Christopher Merklinger, a 56 year old recovering drug addict, build his first tiny house with the help an Amish community near Owen Sound, Canada. Today he runs his own tiny house company, Litl Hausen, and the daily effort of constructing these homes has become an integral part of his healing journey, and life in general. Chris is also sure that it is the low cost and small size of tiny houses, which can give people struggling with addictions, homelessness and trauma a safe place to call their own. With his company he hopes to pay it forward, by offering affordable and well-built tiny homes, which can also be taken completely off-the-grid.
Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, recently developed a new and highly efficient composting toilet called Blue Diversion. Human waste has significant value, since it can provide fertilizer and phosphorus and the Blue Diversion toilet is able to successfully harvest both. These byproducts can also be sold at a profit, so this toilet does more than just provide water efficiency or off-the-grid-living.
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Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House. It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.“ The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil. Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.