Tag Archives: Nature

Dashavatar: The ten avatars of Vishnu Compared to Darwins Theory of Evolution … thanks Sulomi

“The first avatar was the Matsya avatar, it means the fish. That is because life began in the water. Is that not right?” Vasu began to listen with a little more attention.

“Then came the Kurma Avatar, which means the tortoise, because life moved from the water to the land. The amphibian. So the Tortoise denoted the evolution from sea to land.

Third was the Varaha, the wild boar, which meant the wild animals with not much intellect, you call them the Dinosaurs, correct? ” Vasu nodded wide eyed.

“The fourth avatar was the Narasimha avatar, half man and half animal, the evolution from wild animals to intelligent beings.

Fifth the Waman avatar, the midget or dwarf, who could grow really tall. Do you know why that is? Cause there were two kinds of humans, Homo Erectus and the Homo Sapiens and Homo Sapiens won that battle.” Vasu could see that his Mother was in full flow and he was stupefied.

“The Sixth avatar was Parshuram, the man who wielded the axe, the man who was a cave and forest dweller. Angry, and not social.

The seventh avatar was Ram, the first thinking social being, who laid out the laws of society and the basis of all relationships.

The eight avatar was Krishna, the statesman, the politician, the lover who played the game of society and taught how to live and thrive in the social structure.

The Ninth avatar, the Buddha, the man who rose from Narasimha and found man’s true nature. The nature of Buddha, he identified man’s final quest of enlightenment.

And finally, my boy, will come Kalki, the man you are working on. The man who will be genetically supreme.”

Vasu looked at his Mother speechless. “This is amazing Mom, how did you.. This makes sense!”

“Yes it does Vasu! We Indians knew some amazing things just didnt know how to pass it on scientifically. So made them into mythological stories. Mythology makes sense. Its just the way you look at it – Religious or Scientific. Your call.

(Our culture is light years ahead of Western. A Must Read n pass it on for the people who keep harping about western world)

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Building Without Nails The Genius of Japanese Carpentry

Building Without Nails The Genius of Japanese Carpentry

We’ve heard of the genius “technology” used in ancient times to build towering monuments with nothing more than primitive tools like stones and ropes. The Egyptian pyramids of old is a great example.

Back in the far east, Japan had plenty to offer the ancient world as well when it came to resourceful inventions and crafts. Traditional Japanese Carpenters built houses, temples, and castles, without the use of nails, screws, or bolts.
In a documentary interviewing one of the few remaining practitioners of this seemingly lost art of carpentry, an old Japanese master craftsman exclaims “No bolts, no nails. It lasts longer!”. Proudly claiming its effectiveness that no one would be able to argue against its success in the form of several majestic towering temples all over Japan still standing to this day.
After being subjected to harsh weather and clashes of changes in civilizations for well over a thousand years. But with the bold statement comes a clear understanding that the success to this art isn’t because they designed it to withstand “against” nature, instead, it is all about being “with” nature.

Moving his livelihood to New York and sharing his art form of old Japanese wood working to the world, Isao Hanafusa, co-owner of Miya Shoji, has carved himself a unique niche in the competitive market of the furnishing industry.
Sought out and revered by New Yorkers wanting that embrace with nature in their interior decor with a style and durability in craftsmanship that can’t be rivaled by most factory produced alternatives.

All furniture selections in Miya Shoji showrooms are hand crafted, even the types lumber used in all his crafts are hand selected by Hanafusa himself. Isao Hanafusa was a graduate of Industrial Revolution studies of which he states has produced countless wonders for the modern world, but its cold machinery has also tragically killed off individual talent that is supposed to reside in craftsmen.

To this day, he rejects criticisms of his methods being unnecessarily old fashioned, because with all the bold talk of technologically advanced tools and methods used in modern day construction work, the Hanafusa family believes a thousand years worth of talent refinement and mastery should not be thrown away in exchange for mass production convenience.

