Sustainable Compromises: A Yurt, a Straw Bale House, and Ecological Living

Sustainable Compromises: A Yurt, a Straw Bale House, and Ecological Living

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Author/Contributor(s): Boye, Alan
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Date: 05/01/2014
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW

Living simply isn't always simple. When Alan Boye first lived in sustainable housing, he was young, idealistic, and not much susceptible to compromise--until rattlesnakes, black widow spiders, and loneliness drove him out of the utilities-free yurt he'd built in New Mexico. Thirty-five years later, he decided to try again. This time, with an idealism tempered by experience and practical considerations, Boye and his wife constructed an off-the-grid, energy-efficient, straw bale house in Vermont. Sustainable Compromises chronicles these two remarkable attempts to live simply in two disparate American eras. Writing with hard-won authority and humor, Boye takes up the "how-to" practicalities of "building green," from finances to nuts and bolts to strains on friends and family. With Walden as a historical and philosophical touchstone and his own experience as a practical guide, he also explores the ethical and environmental concerns that have framed such undertakings from Thoreau's day to our own. A firsthand account of the pleasures and pitfalls of living simply, his book is a deeply informed and engaging reflection on what sustainability really means--in personal, communal, ethical, and environmental terms.


Alan Boye is a professor of English at Lyndon State College in Vermont. His most recent book is Tales from the Journey of the Dead: Ten Thousand Years on an American Desert (Nebraska, 2006).