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For Humanity ReStores – A good deal for you, your community and the environment.

For Humanity ReStores – A good deal for you, your community and the environment.

Tamped Earth Floors Unstabilized Earthen Floor Using Road Base by Frank Meyer [Note: This technique by Frank Meyer is a alternate method for making earthen floors. Tamped earth floors dry much faster than poured adobe and also cracks less.] A few years ago, when asked to make an earthen floor, I started by collecting all the soil types available in our area. Not all road bases are created equal. I recently set out to do a floor using site-available clay. By using this material, and applying basic roadbuilding techniques, we have a big advantage over traditional poured earth floors. Before proceeding with the installation process, it is necessary to consider vapor barriers. To begin the process of building our floor, the ground should be fairly level, smooth, compacted and at least 6" below the planned finished height. At this point we need to level the floor. After leveling, this mix must be wetted again and tamped, making sure that it bonds with the layer below. Additional Construction Notes:

The ReUse People Stress-Relieving Couch Is Also A Punching Bag [Pics German designer Tobias Fränzel designed a sofa with active functionality. ‘Champ’ is equipped with a brightly colored backrest that folds up to become a punching bag. When turned upright, the bag is ready to take your punches. The curvaceous couch is designed for people who need to take out their and release tension. It could be helpful for those who want to get a workout in while lounging. Fränzel notes that the risk of injury is so low that even children can play with it without any danger. Tobias Fränzel

Dancing Rabbit: Newsletter: Spring 2008 Note: This page is from our archives and is no longer being maintained. It may not be up to date or accurate. Please use the menus above to find more current information about Dancing Rabbit. For current material from our online Newsletter, The March Hare, and our weekly updates see Step I: Find a suitable donor structure. This can be done any number of ways, but the most important thing is to keep your ears open. Two important factors to consider in your candidate are size and condition. Step II: Prepare for demolition. Now that you have a structure to take apart, you are going to need the tools to get the job done. Safety first: you are going to be using all these tools in an enclosed space, so wear hearing protection. Step III: Get to it already. First a note: you can never be sure of what you will find in a place like this. Now your tool bag is packed and the big day has come. Start on the inside by removing any trim and interior doors. Congratulations.

How to be “Stealth” Homeless “There, but for the grace of God, go I” goes the old canard, usually in reference to a disheveled homeless person, dressed in rags sitting on a street corner begging for change and smelling of b.o. What you are seeing is the result not of homelessness, per se, but dysfunctionality in general, due to substance abuse, mental illness and a host of other contributing factors. You may see homeless people everyday and never suspect them. Conversely, that panhandler on the street corner may not be homeless at all. If so this guide is for you. To escape a horrible environment, You may have to abandon/throw away all your shit. Assuming you work close to minimum wage and have no savings, you probably make around 600 bucks every two weeks. That’s actually enough to get established somewhere else. One person tent from Army surplus store or department store: $100.00. If you live in a big city, walk, hitchhike, or take a bus ($2.00) to the suburbs. Follow your instincts. You can do this.

Save Money With Used Building Materials The construction of an average-sized home (2,000 square feet) usually results in 8,000 pounds of construction waste. Add that to the waste generated by demolition, and the figures are astounding: Every year in the United States, 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste are tossed into landfills. This debris amounts to more than half of all landfill waste — but if handled properly, much of it can be diverted and reused. Here are several ways you can locate reclaimed and recycled construction materials: “Freecycling” ( is an easy-to-use Internet service for people who want to trade things locally. Another good place to find used building materials is your own neighborhood. Habitat for Humanity operates retail outlets called ReStores that sell used and surplus building materials at a fraction of their regular prices. The technology to reconstitute many construction waste items into new products is rapidly progressing. Recycling Resources

How To Start Exercising When You're Already Overweight Eco-Friendly House Insulation from Recycled Materials written by: BStone•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 3/9/2010 Substituting eco-friendly house insulation from recycled materials for conventional insulation, is a great way to make a home a little greener. Conventional Insulation There are two primary reasons for using environmentally-friendly insulation from recycled materials — environmental concern, and indoor air quality. Regular fiber glass and petrochemical foam, two of the most widely-used insulators, generate pollutants during manufacturing, and will be a source of toxins for the environment when disposed of.

DIY Biomass Briquettes, Presses & Logs Living Published on November 30th, 2011 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg “Biomass” is one of those terms like “alternative energy”: it could be a sustainable approach to energy generation, but isn’t always. On the other hand, though, an awful lot of waste – from shredded paper to sawdust to greasy pizza boxes – could be used to generate heat. Want to start putting some of that waste to work? Next: Build your own briquette press Image credit: dam at Flickr under a Creative Commons license Tags: biomass, briquettes, cooking, diy, heat, paper logs, presses, rocket stove Types of Insulation When insulating your home, you can choose from many types of insulation. To choose the best type of insulation, you should first determine the following: Where you want or need to install/add insulationThe recommended R-values for areas you want to insulate. Installing Insulation The maximum thermal performance or R-value of insulation is very dependent on proper installation. Homeowners can install some types of insulation -- notably blankets and materials that can be poured in place. When hiring a professional certified installer: Obtain written cost estimates from several contractors for the R-value you need, and don't be surprised if quoted prices for a given R-value installation vary by more than a factor of two.Ask contractors about their air-sealing services and costs as well, because it’s a good idea to seal air leaks before installing insulation. To evaluate blanket installation, you can measure batt thickness and check for gaps between batts as well as between batts and framing.

3 DIY wines you can make at home When you think of wine, more than likely you immediately think of the juice of fermented grapes, but excellent quality wine can be made from other ingredients including blackberries, plums, rose hips, cereals, flower petals — even root vegetables. While these wines may not be too common on the shelves of your local wine shop, the beauty of home winemaking is that the sky’s the limit. You don’t have to be a master vintner or have a house full of expensive equipment to make wine. Here are three simple, all-natural recipes using strawberries, elderberries and dandelion blossoms. Use recycled wine bottles and local, organic ingredients for truly green homemade wine. 1. Contrary to what you might expect, strawberry wine is not syrupy or sickly sweet. Ingredients: 7 pounds whole fresh strawberries (fresh picked, if possible), washed and hulled2 gallons boiling waterJuice of 1 lemon5 pounds sugar Preparation: Mash strawberries in a large earthenware crock. 2. 3. Photo: jeremkin/iStockPhoto