Nor is it going to back down from the contest that their crafts will last even longer than rigid concrete and metal structures for the simple fact they are not designed to resist against the force of mother nature, but to live with her.

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The Moneyless Manifesto: Live Well, Live Rich, Live Free by Mark Boyle

The Moneyless Manifesto: Live Well, Live Rich, Live Free by Mark Boyle
The Moneyless Man Interview – Living without Money and being off the grid

Click to get the book or ebook (Free option below)

– We have come to believe that we need money, that we depend on it to survive. We believe that money provides for us when it is actually Nature. Even Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, said that “all money is a matter of belief”.
– He makes so many potent points and ways of alternate thinking. I mean there is just so much in such a small book! Ideas, resources, quotes. So far 2 pages are dedicated to other moneyless people and their blogs or books or clubs or whatever form of legacy they have left for others.
– How money started as something good and ended up ruining the world in more ways than just morality and environment.
– Excellent breakdown of how we are a part of a whole. The water in the stream is in a glass now and then goes in our bodies and makes part of us.
– Tribal people didn’t store or horde. Families spent real time with each other and had a sense of community.
– Money has made things cold and transactional. A doctor births the baby and accounts are squared and the relationship is over. And these days it’s just numbers on the screen.
– If you grow your own food you wouldn’t waste it. You need your own water you wouldn’t pollute it.
– Economy of Scales EOS – the more you produce the cheaper it costs to produce. It’s so efficient that the planet is being looted. You’re exchanging money with people you will never meet instead of supporting and connecting with the locals.
– Division of Labor DOL – Spending 40+ hours at a desk doing unfulfilling crap. Instead of having different needs and skills.
– Nappies: Most parents are aware that you can make reusable, washable cloth nappies. If these were used by everyone it would save 8 million nappies from being dumped in landfill every day (3 billion annually) in the UK alone, saving parents an average of £500 a year into the bargain. Yet there is an option that saves you both the bother and expense of making and using washable nappies. It is called Elimination Communication (EC), also known as Nappy Free Baby. This is a toilet training technique where a parent uses methods such as signals, cues and intuition to cope with a child’s toileting needs. This method’s ideal is to use no nappies whatsoever, but you may combine it with washable nappies when the situation requires it. Not only would the widespread use of EC take a big chunk out of our landfill sites, save all the energy and materials involved in producing nappies in the first place, and reduce the workload o f parents.
– A culture of scarcity that makes you worry about the other person breaking what you’ve loaned them, or not giving it back, leaving you feeling like the cheated one.
– Interview with Dr. Chris Johnstone about addiction. Connection of consumerism with tolerance.
– Once the land was free for all to roam. More recently, our land was held in common, for the commoners. Now it is owned by the few – 1% own 70% of the land.
– Suggests looking into Freemen when it comes to paying tax.
– Insurance in the old days used to be an understanding with locals who would help. Say like if something happened to your house, the neighbours would have the tools or know how to help.
– He created Freeconomy. You share your time, skills, knowledge for free. Update: The site has teamed up with Streetbank.
– Questions why a bird is free to live on land while we have to pay. Ideas and resources to live as free as possible.
– Indian flag wheel and Gandhi’s meaning of swadeshi. Mahatma Gandhi believed that true national independence would only be achieved through Swadeshi, which roughly translates as self-sufficiency. He believed that India would only truly earn political independence when it achieved economic independence. In order to do this, he encouraged the millions of Indians to start spinning their own cloth again and to stop buying it from industrial fabric centres such as those in Lancashire in England. This culminated in bonfires of Lancashire cloth lighting up the land as a powerful symbolic act. Therefore, the spinning wheel became the symbol of true political independence.
– If I were to create a flag for the planet, it would have a compost toilet on it. The flush toilet represents everything that is psychopathic about our current culture and mindset – we shit and piss into a life-giving liquid, spoiling it in the process, instead of using both of these potential resources (in different ways) to fertilise the soil which, in turn, makes the food that we eat more nutritious. Instead, we import polluting fertilisers from distant laboratories once we’ve finished polluting our waterways. Somehow we’ve managed to take a really beneficial resource for the soil and turn it into a major ecological problem. I urge you to ditch your flush toilet and install a compost loo as a symbolic and, dare I say it, spiritual act. It’s a no -brainer for anyone who wants to simultaneously stop polluting their source of life, drastically reduce their water consumption, and obtain a high quality organic.
– Given the tragic fact that every year in the UK, 3 million pheasants, 800,000 rabbits, 50,000 deer, squirrel and badgers, as well as 25,000 foxes are killed on our roads, (and extrapolating from these appalling statistics, whilst taking into account the differing size of the various animals and, for arguments sake, assuming that 50% of such animals are serviceable as food – i.e. avoiding the tabloid cliché that anyone who eats road kill ‘scrapes it off the tarmac’) then (when accounting for the differing number of servings from each animal) we’re looking at least 8,900,000 potential meals for the practical, discriminating and opportunist forager. Bon appétit!
