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Friday 31 October  
Dee Williams outside her mini home

Earth Beat - Home

On air: 18 November 2011 3:00 (Photo: RNW)

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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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Dee Williams in Olympia, Washington, south of Seattle
Dee Williams in Olympia, Washington, south of Seattle
Welcome to my little house

Seven years ago, Dee Williams decided to get rid of her three-bedroom house and replace it with an 84 square foot mini-home that she built herself.

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

Sewage water flows along a channel in an open garbage dump in Dharavi slum, Mumb
Sewage water flows along a channel in an open garbage dump in Dharavi slum, Mumbai
Think of shanty towns and you don’t necessarily think of swish homes full of the latest gadgets, but Mumbai’s growing middle-classes are jazzing up their slum homes.

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.


A barn at Devils Lake, North Dakota – water has reclaimed more than 2000 acres o
A barn at Devils Lake, North Dakota – water has reclaimed more than 2000 acres of the 3000 acres that Jim and Diane Yri own
Rising water forces farmers to become fishermen

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).


Accomodation platform - Dong wind farm
Accomodation platform - Dong wind farm
Living the high life

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.


Seal release into the Wadden Sea, Terschilling
Seal release into the Wadden Sea, Terschilling
Sending seals back to their natural habitat

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.


The Picnic Table House
The Picnic Table House
Picnic Table House

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.

  • Dee Williams has a mini home in her friends backyard and is on wheels, so can be hitched to a truck<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Dee and her dog Rudy<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • The kitchen. Her home measures just 84 sq foot (9 sq metres)<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Dee sleeps upstairs in the loft area<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • The mini home is very well-insulated - heating costs are around $8 a month in winter<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • An open dumping ground in Dharavi slum, Mumbai<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Children play in an open area alongside a garbage dumping ground in Dharavi slum, Mumbai <br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • All modern conveniences in the kitchen of Muthulakshmi Vishwanathan, Dharavi slum, Mumbai <br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Entrance to the home of Muthulaksh​mi Vishwanath​an in Dharavi slum, Mumbai <br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Balasubramanian, 11, and Vijayadurga, 4, at their home,  Dharavi, Mumbai<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Balasubramanian, 11, playing a video game oh his computer at their home,  Dharavi, Mumbai<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Kani, a housewife who runs a tailoring business from her home, with a customer<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • A young girl standing outside her familys one-room home, Dharavi slum in Mumbai <br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Shoreline at Devils Lake, North Dakota<br>&copy; Photo: Jim and Diane Yri - http://www.westbayresort.com/index.html
  • Devils Lake, North Dakota - August 11, 1984<br>&copy; Photo: NASA Earth Observatory - http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=42624
  • Devils Lake, North Dakota - September 1, 2009<br>&copy; Photo: NASA Earth Observatory - http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=42624
  • Seal release into the Wadden Sea, Terschilling<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Louise Stoddard - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Seal release into the Wadden Sea, Terschilling<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Louise Stoddard - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Seal release into the Wadden Sea, Terschilling<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Louise Stoddard - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Seal release into the Wadden Sea, Terschilling<br>&copy; Photo: RNW/Louise Stoddard - http://www.rnw.nl/english

Discussion

Anonymous 16 March 2013 - 6:09am / Canada

Awesome!!! I just love you cute, warm, comfy, little home!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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