Tag Archives: green building materials

Yestermorrow Design/Build School – first workshop this week!

I realized that I hadn’t written a post about the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont, and that I should introduce you all to the place since I have my first class there this coming Sunday. Yestermorrow School is a design/build school that focuses on hands-on teaching and sustainable building practices. They offer workshops that range from 2 days to 4 weeks (and they have a sustainable building semester program with UMass Amherst). Topics range from Green building materials, woodworking, and tiny house building workshops, to architectural design and drawing courses and stained glass making workshops. I found out about them last year and when I read their “Philosophy” statement I was SO HAPPY to find a place that shared my values exactly. All last semester I had been talking about closing the gap between designers and builders, and wasn’t really getting any support in doing that. So I left my college for some time to attend Yestermorrow for the next year, through their Sustainable Design/Build Certificate program. Basically with the certificate program (and they offer certificates in other subjects too)  you choose a handful of week-long, 3-week long, and weekend workshops from a long list of amazing classes. I chose the certificate over the semester program because of the flexibility and that way I could work on The COMET at the same time. I’ve heard the workshops are really intense and totally awesome, and that a 3 week workshop feels like an entire semester. I’m about to find out!

Anyway, here’s their philosophy you you know what I mean:

“Yestermorrow’s courses are specifically designed to demystify the designing and building processes using hands-on, experiential learning to teach students the art and wisdom of good design and the skill and savvy of enduring craftsmanship as a single, integrated process.

This creative process offers students unique insight into the oftentimes disparate worlds of the architect and the builder. Architects are routinely trained without any building experience that might inform their designs, and builders are trained to execute without a sense of the overarching purpose or design of the project.

Combining design and building offers numerous advantages and promotes the creation of intentional and inspired buildings and communities that enhance our world. From the professional design/builder to the do-it-yourself design/build homeowner, every designer should know how to build and every builder should know how to design. This philosophy sets Yestermorrow apart from other educational institutions.”

There you have it. I was in love!

Anyway, this coming Sunday I go up to VT for my first workshop – a 5-day intensive called “Solar Electric Design and Installation”. Just in time, too, because I just bought 3 solar panels! I specifically chose workshops that would help me with the skills associated with designing/building/making the COMET. Once I take this workshop, I’ll be able to install my own photovoltaic system, and show you all how I did it step by step!

Also, if you haven’t seen it already, you should check out this video of the tiny house that the Semester program just built/finished. It is gorgeous!! (see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5mD3iwOb2w)

I encourage you to check out the Yestermorrow website and browse through their courses to get an idea of how awesome the place is. When you attend a class there, you can either stay in the main building, stay in a cabin, or just camp out. I’m really excited! Hopefully at some point I’ll be able to stay in the COMET when I’m up there!

 

Also, on the topic of workshops, I just signed up for the recently announced Tumbleweed Tiny House building workshop in Boston on May 19th and 20th, with Jay Schafer and fellow Massachusetts tiny house guy Deek Diedricksen. I’m really looking forward to it. Personally, I think the Tumbleweed houses are a little too traditional for my style (what can I say – I like recycling junk and using used materials!), but I’m looking forward to building one! Is anyone else planning on going to the Boston Tumbleweed workshop?

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Sprouting

I had an AWESOME day today (okay, technically yesterday because it’s late) and before I go into great detail about all the great stuff I did and saw earlier (tomorrow’s posts, so stay tuned!), I want to do a short post about the little thing I ended the day with. After an incredibly fulfilling and educational day visiting with sponsors and learning about options for green building materials and photovoltaic systems, I stopped by a health food/healthy lifestyle store on my way home that I’d never been to before. I went there specifically to pick up the Sprout-Ease Econo-Sprouter Toppers. These are a set of 3 grated  lids (in 3 different sized grates, and made of recycled plastic) that fit onto your standard mason jar. These nifty jar toppers allow you to easily sprout lentils, radish seeds, mung beans, and anything else you can think of to sprout! The set of 3 means you can have a constant supply of sprouts if you stagger them, and you can use different sized lids for different types of seeds or beans.

I’ve used these extensively before and they work great and make sprouting really easy. A few years ago my band was on tour for a long period of time, and our favorite road snack was sprouted lentils (which are super healthy and full of protein to fuel our rock n’ rollin’). We would rinse them out every day and just keep them in the rear window of the tour-mobile.

I found them for sale online at MotherNature.com, but you can probably find them in your local health food store. The 3 pack was only $4! Definitely worth it.

Also: Couple-a-things:

-My organic beeswax to be used in my home made deodorant making adventure is in the mail, which means that tutorial will be coming next week! Look out for that!

-I have some really great camper eye candy coming up …

-I’m really excited to share with you all my adventure from earlier today, and introduce you to a few more of my newest sponsors! Lots of info about green building materials and where to find them comin’ up tomorrow.

AND I have some 3D SketchUp models of The COMET and some nice computer drawings of her to share, so keep an eye out for that too.

If there’s ever anything you’d like to see me write about or explain here on The COMET Camper blog, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

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On The Green Road

On The Green Road is Cece Reinhardt and Brenda Daugherty. I came across their website when I was researching The COMET project, and since I’ve found them they have been infinitely helpful and supportive of me. They were my first official sponsor! They really are wonderful people and what they have done and are doing to educate people about sustainable, mobile living is amazing.

Cece and Brenda travel the country in their gorgeous Airstream, which has been completely retrofitted with sustainable, green building materials and technologies in alternative energy. They tow their classic Airstream with a truck that runs on Biofuel (waste veggie oil). These visionary ladies give open houses and informational sessions in their off-grid Airstream, spreading the word about sustainable, healthy living. The two of them live in their Airstream full time, they even have a cat!

 

I think their mobile home is absolutely gorgeous and just so well done, it would make any square want to leave their job and hit the road in green style.

 

Their Airstream now features cork flooring, natural linoleum, a Kirei board desk, Paperstone counters, organic textiles, eco-friendly cabinets, a composting toilet, solar panels, and LED lighting. They are in the process of putting on a rainwater harvesting system too!

 

 

“Driving towards sustainability one mile at a time.” Please visit their website and follow their incredible blog: www.greenrvlife.com.

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