Our founder becomes Renogy Solar Ambassador to the Florida Tiny House Festival

sbthow2We are pleased to be Renogy‘s Solar Ambassador to the Florida Tiny House Festival November 18-20th at the St. Augustine Fairgrounds!

 

It is our pleasure to provide tours of the zero-waste, all clean solar powered Silver Bullet Tiny House. Take your shoes off, bring your sense of humor and meet Vera Struck, who designed and built a simple, off-grid, sustainable life style.

 

Her tiny house journey and build are available in her sustainable e-book, ‘Living the Sustainable Tiny Life’ (discount code is available to attendees).

 

She will be premiering her new e-book, ‘Living the Sustainable Tiny Life Handbook’, a ten-week process workbook to get you on the road to designing your own sustainable lifestyle!

 

Step inside the creative, non-toxic, healthy, all sustainable materials tiny house on wheels built by this sustainability dynamo. Her design, based on bio-mimicry, made a tiny home that breathes just like the rest of us.

 

You can find her speaker and workshop schedule at the festival here.

 

The Silver Bullet Tiny House is powered by a solar solution purchased from:

 

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Why Tiny? Why Now?

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 7.38.54 PMWhy Tiny? Why Now? (Week #46)

The What and Why:

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of presenting a brief history of the tiny house movement and speak about my Silver Bullet tiny house journey/build to a group that convenes monthly called Local Poverty Matters.

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I spoke about my moral imperative of solving climate change, the desperate lack of affordable housing, and my homelessness as a single human in a world of diminishing resources.

Most of the homeless, like me, do not want a hand-out. We want a hand-up. After being socially ostracized, discounted and marginalized, we are often invisible to other Americans. The American Dream I grew up with is dead. So I invented and chose a new American Dream. I created the Silver Bullet Tiny House Challenge.

Could I build a non-toxic, off-grid, all renewable energy fed, resilient sustainable lifestyle in a mobile tiny house on wheels? Could it be made of reclaimed, repurposed sustainable materials and cost less than $20,000.? Could it serve as a mobile educational exhibit that could inspire individuals and families to decrease their carbon footprint, their economic costs and improve their community involvement by freeing up more time and control of their lives?

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The How:

Taking my future in my own hands, I designed a beautiful, biomimetic tiny house that nurtures my sustainable lifestyle. I used reclaimed resources, found sponsors, repurposed what others left on the roadside, and made my own home. Nature is never more than four feet away from me in any direction. I love that.

The details of my story and build are in my recently released e-Book, if you want to know more. Proceeds from the book support me giving workshops on sustainable living across the USA starting in Spring, 2016.

Here’s the thing about my homelessness. Deciding to take my own fate in my own hands, even with obstacles like my disabilities*, my poor health, no funds, no social or career possibilities imminent, fostered within me a resilience I only fantasized was possible. That is, until I achieved my solution.

Creating my own hand-up was not easy; however, others were inspired by my passion, drive and commitment to live a simple, tiny, healthier, zero-waste footprint lifestyle and they helped me any way they could.

I gained self-esteem, construction skills galore, lost weight, grew muscle (both physically and psychologically), found my “happy place” and finally, I gained social and community acceptance. The journey was incredibly challenging with many turning points in which I almost quit. But like all great journeys and projects, when finished, the joy and glory of seeing my accomplishment, knowing I reached all my goals, was an amazing reward.

I have achieved wellness all around. I live in a non-toxic, all renewable energy, self bio-mimetically designed, hand-built, mobile home.

That’s why “tiny” and that’s why “now”.

You can donate here. Every dollar helps me to help others.

* Although I have been classified by the State of Massachusetts as disabled, I have never collected any disability income from any source, private or public, Federal or State.

The Deep Dive:

Workers Over Fifty are the New Unemployables

The New Unemployables

Brutal Job Search for Older Americans

Not Looking for Work, Labor Force Participation and Recovery

Cultural Diversity and International Biological Diversity Days

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 11.19.43 AMCultural Diversity and International Biological Diversity Days (Week #19)

In the coming weeks we have two important diversity days:

World Day for Cultural Diversity is May 21, 2015 and International Biological Diversity Day is May 22, 2015.

We all know that human activities are directly responsible for climate change, the impoverishment of many cultural and natural communities, the extinction of biological species, and the reduction in ecosystem services.

It seems to me that if more folks understood that diversity and inclusion ensure a more sustainable world, the dial would reach the “Tipping Point” much faster.

“Humanity’s fate is tightly linked with biological diversity – the variety of life on earth. Biodiversity is essential for sustainable development and human well-being. The examples are plenty.

  • Biodiversity is a vital asset in global and local economies
  • Food production depends on biodiversity and the services provided by ecosystems
  • Clean and secure supplies of water also depend on biodiversity
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning provide goods and services essential for human health – including nutrients, clean air and water and regulation of pests and vector-based diseases
  • Biodiversity is the basis for sustainable livelihoods
  • Traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity is also important and has value not only to those who depend on it in their daily lives but to modern industry and agriculture as well
  • Biodiversity is the cornerstone of the work, belief systems and basic survival of many women
  • Biodiversity plays a major role in mitigating climate change by contributing to long-term sequestration of carbon in a number of biomes
  • Even the built environments of our cities are linked to and affected by biodiversity” from


This year’s theme for the former is inclusion and sustainable development for the latter. Let’s connect the dots.

In our neck of the woods, the Parker and Ipswich Rivers, have worked decades to promote the conservation of our watersheds and natural resources through education and consistent legal due diligence.

Let’s restore biodiversity genetically, culturally and horticulturally. The Ethnosphere and the Biosphere are losing cultures, seeds and species daily. Lets reverse the trends and practice terranthrophy; become biodiversity warriors and activists!

The WHAT:

Become your own diversity warrior or biological diversity activist. Reduce the emissions, pollution, and destruction of our marine world. This week, observe, support or engage your fellow humans in a conversation about the importance of restoring biological diversity.

The HOW:

  1. Support your local watershed or river refuge.
    1. Become an Ipswich River Watershed Association member and take a free canoe trip down the river (IRWA)
    2. Obtain an annual pass to visit the over 300 species on Plum Island, (PRNWRbrochure)
    3. Find your local watershed here.
  2. Volunteer to co-found or head a diversity/inclusion (Yes, we are part of biological diversity) initiative at your workplace, industry focus group, and professional organization or trade council.  See Notes: below.
  3. Show up at a local or national event to focus on a biodiversity issue
  4. Start a biodiversity garden.
  5. Volunteer to engage in a biological diversity initiative at your child’s school, your university or other academic institution.

Note:

As Co-Founder of the Women’s Initiative of our local Technology Council, I am passionately involved engaging the corporate executive world in the New England corridor to understand how diversity and inclusivity are essential to becoming a sustainable organization.

I am also a Parker River Refuge Pass Holder, involved with IRWA and a Crane’s Beach Sticker owner.

The Deep Dive:

History of International Biological Diversity Day

Center for Biological Diversity

Local action for Biodiversity

Cary Fowler’s Excellent TED talk on protecting the Future of Food Biodiversity

Wade Davis’ TED talk on Endangered Cultures

You tube video on Biological diversity and conservation (for the kids)

Global Ocean Biodiversity Events for 2015

Diversity Management: Measuring ROI