Furoshiki: Traditional Japanese Cloth Wrapping

A “Furoshiki” is a traditional Japanese cloth used to wrap gifts, clothes, and other goods. Recently this practice has been revived in Japan. The appeal of this form of wrapping is that the cloth is reused for other purposes, and it is an eco-effective technique in this regard. Furoshiki means “bath spread” and it derives […]

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Solar Water Heating: Book Review

Solar Water Heating is the first book I’ve seen that focuses solely on solar water heating. It’s a technique that’s been practiced since ancient times, but until now there’s been strangely few resources on the topic for a North American audience. The author, Bob Ramlow, examines state-of-the-art solar heating systems. He covers not only solar […]

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Raw Cacao Butter: An Efficient Dessert & Skin Moisturizer

Raw cacao butter — this is the pure oil of the cacao bean, extracted using a cold-press technique — the temperature stays around 104 degrees Fahrenheit, instead of 300 degrees which is the norm. The oil is edible and possesses a rich, delicate chocolate aroma. You can add a piece of the cacao butter to […]

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Book Review: The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes

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Straw bales are a renewable resource, and they are becoming a widely used construction material in some parts of the U.S. Many localities have specific codes for strawbale construction, and some banks are willing to lend on this technique. Bale walls can be erected quickly, even by amatuer builders. This book, The Beauty of Straw […]

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Danko Persing: Gotham Stackable Chair and Lounge Chair

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These chairs are made from bent maple plywood, using a technique that consumes 1/8 of the wood normally used in construction. The seats are webbed with recycled automobile seatbelt material. As you might expect, this material is extremely strong and does not sag. Danko produces a range of similarly designed furniture in their Pennsylvania workshop. […]

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