Awesome Stories 180

This week Awesome Stories brings you true love, disappearing highways, freedom, edible packaging and natural homes.

Gorgeous Cobb Homestrawbale home, Awesome Stories

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?

True Love

Watch this moving video about a couple who wed for true love. I won’t spoil the backstory for you. It’s pretty amazing.

Edible Packaging

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.

Freedom FightersFreedom Inc., Awesome Stories

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 greenspace, Seoul, Korea, Awesome StoriesUrban 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.


22 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 180

  1. When, oh when, will I ever learn NOT to put mascara on before reading your stories??! Love all of this, but that wedding video…crikey! Thank you for always putting life in perspective for me, Brad!!


  2. absolutely LOVED this blog! I happen to live in SE Michigan (represent) and the video of the wedding was beyond remarkable…. thank you


  3. You’re welcome Annette! I love it when the stories touch or inspire others. By chance have you visited the Straw Bale community? And if so, what did you think? Their love and wedding brought tears for me.


  4. Hi Brad. Love this week’s stories. Yes yes yes….I would live in that little house…it is charming!!! The video made me cry also. And I have to say something about dying with dignity after the week I just had…yes…I think the 7 steps would most definitely be helpful…it is a very scary time for people…more should be written about the topic. Love to you Brad…didn’t get to the ocean yet…but I will!!! ❤


    • Thanks Lorrie, I would love to live in that house and setting too. 🙂 Yes, a scary and hard time. Ideally the hard questions are addressed while people have their faculties. Our family went through related issues with my stepfather as his health was deteriorating. I expect photos of the ocean. XD


  5. Bravo, EWB and Freedom, Inc. Without Borders efforts are growing across many professional groups and they’re contributing positively. The Freedom Fighters efforts just goes to show that grassroots initiatives can and are successful. And inspiring!

    Yet in my eyes (and heart) the best article here is the repost of Dr. Garfield’s article. While he espouses little new in terms of how to nurture the process with compassion and dignity, it’s always good to remind people about what really matters. Having volunteered in hospice settings, I hear and appreciate his reminders. All good ‘stuff,’ Brad. 🙂


  6. Thanks Eric. My heart is right there with you. Hospice is another group that helps families face death with dignity. Sounds like you’ve heard of EWB. I hadn’t until this post. I appreciate your support.


  7. Oh…wow. Just wow. Especially liked that highways are actually disappearing! That’s been a dream of Ryan’s for so long. And the true love wedding…should I thank you for that misleading video that made me cry on a Monday morning? ha, not sure. Keep sharing!


  8. Ha, Thanks Amanda. That video caught many of us! I loved the story about Korea taking down highways too. I don’t know that it would happen here, but there’s always hope. I appreciate you and your support. 🙂


  9. The humble abode…magical! The wedding video…um, having held a dying child in my arms (several times) the dignity and preciousness of life and love portrayed in this video is beyond words – beyond. Thank you for reminding us how powerful is love. Love and light. ~Karen~


  10. A really special edition of your Awesome Magazine, Brad.
    From the Cobb house to the wedding to the stories about new ways of making things for the betterment of the environment, and always an empowerment story about young people doing great things to improve their lives and that of others.

    Way to go.


  11. Thanks Cynthia. Some weeks I find great stories to share. 🙂 I love the uplifting stories we share within our blog community too as each of us writes and shares parts of our lives and hearts. ❤ Great name; Awesome Magazine. blessings to you and yours,


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