The top ten posts of the week, from dumb homes to smart eating
10. In praise of the Dumb Home© Harrison Architects build a dumb house and forget the furnace.
After a week of looking at smart home stuff at CES and reading about how Google was buying Nest to get a foot in the door of the smart home of the future, it was time to take a step back and look at the idea of the dumb home, so well insulated and sealed that a smart thermostat would be bored stupid.
9. Modern Farmer explains why there are no GMO oatsMichael Himbeault/CC BY 2.0
Well, oops. First TreeHugger reported how Cheerios were going GMO free. It turns out that this is no big difficult claim, because oats, the main ingredient of the cereal, never were GMO to begin with, the market's too small. It's just opportunistic marketing.
8. One of the world's largest rooftop farms is in BrooklynFrank Gapinski/Video screen capture
Some of the more fanciful notions of vertical farming are starting to feel like futuristic nonsense. But it's hard to argue with the idea that we can make better use of the flat spaces above our buildings than we currently do now.
7. Photo: Ricky the Jaguarundi© Jennifer Umland
This is the first time a photo from the TreeHugger photo pool was one of the top ten posts of the week, proving once again that cute cat pictures drive the internet.
6. Does your home have high radon?© C. Lepisto
The downside of building greener, tighter homes is that it becomes easier for radon gas to build up in it. Many homes in North America are sitting on top of rock that produces the stuff. Christine demonstrates how to find out if your house has it and what to do about it.
5. This inspiring family generates only 1 quart of waste annually© Zero Waste Home (used with permission) They live in a nice house, too, love the psychedelic supergraphic. They follow 5 of the 7 rs: Refuse, reduce, recycle, rot.
4. You will want to live in The ROSE Cottage, a net zero energy home built for a lifetime© RCM Zero Energy
Whoa, did I take a lot of abuse in comments and on twitter for this. There is no question that this a big house in the country with a whole lot of gizmo green, but it is also a test bed of technology, built by a successful builder who wants to offer zero energy houses to the public. And Harold Turner is a lovely man who takes this all very seriously.
3. Shark species thought to be extinct is rediscovered by accident in a Kuwait fish marketFlickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Hey dear, look what I found in the fish market, an extinct species!
2. 10 Low-tech tactics for living more sustainablyilovemypit/CC BY 3.0
As our Technology section commenters love to point out, we often publish pieces on green tech and cleantech advances that are more "pie in the sky" concepts and solutions instead of realistic and viable methods of living more sustainably that the average person can implement at home.
So Derek gets personal and talks about what he does and how he tries to live a greener life.
1. Why it's a good idea to stop eating shrimpwwarby/CC BY 2.0
When I was a kid, shrimp were a rare and expensive treat; now they are the most popular seafood in America. But the " process that delivers bags of frozen shrimp to your grocery store at cheap prices has devastating ecological consequences, and you’ll probably not want to touch that shrimp ring ever again after reading what’s really happening behind the scenes."