– If you ever need glass jars or bottles of various shapes and sizes, just do the rounds of the recycling bins of some street in my area on the morning the recycling gets put out each week – you could start a jam factory from the amount of jars you can find during one morning’s stroll.
– Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to import lots of food stuffs into your own food system in order to preserve that which you grow or forage – people have been storing their food in the UK long before industrialised processes and fossil fuels came along. What is important is to slowly learn the skills you’ll need to preserve food – the best way to do this is by asking some of the elders of your community who hold so much unappreciated knowledge that needs to be tapped before it is lost.
– Skin is a little micro ecosystem in itself, and using soap is, in my book, on a par with cultivating the soil – I can see why people do it, but it’s the shenanigans of a people who don’t fully appreciate the intricacies of ecosystems, and the long-term damage we can do from what initially seems like harmless, innocent behaviour.
– Since I’ve been The Soapless Man for many years now, my overriding advice on most things in relation to hygiene is to use water and little else. There rarely is any need for anything more than that, with a few exceptions. When you use soap, you strip away much of the goodness and moisture as well as what we think of as ‘dirt’. The result being that we then become dependent on the same companies that sold us this moisture-robbing agent in the first place to put the moisture back in. They get to sell us two products when none were needed in the first place. People who don’t wash their hair for a few months are regularly quoted as saying their hair starts to clean itself. The same is true for skin. The main reason I can live without soap is that I generally eat a very healthy diet: wholegrains, fruits, nuts, vegetables and clean fresh water, the odd herb tea and little else. All organic and fresh. If you put good stuff in, what comes out will smell fine. If you put junk in, what comes out will smell like junk. It’s that simple.
– Bums and toilet paper: The first question you should ask yourself is – do you need it? I’ve no doubt that almost everyone will say yes! But many cultures use water to clean their bums, and considering we use water for all other parts of our body, there would seem to be a lot of logic in that. If you do prefer to have a wipe, then there are a number of options. First, you can approach your local newsagents and ask them if they’re happy for you to take a couple of copies of the previous day’s papers that they have to normally throw out. Similarly to your dishes, pine cones (choose the softer, decomposing ones from the forest floor) and big clumps of grass work well. Anything broad-leaved is good, though take care not to use any leaves that are toxic or poisonous to humans; a dock leaf will suffice, its anti-inflammatory qualities are particularly soothing if you’ve been on the curry the night before. If you are striving for Enlightenment and want to transcend the mundane material world, then use a bunch of stinging nettles and that will test your mettle. Surprisingly, smooth rocks with no sharp edges also work well, and the more porous the better. If you’re lucky enough to have moss at hand in an emergency situation, go for that. If it’s winter and all of the above are covered in a icy white blanket, then I’d advice using that blanket. Snow certainly isn’t the most appealing option at 6am on a winter’s morning, but that’s sometimes what living ecologically means, so man-up and deal with it! Remember: it’s only poo, and it came from you in the first place!
– Stay4Free is a project which allows you to have a house all to yourself. How it works is simple – you sign up, list both your home and your desired destinations,
and contact anyone on their database that could potentially fit the bill, requesting a house swap. If they fancy coming and spending some time in the part of the world your house is in, then you can agree dates and details between yourselves.
– Hushmail encrypts your email before it is sent so that nobody other than those who are the intended recipients can read it, after they themselves have decrypted it by one means or another. In Hushmail’s words, “a typical email message is no more secure than a holiday postcard sent through the public postal system”, whereas with their system it is more like “a letter in a sealed envelope”.
– Children learn best from practical involvement. Paras note: some squares don’t comprehend how true this is.
– Personal anecdote on his vasectomy and going the natural way to heal himself from complications.
– Medicinal plants work on the body in four main ways, via stimulation, relaxation, nutrition and elimination.
– Using roadkill buckskin is actually ‘more vegan’ than buying natural fibre clothing that has come from the global industrial-scale economy. Vegans who think that buying cotton and other pesticide-ridden fibres produced on land that has, first, been relegated from Wild to agriculturally managed land before, subsequently, being shipped around the world using fossil fuels (which have been extracted in ways that inevitably destroys huge swaths of habitat and all that once lived in it – the Gulf of Mexico being but one example), are deluding themselves to some extent about how ‘vegan’ their lifestyles really are. Pesticides are not vegan, the clue is in the name. Neither are fossil fuels.
– POP Model example – Level 1 (100% local gift economy): Walking barefoot, connecting with the earth beneath my feet. Level 2: Walking in shoes I made myself (or were unconditionally gifted to me) from local materials. Level 3: Walking in shoes I bartered for, which were made from local materials. Level 4: Walking in trainers made in a Chinese factory. Level 5: Cycling on an industrial scale bicycle. Level 6: (100% global monetary economy): Driving a hybrid car.
– As Epicurus once pointed out, there are two ways of getting rich: increasing your financial wealth, or decreasing your desires.

