Take sustainable housing design and bring it three steps further and what do you get? The environmentally and socially sustainable eco-village known as Katywil nestled in the town of Colrain, Massachusetts.
What’s unique about this community is not that it consists of sustainable housing that uses local or regional materials and low volatile-organic-compound (VOC) wood, tile and alike, rather that the development is gearing towards producing its own energy with microhydro and photovoltaic generated electricity.
With attention paid to energy reduction, each house is sized moderately to maximize the passive-solar design. Along with a high R-Value insulation these homes take full advantage of capturing energy from the sun and retaining it within a controlled environment.
A great added feature is that the homes are handicapped accessible; so all walks of life are welcome. It doesn’t stop there, though. Katywil has planned gardens, orchards and beehives bringing a true self-sufficient lifestyle into the everyday life of its community members.
The concept was brought to life by founder, Bill Cole. Influenced by his grandparents Kate & Will (hence the name Katywil), Bill was able to bring their love of nature and the environment full circle with this very unique eco-village concept.
For more detail visit www.katywil.com. Floor plans are available as well as a map of the community in progress.
…make your home more energy efficient
Your Windows Need Shades
Becoming energy efficient doesn’t have to happen overnight. Incremental improvements can reduce the size of your carbon footprint without breaking the bank.
Beyond energy efficient appliances solar shades are an affordable option with a host of benefits. Solar shades reduce energy consumption by reflecting heat away from the windows. The house stays cooler; you use less ac and save. They also decrease the amount of heat that escapes from the house, so the savings continues in the winter months as well.
Solar shades offer varying shades of outward visibility, so you can control the amount of natural light and visibility to your own personal taste. They reduce the sun’s glare and UV rays and help to maintain a consistent inside temperature.
Cleaning is easy by simply wiping with a damp cloth alone or with warm water and mild dish-soap.
Material and options vary giving you creative flexibility with your interior solar shades.
What does it take to be different in the green cleaning products industry? Losing weight in the back-end; water weight that is. Conserve® Brand has developed a way to eliminate the water in their cleaning solutions by reproducing the active ingredients in tablet form. This innovation in patented powder technology reduces the weight of the product by 85%, so fewer trucks are needed for delivery, which directly lowers the consumption of fossil fuels. Another advantage is that only one reusable bottle is needed, so landfills aren’t swelled with empty bottles after each use. This is obviously great news for the environment on multiple levels in addition to the product effectiveness, which is comparable to the widely accepted liquid brands.
The tablet dilutes quickly when added to warm water. Just give a little shake and it’s ready to use. The cleaning power of the Multi-Surface Cleaner works well on kitchen surfaces and is lightly scented, which is an added extra for people that are sensitive to strong perfumed-odors.
There’s a cost incentive, too. Usually green solutions are more expensive. This is not the case with Conserve®. Their products are priced less than national brand cleaners, so the consumer benefits in the green technology as well as economically.
The cleaning tablets can be purchased individually or with one bottle and 4 tablets. Each tablet mixes with 32 oz. of water.
Conserve® Brand cleaning products can be purchased on www.conservebrand.com