INTERVIEW: Tiny House Pioneer Dee Williams Discusses Living Large in 84 Square Feet in Her New Memoir "The Big Tiny: A Built-it-Myself Memoir"

by , 07/07/14

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We’ve featured many a tiny house on Inhabitat, but did you know that one trailblazing lady was the inspiration behind many of those miniature homes? Meet Dee Williams: an early pioneer and sustainability advocate of the tiny house movement, she downsized from a three bedroom home into an 84 square foot house she built herself for $10,000 after she was diagnosed with a heart muscle disease. Ten years later, she’s inspired countless others to pursue big dreams in tiny spaces and has just recently published her first book and memoir, “The Big Tiny: A Built-it-Myself Memoir.” Unlike the typical how-to construction manual–Williams has already published a DIY tiny house e-book called “Go House Go”–”The Big Tiny” delves into Williams’ motivations and life lessons learned from building and living in a tiny house the size of an area rug. Click through to read our interview with Dee Williams.

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Thousands Without Water in Detroit a Human Rights Violation, UN Says

by , 07/06/14
filed under: News, Water Issues

United Nations Human Rights Index, Detroit, Michigan, City of Detroit, water disconnections, water shortages, water bills

Human rights experts from the United Nations have expressed their concern about reports of widespread water disconnections throughout the city of Detroit in households unable to pay water bills. The three experts, who specialise in human rights relating to water and sanitation, adequate housing, and extreme poverty, said that “disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human rights.”

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Prefab "Mini-Me" House Acts as an Adorable Smaller Sidekick to an Upstate New York Home

by , 07/06/14
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Archi-Tectonics, prefab housing, mini me guest house, Carmel, upstate new york

Did you know that houses can have sidekicks too? When the owners of a sprawling home in Carmel, New York asked Archi-Tectonics to help them design a suitable guest house, they ended up getting an adorable miniature version of the larger dwelling. Appropriately called the “Mini-Me” home, the smaller house was prefabricated off site and fit together to mirror the aesthetic of its big sister.

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Texas Cheerleader Claims Hunting the "Big 5" in Africa is Conservation

by , 07/06/14

19-year-old Kendall Jones, a cheerleader from Texas, has been hunting big game in Africa with her father for 10 years. Following in the footsteps of the reviled Melissa Bachman, she claims that her efforts to bag the Big 5 — elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and Cape buffalo — are in fact “conservation.” With two online petitions currently being waged to either stop her activities or prevent her from promoting them through social media, it is apparent that many others see the situation differently.

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Brooklyn Company Raises $10M to Grow Cow-Free Leather

by , 07/06/14
filed under: Ecouterre

Modern Meadow, Modern Meadow leather, Modern Meadow cow-free leather, bioengineered leather, vegan leather, cruelty-free leather, laboratory leather

Those who are vegan or simply wishing to live a cruelty-free life may soon be able to add leather products back into their fashion consumption. Not real leather made from the hides of animals, of course, but a laboratory-grown substitute that just might fool even the most discriminating leather aficionado. Modern Meadows, a Brooklyn-based company, recently raised $10 million to grow faux leather from animal skin cells obtained through pain-free biopsies. Follow the link below to learn more about the revolutionary technique.

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Zaha Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku Wins Design of the Year

by , 07/06/14

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9 Things You Can Do to Help Wild Birds This Summer

by , 07/06/14

Here in the northern hemisphere, we’re now heading into the height of summer and chances are that most of us are spending as much time outdoors as possible. You’ve probably noticed a lot more bird activity recently: the warmer months are critical for birds, as they need to raise their young and eat as much as they can in order to migrate safely back home, but are your own actions helping or hindering their well-being? Songbird numbers have decreased dramatically in recent years because of pesticides and air/water contamination (not to mention domestic and feral cats, wind turbines, window glass, and habitat loss), so the more we can do to help the little winged ones, the better. Read on to find out how you can help them.

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8 More Tiny Apartments That Maximize Small Spaces with Smart Design

by , 07/06/14
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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10 Jaw-Dropping Tree Canopies and Tunnels that Amplify the Beauty of Mother Nature

by , 07/06/14
filed under: Inhabitots

tree canopies, tree tunnels, tree monoculture, plant monoculture, wisteria tunnel, dark hedges, parque francisco alvarado, bamboo path, laburnum arch, gyeonghwa station, jacaranda trees, yew tree tunnel, tunnel of love, maple tunnel

Although tree monoculture, or the mass planting of one plant species, is generally not the best environmental practice, we can’t deny the jaw-dropping effect it has on the landscape. From rows of dazzling spring blossoms to giant masses of richly colored autumn leaves, these beautiful tree canopies and tunnels intensify the beauty of Mother Nature by concentrating the colors and textures into one location. Click through to see some of our favorite fairy tale-like tunnels from all over the world!