Note: Bhavna made a good point about the author’s profits from book sales and how that is the opposite of being Moneyless. He might be gifting it or contributing it in some way. Update: Just found a site where the book is made free online and looks like you can order a copy too. http://www.moneylessmanifesto.org/why-free/

Table of Contents – with subtitles to reduce notes
– Foreword by Charles Eisenstein
– Introduction
A reluctant author
All art is propaganda

1. The Money Delusion
Moneyless philosophy and the delusion of self
Time isn’t money
Real community requires interdependency
Our disconnection from what we consume
The Economies of Scale (EOS) married to money
The Division of Labour (DOL) married to money
Money causes waste
Gross inequality through the storing of value
Prostitution is to sex what buying and selling is to giving and receiving
Time to choose a new story?

2. The Moneyless Menu
WHAT IS A MONEYLESS ECONOMY?
The moneyless economy defined
The gift economy
THE GIFT ECONOMY IN ACTION
The 100% local economy
Local currencies
Barter
The resource-based economy (RBE)
Pay-it-forward

3. The POP model
HOW IT WORKS
Moneyless women and men

4. Challenges and transitional Strategies
Current human culture
Addiction to industrialisation
Land ownership
Planning permission for low / zero impact living
Council tax – the tax on being alive
Insurance
Being a parent

5. Labour and Materials
Labour
Freeconomy
Gift circles
Help Exchange
Other skillsharing schemes
The art of flint knapping
Materials
General stuff
Freecycle and Freegle
The Freeshop
Street freecycling
Skips
Sharing – not giving away – your stuff
Nappies
Books and paper
Booksharing websites
Booksharing clubs
Bookcrossing
Libraries
Newspapers
Paper and pens
Tools, gadgets and equipment
Five things to do with a pallet
Pallets

6. Land
Land of the free
Windowsills and small spaces
Landshare
WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
Turning urban wastelands into growing spaces
Create an inspiring vision and pursue it passionately
EMBERCOMBE – THE STORY OF ITS CREATION
Join an established community
Ghost towns
Buy land
PERMACULTURE AND RELOCALISATION
Campaigning for realistic land reform

