Our beloved annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair is coming up soon. Put on by the Texas Solar Energy Society, the Fair is now in it’s 11th year and coming to historic and fun Fredericksburg, Texas September 24th through September 26th, 2010. I go every year and am never there enough time. There is always so much to see, do and learn for people of all ages. Children 12 and under are FREE. Tickets are $10.00 to $12.00 and available at the gate. There are so many booths set up to learn about so much. There are food vendors, talks about any green living topic you can imagine and all at a very reasonable entry fee.
This years talks include information on small wind systems, saving water, rainwater collection, city gardening, aquaponics, wild plants, compressed earth block building, Net Zero homes, Geothermal Systems, organic farming and ranching, solar cars, solar cooking, photovoltaic systems, greenwashing and more!! There are natural cooking demos and I guarantee you will learn a lot about many topics. I hope to see you there!! I’ll probably wear my TOFGA, Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners t shirt I got at the fair last year when I joined that great organization. There is usually a ride share set up to share rides to the fair from the Austin Texas Metro Area. I am looking at all the talks now and having a hard time deciding which day to go, I think I will go to all three!!!
Brad Kittel believes in living sustainably, in a way that protects the earth for future generations. He also believes we need to live in homes that do not offgas like the mainstream homes being built today. He offers his Tiny Texas Houses to downsize your carbon footprint for about $38,000. to just under $100,000. A Tiny Texas house buyer will need to pay for moving their Tiny Texas House to their lot. Tiny Texas Houses are built in Luling, Texas of 99% recycled materials as well as energy efficient features such as sprayed in isonyne foam.
Another concept of a similar vein is Specht Harpman’s (Austin, Texas and New York) ZeroHouse™ . The ZeroHouse™ is a prefabricated home that can be easily shipped and quickly erected. ZeroHouse™ operates completely off-the-grid as a net-zero home. Per the architects’ web site, there is no need for any external utility or waste disposal connections. This is because the ZeroHouse uses rainwater collection and solar panels, triple paned windows and a composting waste system. These tiny modern looking homes run about $350,000. and offer 650 square feet with 250 square feet in outdoor covered deck areas.
Tiny or McMansion?
The concepts in Tiny Texas Houses and ZeroHouse™ is the exact opposite of the huge McMansions that have such a large footprint. One article I read on AlterNet.org entitled “Big Houses Are Not Green: America’s McMansion Problem” stated that in Austin, Texas 235 homes were built in a single year that were 5,000 square feet or more. 41 of the 235 homes had between 8,000 and 29,000 square feet. Compared to the rest of the world, the United States is the world champion in the huge sizes of homes.
How do you help those in need and help the environment at the same time? 1house at a time is a great organization that helps Austin, Texas homeowners in need avoid foreclosure on their homes by lowering their utility and food bills. High utility bills often represent a family’s second highest expense. Homes chosen for projects receive energy efficiency upgrades and other projects to save money and help our Earth. This month’s project happens March 13TH from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Projects include removing the old refrigerator, washer and dryer and replacing then with energy efficient units. A rain gutter system with gutter guards will be installed as well as a rainwater collection cistern. A garden will be installed to help provide healthy food at low cost.
Texas Metal Cisterns and Green Zone Home are helping in this month’s event.
Texas Metal Cisterns in business since 2000 can be reached at (512) 565-0875
Green Zone Home, 8868 Research Boulevard
Austin, TX 78758 (512) 467-0005 Green Zone Home provides home energy consultations.
1 house at a time is a project of A Nurtured World
Won’t you consider helping a family in need by volunteering 4 hours of your time? If you are not able to personally help at the site could you help with a donation?
Learn more about retrofitting your home, rainwater collection and GREEN Austin Homes