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Sinuous Boomslang Walkway Gives Kirstenbosch Visitors a Taste of the Treetops in Cape Town

by , 07/05/14

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The "Most Portuguese Town in Portugal" is Built Around, and On Top of Giant Boulders!

by , 07/05/14

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Split-Rocker: Jeff Koons' Giant Flower-Covered Creature Blooms at Rockefeller Center

by , 07/05/14
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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Want to Show Your Patriotic Side? Shop These Eco-Friendly Brands

by , 07/05/14
filed under: Inhabitots

made in the usa, eco-friendly products made in the usa, locally made, local products, American-made, eco-friendly brands, local workers

It’s Independence Day weekend in the United States, and around the country people are hanging flags and bunting to show their patriotic side. Though festive, these actions are only symbolic. If you really want to support the US economy, skip the made in China flags and buy made in America goods instead. Use this list of list of 8 family companies who make their products in the USA using organic or eco-friendly materials to show your love for America and local workers.

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This Simple Laundry Additive Could Turn Your Shirt (or Pants, or Dress...) into a Mobile Air Purifier

by , 07/05/14

Catalytic clothing, catalytic clothing additive, air purification, air purifying clothes, air purifying items, mobile air purifiers, air purification technology, laundry additives, cleaning the air, cleaning the air with clothes, purifying the air, ecouterre, ecouterre air purifying clothes, air purifying additive, inhabitat clothing, inhabitat air purifiers

Air purifiers are great and everything, but what would it be like if you could take that air cleaning power everywhere you go, built right into your clothing? Catalytic Clothing wants to create a liquid laundry additive that can turn anything washed in it into a mobile air purifier. Catalytic surface cleaners already exist in the form of paving stones, cement, paints and glass, but the simple additive could turn the micro-winds of the body’s movements into a super effective air purifier that you never have to leave at home.

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Scientists Just Created a Virus With the Potential to Wipe Out Humanity

by , 07/05/14

Kawaoka, Professor Kawaoka, H1N1, H1N1 supervirus, supervirus, spreading supervirus, Professor makes supervirus., biohazard, University of Wisconsin Madison, bio manipulation, creating viruses, changing viruses, H1N1 evolving virus, virus evolution, Contagion, virus contagion, horror movies, virus movies

It’s like something you would expect out of a horror movie, but this story is unfortunately all true. A professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison – ignoring every virus-related thriller ever – recently created a strain of the H1N1 virus that can escape the human body and spread practically unchecked. Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka says that he wanted to study the virus so that he and his fellow researchers could get a better understanding of how viruses change in nature and, like any good thriller movie requires, he did it in a lab with a relatively low biosafety rating.

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The Tent: Low-Hanging Wooden Roof Creates a Secret Hideaway for Hot Spring Visitors in Vietnam

The Tent: Low-Hanging Wooden Roof Creates a Secret Hideaway for Hot…

The idyllic spring is a tranquil resort for visitors, yet its one drawback is the intense heat that rolls in from the West, which limited the time of year people could enjoy the…

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This Universal Bike Can Be Adjusted to Fit Any Body

This Universal Bike Can Be Adjusted to Fit Any Body

A bicycle that fits your body properly is an absolute pleasure to ride, but many people just don't buy the bike that's right for them. Alternately, they'll buy one that's right for…

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B_Rootstudio Creates Shade-Giving Chapel from Local Bamboo and Clay

B_Rootstudio Creates Shade-Giving Chapel from Local Bamboo and Clay

Candelaria Chapel sits atop a black clay hill special to villagers, where each year they visit on pilgrimage to honor Candelaria’s Virgin. Previously, the hill only held a concrete…

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Solar Panel-Carrying Donkeys Are Bringing Energy to Remote Turkish Nomads

Solar Panel-Carrying Donkeys Are Bringing Energy to Remote Turkish…

How are you meant to charge your phone regularly or stay up to date on global events if you live in the middle of nowhere? Well, in parts of Turkey, you can rely on donkeys. These…

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Swedish Studio Wingårdhs Unveils Prefab, Scented Apartment Block Made Entirely from Wood

Swedish Studio Wingårdhs Unveils Prefab, Scented Apartment Block Made…

Erected for property developer Folkhem, the Strandparken tower shelters 31 apartments among its 8 floors. It was designed to explore the potential of multi-occupancy housing while…

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