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Posted July 29, 2008
With his PhD in reproductive physiology, Chiras really has the expertise to write this book. Of course, he got expert opinions, and he has spent a long time with green building. Some of his statements are hypocritical, however. He says most people only need 1,200 square feet, when he has a house of 2,700 square feet for him and his kids Skyler and Forrest and an office area. I can't remember the others, but there are a couple. Otherwise, though, Chiras gives a lot of useful information on a multitude of natural building methods, some not so great, others wonderful. He also details a lot of different companies that make green products, talks about rain catchment and many other things imperative for green living. Some of the companies, like Jade Mountain, and some of the websites, I could not find because the book is eight years old. Some of the techniques are outdated because natural building, especially straw bales, have come a long way since then. If you don't like that kind of person that bashes modern homebuilding at every turn, stay away from this book. It will either strengthen your convictions or annoy you. (Also, Chiras is the kind of guy that lives in the mountains in Colorado, kayaks, names his kids Forrest and Skyler, complains at the way most of us live. Essentially a mixed yuppy/hippy, which can get aggravating.
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