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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Solutions For Green We also publish California Green Solutions and a series of blogs about healthy living solutions.

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california native plants are poppies for wildflowers and native plant ecosystem

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organic foods, organic landscaping, organic farming and organic products for babies, kids and adults.

Housing Design Ideas


Natural materials
Architectural salvage: Habitat for Humanity: Restore Stores (Orange Co, San Diego), Sante Fe, Junk yards, dumpster diving
Must use new lumber for structural
Bamboo for structure, and pinning -- strongest, wood is expensive now.
Cupola and minimal, short ( less 2" from ceiling) interior walls for free flow of air, movement, less cost, large look
Hip roof with overhang -- best roofing method
Box Column method -- recommended by Joyce Coppinger
Core Area of water/plumbing design (kitchen, bathroom)
Don't put bathtub on strawbale outer wall -- danger of moisture leaks
Greywater system (exit out of the Core Area, into a pool and garden area for irrigation)
Closets used as room dividers
Daytime spaces on South, bedrooms on north : passive solar
Cob for thermal mass
Outdoor living (veranda, outdoor shower)
Clay floor, with decorative flagstone around perimeter (decor and thermal mass), throw rug in center of room
Passive solar cooling and heating (ventilation, shaded windows, thermal mass)
Passive solar greenhouse, sunroom
Living roof
Tree trunks for veranda posts
Grape Arbor, Potting Shed (f Thatching?, or early storage)
Carport (put photovoltaic system on roof)
Appliances that use very little energy or cooking methods that reduce fuel consumption are recommended. (Convection oven / microwave combination?), Stove top, outdoor oven?
Construction methods used have included straw-bale; compressed earth block, some with natural insulation, and others
Recycled sand from industrial waste
Structural insulated panels, steel frames and roofs
Salvaged telephone poles,
Composting toilets
Natural lighting and natural ventilation
Low-VOC materials used in homes for chemically sensitive people.
Standard size walls to fit strawbales and standard construction materials (boards, drywall, etc)
Fire prevention design (50-200 foot clearance, no curtains, water source, water sprinklers, etc.)


Bamboo (shoots, crafts, strawbale construction, futniture, biomass, wind break, fencing/gates)
Grape Arbor
Mulching and composting system
Xeriscaping (the use of native plants and those that require less energy and water for upkeep)
Planting for erosion control,
Porous pavements that reduce and slow water run off,
Planting shade trees to help reduce the temperature in the area,
Earthen Floor
Cob fireplace
Cob half wall to provide thermal mass between sunroom and kitchen/dining area (built in benches are part of wall)

For more articles about URBAN NATURE

Urban Agriculture for Outdoor Adventure
Earth's Most Successful Life Form
Kudzu Grows a Foot per Day
Meow How? Should I keep my cat indoors?
Habitat on Your Balcony and Garden Patio
Keeping ants in nature where they belong