Between Beavers and Termites

hunting and gathering T-shirtThanks to PBS I’ve discovered that my humanly talents at home building reside somewhere between that of a beaver and a termite (the termite being more efficient, the beaver less). Said dreary program also informed me that “all homes are unsustainable.”

I mean, crap. Just because it’s true in a “we’re all going to die eventually” sort of way doesn’t mean I want to smoke it on a Wednesday evening. Then again, there might be something to this whole naked foraging/hunting and gathering thing. Maybe our ancestors gave up on that too easily.

But I’m not the kid of guy to take such a PBS pimp-slap sitting on the sofa. A termite? I’ll show you, Betty White, who can build a more sustainable home than a termite! (As long as no termites are around to mess it up for me.) [Read more…]

Build your Post-Apocalyptic Compound with Hemcrete

by Miroslavk82When acid rain starts to fall, mutant scorpions attack and marauding wackos try to eat your flesh you don’t want to find yourself holing up in a ramshackle farm house or an abandoned flat in NYC or London. You’re going to need a practical yet functional fortress to weather the decades of madness until the dove returns with the olive branch in its beak.

To build said fortress you’ll need to consider security, self-sustainability and endurance. The answer to all three is, you guessed it, hemcrete. (Start bugging your representatives to legalize the growing of hemp now, so you can start construction before the end comes.) Hemcrete is a bio-composite building material made by mixing specially prepared hemp shiv with a lime-based binder (Montana Hemp Council Magazine, Vol. 4, 2011).

Basically, this means hemcrete is made from cooked lime and ground up hemp stalks. But the result is as zombie proof, fire proof, mutant bug proof, bullet proof, mohawk proof dwelling. [Read more…]

Redneck Sustainability: Rodeo as Bloodsport

Thunderdome from Burning Man 2005

Bloodsport is such a nasty word these days. And who would disagree with such barbarisms as dog and cockfighting making the news? In the wilder rural arenas drunk misogynists strap on paintball guns and hunt bikini-clad (or totally nude!) women for sport. I’m aghast too, believe you me.

But there is one bloodsport in the U.S. doing its best to give the whole misdirected genre its good name back –Rodeo. And once again, rednecks are leading the way. According to most on-line dictionaries bloodsport can refer to either a game or sport designed to end in death, or one typically involving the shedding of blood. While both of these are indeed bloodsport, today I’m referring to the gentlemanly tradition of risking life and limb for glory and entertainment. [Read more…]