Eco-friendly living at the Minnesota State Fair

A house you can live in for free? That’s what the Star Tribune reported about this year’s Ecohouse at the State Fair’s Eco Experience exhibit:

Electric bill? Forget about it. Gas bill? It never shows up. We’re talking about a net zero house here. Energy used in the house is made by the house. Operational costs are a big, fat zero.

Check out this shot of the kitchen. The countertops are made from crushed walnut shell, which is not only sustainable and locally sourced, but appropriate; of course countertops at the fair are made from food.

Photo courtesy Rachel Maloney/Natural Built Home

Of course, the house itself wears a price tag of $630,000 after government rebates – minus the land it occupies.  But you can enjoy the same Energy Star appliances that keep this house’s carbon footprint in check.

The energy saved by replacing a fridge from 1990 with an efficient model like the GE bottom-mount freezer in the Ecohouse can light the average house for four months.

But the real cool kid of the green kitchen party is the Electrolux induction cook top, which uses magnets to detect cookware on contact and adjust the heating field to the exact size of the pan (which also means no more over-boiling stains!). This model is 70 percent more efficient than a standard gas cook top and 20 percent more efficient than a standard electric cook top.

Also seen in the 2009 Ecohouse:

Bosch 500 Series Integra Built-In Dishwasher

LG Front-load Washer and Dryer

GE 30” Double Convection Wall Oven