This week Awesome Stories brings you true love, disappearing highways, freedom, edible packaging and natural homes.
Check out this gorgeous cobb and straw bale home located in SE Michigan. This is one of the better examples of functional, beautiful and affordable natural home building. They offer many tours, workshops and internships on natural building and sustainable living if you’re interested. I love the design and would definitely live in a home like this. The scenery is pretty nice too! What do you think? Would you live in a home like this?
Watch this moving video about a couple who wed for true love. I won’t spoil the backstory for you. It’s pretty amazing.
This sounds like a great idea. Researchers have been testing new film packaging that is coated in essential oils. Traditional plastic film can leach harmful chemicals into the foods, uses fossil fuels and can be a disposal problem. After learning about the antimicrobial properties of essential oils like oregano and clove, they decided to create a better packaging. Their packaging is made from a cellulose fiber, then coated with extrusions of essential oil. After testing they found that the oil treated film substantially inhibited the growth of bacteria and mold on the breads. In fact, the essential oils worked better than traditional chemical preservatives at inhibiting mold growth on bread.
Here’s a new twist on the freedom fighters of old. What started as a local group of women wanting to understand and improve their lives became Freedom Inc., a non-profit committed to creating a better world for African Americans and Southeast Asians. Their mission is to end violence and bring about deep social, political, cultural, and economic change. Through leadership and community organizing they help empower their community.
Engineers Without Borders
Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has teamed up with Reuse Everything Institute to address the problems of plastic waste and poverty in developing countries like Ecuador. They’ve created a simpler way to reuse the plastic to make strips for thatching roofs. Plastic waste from bottles is a huge problem, especially in developing countries that have few recycling programs. The best part is the residents would be trained on how to create businesses to repurpose the plastic waste into useable building materials with simple equipment.
Seoul’s Disappearing Highways
Urban planners in Seoul, Korea created a bold plan to tear down an elevated highway that was a major traffic artery right through the middle of downtown. This could have been a dream or nightmare. It could have gone wrong in so many ways with political fighting, resistant residents, construction problems or increased traffic congestion. Instead, the new plan smoothed traffic flow, increased property values, created happy residents, a revitalized downtown and broad public support. It worked so well, with unexpected benefits like a revitalized river ecosystem, that similar projects are being undertaken around the country.
Dying with Dignity
Dying is a hard topic for many, myself included. This article offers an insightful look at how to honor a dying person’s wishes and with a process that treats them with care, dignity and courage. The author talks about how too often a person’s life is dragged out with unnecessary procedures to extend their lives. As a psychologist, Charles Godwin has helped hundreds of people make a transition with dignity, evolving into the Shanti project to provide compassionate, trained listeners to help patients and their families through the transition of dying. Here are his suggestions for 7 keys to a good death.
Let’s make the most of our days and lives. Gratitude is a good way to open your heart.