7. Home
Free house
Squatting
House – and boat-sitting
Caves
The blackhouse
Cheap (or potentially free) to build, free to run houses
Passive solar designs
Earthships
Earth bag construction
Straw bale homes and guest houses
Subterranean houses
Circular houses
Compost toilets
COMPOST: ONE MAN’S SHIT IS ANOTHER MAN’S FERTILISER
Humanure
Wormeries

8. Food and Water
FOOD
Wild food foraging
WILD PROTEIN: LEAF CURD AND ROADKILL
How to make leaf curd
How to store and use the curd
Wild food and roadkill
Growing
Seed saving and swapping
Perennial plants
Closed loop systems
Organics
HOMEMADE NATURAL, ORGANIC PESTICIDES, FERTILISERS AND PLANT AND SOIL ENHANCERS
Pests
Biodynamics
Forest Gardening
AGROFORESTRY: ESSENTIAL FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
No-dig gardening
THE NO DIG (NO-TILL) METHOD
Guerrilla gardening
Skipping
Other ideas
Eggs
Honey
Storing your produce
Community orchards and the Abundance project
Water
Water wells and bore holes
Rainwater Harvesting
Springs, streams and rivers

9. Washing
WASHING OURSELVES
Showers
Baths
Bodies
Hand soap
Deodorant
Moisturisers and toners
Bums and toilet paper
Teeth and mouth
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Mouthwash
Hair
Washing
Haircutting
Shaving
Clothes
Washing
Drying
Detergent
Home
CLEANING USING 100% LOCAL INGREDIENTS
Dish Scrubbers

10. Transport and Holiday accommodation
AN ODE TO WALKING BAREFOOT
– Transport
Moneyless shoes
Hitchhiking
RULES OF THE ROAD
Bicycles bits and pieces
Liftsharing
Freebus
Accommodation when you get there
Wild Camping
Bushcraft Shelter
Long-term free accommodation

11. Living Off-grid
Electrical Energy
Lighting
Cooking
The Campfire
Rocket Stove
Hay box
Earth Ovens
Heating
Jumpers (and long johns)
Gas bottle wood-burner
Masonry stove
Sources of wood
THE FIREWOOD POEM
Solar Thermal
Open source ecology
OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGIES AND FREE COMMUNICATION
Computers, mobile phones and other communication devices
Free Communication
Skype
Linux
OpenOffice and LibreOffice
Information security
DuckDuckgo and Startpage
Hushmail
TrueCrypt

12. Education
EDUCATION FOR A NON-MONETARY ECONOMY
Home education
THE OPTION OF HOME EDUCATING
How does it work?
How do your children mix and make friends?
What about cost?
What happens as they get older?
A different understanding
Freeskilling
FREESKILLING IN PRACTICE: SOURDOUGH BREAD
Other projects and ideas
The Barefoot College
Other alternative schools
EDUCATION IN A GIFT WORLD

13. Health and Sex
A personal anecdote
HEALTH OF THE EGOCENTRIC AND HOLISTIC SELVES
At what point do we stop?
Localised healthcare options
Herbalism
WILD DRUGS
Identification
Harvesting
General guidelines
Preparation
Elder – Sambucus nigra
Nettle – Urtica spp.
Dandelion – Taraxacum officinalis
Pot Marigold – Calendula officinalis
Garlic – Allium spp.
Peppermint – Mentha spp.
Thyme – Thymus spp.
Chamomile – Matricaria recutica
A selection of local remedies
Migraines and headaches
Cold sores
Hayfever
Other local forms of healthcare
Plasters for cuts
Women’s health
Wild sex
Contraception
Lubricants
Aphrodisiacs
Dildos
SPEAKING OF SEX
A SIMPLE CHOICE

