Earth Beat, 18 November 2011. Home sweet home - and all its accoutrements. Ever thought about downsizing? We speak to a woman who reduced her living space from 1,500 square feet to just 84. Plus, what do you do when the land your home sits on has been slowly disappearing for the last twenty years?
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She takes us on a tour (click for video) and talks to host Marnie Chesterton about how living in a small space has freed her up, both time-wise, and financially.
Due to her home's size and insulation properties heating costs are tiny - around $8 a month in winter (more photos below).
Living it up in a Mumbai slum
Teacher Muthulakshmi Vishwanathan lives in the city’s Dharavi slum and takes us on a tour of her kitchen, which features all mod cons, explaining that for her the area isn’t downtrodden at all (more photos below).
A coffee table at a bus stop?
What happens when you put a coffee table at a bus stop in downtown LA? Furniture designer Julie Kim did just that and filmed the results. She talks to Marnie about how people reacted to a sidewalk living room.
Devil’s Lake in North Dakota has been rising steadily for nearly two decades, and not much has been done to stop it.
A great deal of the residents have moved away, but a few are sticking it out.
Meet Jim and Diane Yri, who own a few thousand acres of land, but since most of it is underwater, they’ve decided to turn their farm into a fishing resort.
They talk to Marnie about their home, and why they want to stay, even with the water creeping up on them (more photos below).
If your job is working on the world’s biggest wind farm it helps if you can access the turbines easily - no simple task if they’re 50 km out in the North Sea.
So Danish energy company Dong has come up with the practical solution of providing accommodation for their engineers on a platform right next to them.
Carsten Jensen tells us why he’s opted for a dwelling 20 metres perched above the waves.
Life is becoming increasingly difficult for the seal population of the Wadden Sea.
Overfishing, polluted waters and warmer seas means that each year greater numbers of sick seals are being rescued from surrounding beaches.
Producer Louise Stoddard visits the island of Terschelling to help the Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre Lenie 't Hart release some healthy seal pups back into their watery home.
Wild seals nearby will pop their heads above water to welcome the new seals. Sometimes, the newly-released seals will emerge above water with a freshly-caught fish (more photos below).
Read more about the seal release: Pollution, overfishing increases seal rehab numbers.
Going for a picnic in a park for most of us is a romantic thing to do but just imagine if the table you’ve been eating off can also turn into a shelter for the homeless.
Melbourne-based architect Sean Godsell is using his design skills to help make life a little easier for those living on the street. It’s called the picnic table house. And although it’s only a prototype at this stage - its potential is huge.
So how does it work? Well, the table top folds down and becomes a roof. Between the legs of the table there is a stainless steel mattress. Survival kits containing food, hot drinks, bedding, a light and first-aid kit can be found under the bench seats. The picnic table house is one design in a series of social housing prototypes.