Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Green Profiles

  • Print
A straw-bale retreat

BILL Martin and Sharon Mulder's bed and breakfast on Lake Winnipeg is also their year-round home: the couple built the Last Straw Bed and Breakfast themselves, using straw bales and pine.

"I think I've touched every particle of everything in this house," said Martin.

The B&B 60 km north of Riverton opened about a month ago. Martin said the home's steel roof "should last forever," and the cement-covered bale walls keep the space toasty. The couple used special paint that doesn't off-gas and lets air pass through, so moisture won't build in the walls.

The home has no air conditioning but keeps cool with an air circulation system, fans and a screened deck. In winter, a high-efficiency wood stove heats the 2,000-square-foot space, with the occasional use of baseboard heaters.

A natural retreat at Victoria Beach

WHEN Brent Willows bought his Victoria Beach property in the late 1980s, it was "basically just a cleared area."

Two decades later, his yard thrives with coneflowers, goldenrod, black-eyed Susans and wild violets.

"I've always really been into nature," said Willows, who said he grew up going to the lake, and always admired the area's natural shrubs and flowers.

Willows started by transplanting cranberry bushes and small maples, and in the 1990s started buying native plants. He and his wife also own an adjacent lot that they've left treed.

I guess I'm a bit of an environmentalist," he said. "I like things natural."

Off the grid in the Whiteshell

IT'S a 2.5-km hike to two "eco-cabins" on High Lake -- the only motorized transportation allowed is an ATV that hauls luggage for guests at the cabins, owned by Falcon Trails Resort.

"We had environmental-sensitive leanings anyway, so it was not a hard call for us to kind of look into it," said resort co-owner Barb Hamilton.

There are only two cabins on the lake, which has no hydro service. Both cabins have composting toilets and run on solar energy, though the fridge and stove run on propane so as not to overwhelm the solar grid. Composting toilets and solar energy do require some ongoing maintenance, Hamilton said.

"When you do any environmental efforts, it takes a different train of thought. You have to kind of re-educate yourself a bit. But it is worth it."

Geothermal on Lake Winnipeg

VINCE and Giselle Merke have gone from visitors to full-time residents at their Arnes cottage. "We always kept going out over the winter and we just thought it would be nice to have this place year-round," said Vince Merke.

The couple did a lot of work on the home, building out the walls for extra insulation and installing a geothermal system. Vince Merke said they went geothermal for both the environmental benefits and energy savings.

"They just seemed so much more economical to run," he said.

Less than a month after moving house, Merke said he and his wife are happy to be full-time lake residents.

"We just love it," he said. "It's everything we expected."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2009 B4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful trailer: How architecture shaped Winnipeg's DNA

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Pimicikamak First Nation's protest against Manitoba Hydro?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google