14. Clothing and Bedding
Clothing
Short-term clothing solutions
Clothes swapping and sharing evenings
Make do and mend
Go freeshopping
Reinvent
Long-term clothing solution
Hemp and Nettles
Braintanned roadkill buckskin
Jewellery
Bedding
Peg loomed woollen underblankets
Pillows
Duvets

15. Leisure
Learn to play (and make) an instrument
SOUNDS FROM THE UNCIVILISED
Painting, parties and booze
PAINTING
STREET PARTIES
BOOZE
LOCAL BOOZE FOR FREE
Other fun stufff
Games
Music, comedy and performance
Groups
Debate evenings
Movies
Imagination
FREE YOURSELF FROM YOUR MONETARY MASTERS

16. The Beginning is Nigh

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Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji by A P J Abdul Kalam & Arun Tiwari

Click to get the book or ebook

Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji by A P J Abdul Kalam & Arun Tiwari
Thank you Kumar for lending me the book.
– Book of mirdad mentioned!
– Story of Bhagwan Swaminarayan aka Ghanshyam aka Neelkanth Varni.
– History of Akshardham inception to completion.
– He didn’t go for a second term in presidency as per Pramukh Swami’s advice.
– Kalam has written a lot of books.
– There was a time when Indian temples didn’t have images like mosques. Goes more into temples history and differences between northern style and southern style.
– Gandhi’s story.
– Story of Indians travelling to east Africa to work on the railway and later evolving to agricultural enterprises. Uganda was called the Kashmir of Africa. Satsangs were springing up all over the place until Idi Amin came into power and expelled 80,000 Asians. Sir Charles Cunningham helped build the Swaminarayan Mandir (temple) for those who fled to UK. President Museveni later returned 4 BAPS Mandirs in Uganda.
– Mentions 4 of the Six Subtleties. Ruh – divine breath, qulb – emotional heart, sirr – ego and Nafs – pleasure seeking 5 senses. Wiki Laṭaʾif as-Sitsta to know more.
– Gets into different scientists theories of consciousness.
– Emphasises how children should see consistency in what they see and hear from parents and practising what is preached. How they copy what they see from their parents.
– 13 August 2016. As I read this book I see a post from dad with RIP to Pramukh Swami Maraj. One of the first gurus I met and I remember a huge function happening in the school right behind my house. I used to climb the walls then and ended up on top of the thatched structure they made for the function too. My first experience of meeting Swamiji was asking him to get dad to stop smoking. He gave me this necklace with orange dots.
– Ghar sabha is where family gather, members pray, read scriptures, discuss values and amicably settle differences.
– 5 principles which promote family unity: meet each other; praise and appreciate each other; recognise and acknowledged the talents and virtues of your family members, particularly encouraging children by appreciating them; help each other; and, above all, exercise forgiveness.
– Talks about how beliefs can change DNA – epigenetics.
– History of Baruch Spinoza (the Prince of Philosophers) and his idea of God and Nature as two names for a same reality.
– Explains how life came about on the planet and evolved to create the atmosphere we have now, the same with the sun and chemicals involved and how we can see gods work in it all.
– Gives his take on leaders and examples of such brave people.
– Forgiveness is a 5 step process. 1 – not letting go will need energy and sap your vitally it. 2- understanding why it happened. Put yourself in their feet. 3- express the emotion and communicate well. 4- forgive unconditionally. 5- let go fully.

Table of Contents
– Introduction
– Prologue

Part 1 – Experience the Presence
1 – Lead India
2 – You Are Not Who You Think You Are
3 – Peace Grows When It Is Shared
4 – Children Are Everyone’s Future
5 – The Confidence That We Can Do It
6 – Self-Discipline Is The True Path To Dharma
7 – Nothing Less Than God’s Best In Our Lives
8 – Change Alone Is Eternal, Perpetual, Immortal

Part 2 – Spirituality In Action
9 – Portal To The Unseen
10 – Warriors Of The Light
11 – The Doctor Of The Soul
12 – A Status Without Parallel
13 – From Within I Rise
14 – Walking Over The Waves
15 – Living In The Witness Of God
16 – To Give And Forgive Is Divine

