Earth Toys August EMagazine

earth toys.jpg August emagazine is up and it is full of great articles about alternative energy, green building, organic gardening, and more! Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

• Is American Ready for Hydrogen?
• Scotland – UK Green Revolution.
• Micro Thermoelectric Generators.
• LED Buyer Beware!
• Greening Affordable Housing.
• Natural Fertilizers Outperform Chemicals.

I particularly enjoyed the greening affordable housing article, which talks about Habitat for Humanity’s East Bay projects in Oakland, California. Habitat East Bay (HEB) is working hard to make green housing available for all levels of the economic spectrum:

For years Habitat East Bay (HEB) experimented with environmentally friendly products. In 2002 the organization adopted sustainability into its mission, making a commitment to build all of its homes using green building principles.

HEB homes.jpg

HEB has received grants from the Environmental Protection Agency to renovate brown fields, clean them up, and make them available for housing. Additionally, they use a number of environmentally-friendly products in their construction, including engineered lumber instead of solid sawn wood, fiber-cement board siding, which contains recycled material, and recycled latex paints. Natural linoleum, which is made from renewable sources, is used in the kitchen and baths of HEB homes. It is very durable and is considered a better construction material than sheet vinyl.

They are also implementing elements of passive solar design and advanced framing. Advanced framing is also known as “Optimum Value Engineering,” and involves laying out studs every 24 inches instead of every 16 inches. Most homes have a southern exposure and photovoltaic panels to help reduce energy costs for families.

It is clear that HEB is leading the way in green housing for low income families. Let’s hope more organizations follow their lead!