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My Dream (Hobbit?) House

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My friend Chris Baskind says this house is for “upwardly mobile, fashion forward hobbits.” I THINK that describes me….

OK, I’m having a severe case of house lust. Have you ever seen a cuter little abode? Check the website for more pictures, as well as plans and details of the sustainable aspects of the this “Low Impact Woodland Home”, which include:

* Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
* Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
* Frame of oak thinnings (spare wood) from surrounding woodland
* Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally and aesthaetically fantastic and very easy to do
* Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
* Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
* Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)
* Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
* Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring…)
* Woodburner for heating – renewable and locally plentiful
* Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat
* Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations
* Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light
* Solar panels for lighting, music and computing
* Water by gravity from nearby spring
* Compost toilet
* Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.

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Not only is it so cozy and inviting, it is gorgeous inside too!

And in case you were feeling like a productive member of society, to top it off, this couple built the house for around $6,000 with a baby and a toddler to distract them! (I guess now I’d feel bad about kicking them out and moving in, since it would just be me and my cats and dog. But not that bad, ha ha!)

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.