. He had an acre of every kind of vegetable, fruit, and herb and he farmed "green", before it was called "green" though of course. It's the same with these people in China. Everyone is applauding them for living in an eco-friendly home, and they've just been doing it for years! These caves are fireproof, sound proof, warm in the winter, cool in the summer and cheap (everyone knows I love something with a small price tag). They are easy and cheap to construct and shields from the extreme weather. Currently, upwards of 20 million people live in these dirt-dwellings. The Chinese love anything modern, which is why the cave-dwelling population has almost dropped by 50% now that it was not economically necesarry for them to live there. But now, the Chinese government is starting to promote cave-living due to their efficiency.

There is no heating or air conditioning in the caves, though the bed is heated in the winter. Kang is a a huge stone bed that is linked to an indoor stove warmed by the heat of cooking. People who have moved out of the caves, perhaps to move closer to the city for jobs, said that they certainly plan on returning to the cave. The air is fresh, the living is inexpensive, and it's a more comfortable, social environment for them and their families.

The cave homes are like a loaf of bread in shape, and they generally range from about 10 to 13 feet wide and 20 to 25 feet deep. Doors have also been cut to link to another dwelling, increasing the caves size. People have toilets and TV's, anything that you'd need to be comfortable. The eart is hard-packed, so no additional support is needed. They are painted, decorated and accessorized just like any regular home.

This is a fabulous piece of journalism, and GREAT videography:

I want to live in a CAVE!

"Live Simply that others may Simply Live"

Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

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