UK: City Plans Wood and Straw ‘Eco Pod’ Housing Maintained by Homeless

TOPSHOT - Environmental activists rally during the UK Student Climate Network's Global Climate Strike protest action in central London, on September 20, 2019. - Millions of people are taking to the streets across the world in what could be the largest climate protest in history. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / …
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A homeless charity wants to build wood and straw “eco-pod” accommodation for tourists visiting Bristol, and the properties will be maintained by formerly homeless people.

The charity said that it has embarked on the venture to generate income in response to rising vagrancy.

Charity Emmaus Bristol has applied for planning permission for two eco-pods which will be made out of wood and straw and built on stilts around a birch tree in an area of the city described as a “vibrant cultural quarter”, the BBC reports.

Craig White, director of White Design, which designed the pods, said: “The idea is that you can stay in a super low-carbon pod made of timber and straw in the middle of one of the most vibrant cultural quarters in the UK.

“We would use wheat straw, which is a good insulator and as it grows it consumes carbon dioxide. So by building in this way we are actually banking carbon.”

There has been push for micro-accommodations in recent years, normally as a means to fit as many people as possible into some of the Western world’s most overcrowded cities — with notably little reduction in price.

In Los Angeles, city dwellers can live in new “co-living complexes” of 18 people, where personal pods are wide enough for a single bed and to sit in, but not stand in — receiving all the luxury of such living for the cost of $945 per person per month.

However, similar attempts to squeeze people into smaller and smaller space has seen some pushback, with students from the University of West England Bristol complaining in October that their eight-by-ten foot student rooms were “not fit for humans”.

The rooms cost £150 a week, whereas campus accommodation costs from just £111 per week.

Earlier this week, social media users mocked what estate agents Foxtons described as a “stunning studio flat” in its listings which had the toilet bowl just feet away from the bed. The tiny flat, in Camden, London, is on the market for £1,600 a month.

The past 12 months have seen the rise of several eco-friendly fads, including meatless burgers sold at Burger King, vegan sausage rolls by British baker Greggs, and cockroach milk — “predicted to be a trend in 2020”, according to Metro.

Like other alternative “milks” such as soy and almond, the secretion extracted from the guts of the shelled creature commonly associated with uncleanliness has been given “superfood” status, Metro claims. It is being hailed as an eco-friendly alternative to cow’s milk.

Eating bugs was recently endorsed by the Great British Bake-Off‘s Prue Leith, who said that Britons should embrace it as a viable protein alternative to beef, thus saving the planet. He predicted that in 10 years’ time bug-eating will be the norm.

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