Living in a Yurt
Yurts are almost a no-go zone on TreeHugger along with Birkenstocks and ponchos, but when I learned that David Masters of the Luna Project lived in one just a few minutes away from Cambridge, Ontario, I had to check it out. He actually has two of them made by Oregon's Pacific Yurts, a 30' diameter 706 square foot classroom, and a 24' diameter home unit.
Both yurts are set below the brow of the hill for protection from the winds, built on decks that are bolted together and sitting on deck pads rather than foundations so that they can be taken apart and removed without a trace. I thought this iffy on a hill but Dave hasn't slid away yet.
One enters from a lovely deck
And the interior is a revelation. Round rooms are tough to furnish, but placing the bookcase in the middle divides it up wonderfully into zones.
with a nice Ikea kitchen with alcohol stove and full fridge.
there is a cozy work area next to the stove, which is the sole source of heat. The yurt's walls are made from seven layers of reflective insulation.
the electrical system's controls are mounted on the bookcase;
all the electricity needed to power the place comes from two solar panels and a small turbine generating 3.2 Kw per day and stored in 4 batteries, set at the top of the hill.
We talk all the time about living with less; Dave lives in 706 square feet with off grid power, a composting toilet, a shower and a full kitchen and didn't give anything up at all to live in comfort and style. When you live in 706 square feet you don't need much to run it; he collects water from his roof, power from the sun and wind, heat from sustainably cut wood. He spends about six hundred bucks a year for his propane barbeque, gas for his chainsaw and log splitter and that is about it. He appears to enjoy it, imagine if more of us lived this way. Check out the ::Luna Project