Part 3 – Fusion Of Science And Spirituality
17 – In Contemplation Of The Beauty Of Creation
18 – Religions Are The Signposts Of God
19 – Mind Is The Matrix Of All Matter
20 – Growing Into Highly Evolved Physical And Spiritual Beings
21 – The Highest Virtue Is The Intellectual Love Of God
22 – A Dimension As Vast As Space And As Timeless As Infinity
23 – The Unique Throb Of Life In All Creation
24 – God Is The Source Of The Universe

Part 4 – Evolution Of Creative Leadership
25 – A Fearless Look Into The Face Of All Facts
26 – What Prevented You From Prostrating When I Commanded You?
27 – Purity Is The Feminine, Truth The Masculine Form Of Divinity
28 – There Is No Such Thing As Defeat In Non-Violence
29 – Forgiveness Forces Us To Grow Beyond What We Are
30 – The Best Name For God Is Compassion
31 – Vision With Action Can Change The World
32 – The Most Powerful Force On This Planet Is Human Cooperation

– Epilogue
– Notes
– Premukh Swamiji: A Brief Introduction
– Acknowledgements

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Paul Chambers Builds Off-grid Mobile Home with 2 Containers

Paul Chambers had began building a home out of two shipping containers as a project, but when his wife got tired of suburbia and put their four-bedroom home on the market, his project became the couple’s full-time home.

Click to get ebook

Paul and Sarah Chambers were living in rural Scotland when Paul received a job offer in Australia. They packed their belongings and moved to a large home with a pool in an Australian suburb. After only a few months, they began to tire of spending so much of their income on their home. They also felt they’d lost touch with nature and a more active lifestyle (“there weren’t even any trails for walking”, explains Sarah).

So they sold their home and moved with Paul’s “project”: two shipping containers he’d been transforming into a kitchen/bathroom + bedroom/living room. They found someone willing to let them park their new home on their rural property in exchange for making improvements to the land.

When the couple first moved onto the property, the home was a very simple shelter and over the following three years, they built the containers into a proper home.

“There was a tv show that came up in the last couple of years… it was a reality show where contestants were going to build a shipping container house in a day and I was just incredulous thinking how were they going to pull this one off because I’d been at it for two and a half years. It turns out they were just decorating a ‘Wendy house’ and they never actually lived in it so they never got to find out just how bad their design was. They would have froze and they would have been miserable.”

Click to get ebook

“There’s as much effort goes into building a shipping container house as there is in a real house because you need real insulation, you need to make it warm, you need flowing water, you need power points, it’s a real house.”

Their home is completely off the electric and water grids. When they first moved to the bush they used a 3kw Honda generator, but they’ve since installed 2Kw of photovoltaic panels and a bank of batteries and phased out the generator. They have enough energy to power their home with all its conventional appliances, including a standard fridge/freezer. For heating, they rely on firewood (collected from fallen trees on the property; they have “not cut down a single tree”). For air conditioning, they use fans and AC “during really hot days”.

In the beginning they had to rely on water deliveries, but Paul has since installed an extensive rainwater capture setup- both on the roof and gutters beneath the home- which provides for all their water needs: 65 square meters of rain water collection in 10,000 liters of storage. The indoor bathroom includes a shower, but Paul built an outdoor, open air bathtub which they heat with solar in the summertime.

They’ve also created an extensive vegetable garden inside a netted garden cage (after the animals and hot sun destroyed their first attempts). For eggs, they have two hen houses.

Paul has published an ebook explaining how he built the home including a step-by-step guide: buying and moving shipping containers, a wiring diagram and schematics, installing solar panels and a breakdown of costs (He has also been creating his own videos detailing the process).

“Could anyone do this?,” responds Paul to my question. “It’s been a lot of effort and it takes persistence. I’d say persistence is probably the key to it.”

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