Two leading organizations, the Center for the Environment at Catawba College and Rocky Mountain… http://wp.me/s1uSYw-784310
http://littlefreelibrary.org Several of these are set up throughout our neighborhoods!
Give a Book, Take a Book. Amazing or What?
By Bill Steen
These recipes offer sustainable and inexpensive ways to add unique colors to your home.
Basic Flour Paint
Yields 1 1/2 quarts
1 cup flour
5 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup screened clay filler (clay can be purchased in a wide variety of colors)
1/2 cup additional powder filler, such as mica
- Mix flour with 2 cups cold water, whisking to remove lumps.
- Bring 11/2 cups water to boil, then add the flour water from Step 1.
- Turn heat to low, stirring until thick paste develops. Remove from heat.
- Dilute the paste with 2 cups water, a little at a time.
- In a separate work bowl, combine clay with powder filler.
- Add filler mixture to diluted flour paste until desired consistency is achieved.
Open source DIY electric car can be built in less than an hour
what if there was a DIY vehicle platform that was not only affordable, but also street-legal, open source, and versatile, with the option for an electric drivetrain or an integrated hybrid engine? That might change the game entirely, at least for those of us who like tinkering and aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty. And it’s here.
The OSVehicle is, at its heart, an open source car platform that is said to be an “industrializable, production ready, versatile, universal chassis”, and it currently comes in two varieties, the TABBY, and the Urban TABBY.
The TABBY is the original platform, and isn’t necessarily designed to be street-legal (though it could be made so). The blueprints and plans for the TABBY can be downloaded, improved upon, and shared with others, and could be a great jumping-off point for creating your own custom vehicle, or for creating a business around, or even as an educational tool.
The Urban TABBY is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, as it’s the street-legal evolution of the original design, which takes into consideration all of the details necessary to comply with the regulations for vehicles that drive on public roads (headlights, turn signals, etc.). The Urban TABBY also lends itself easily to customization and modification, and could be a great addition to our modern car culture.
If you’ve got the space and the tools, the TABBY can be put together in less than in hour.
I wonder how hard it is to make this.
Why NOT switch to CFL Bulbs?
Why NOT switch to CFL Bulbs?
In preparation for this article, I took a survey amongst my friends. I wasn’t sure how relevant the topic was since I personally made the switch to energy efficient lighting years ago. So, I took a survey and I asked, “Do you think most households have switched to using CFL bulbs?”
I found out that the topic of CFL bulbs was very controversial! Here are some of the responses I’ve received:
- Yes, they believe most people have switched to CFL bulbs. And this is possibly because “most people don’t realize they have switched to CFLS”. Interesting because the newer CFL bulbs look a lot like incandescents and also people just really don’t pay attention to what they’re buying.
- Yes, “can you even buy incandescent anymore?” (Note: yes you can, but they will soon be banned and obsolete)
- Another said, “Maybe half of the households in the US, considering that incandescent bulbs are still a fraction of the cost of CFLS”. True true.
- One response was “I certainly hope not. They’re horrible.” In fact this friend then insisted he wanted to write his own competing speech in the “battle of the bulbs”.
I wholeheartedly believe in switching to energy efficient lighting because not only do incandescent bulbs waste money, they also deplete our precious natural resources. So here I am, standing on my little soapbox to convince my readers to participate in one small step to green our planet and individual lives.
So why switch to CFL bulbs? CFLs are the easiest and least expensive way to upgrade to efficient lighting in your home.
First I’ll explain the basic differences between CFL and standard incandescent bulbs. Standard incandescent bulbs produce light when an electric current passes through a filament and causes it to glow. This creates heat and light. But it’s pretty inefficient because lose a lot of energy to the heat.
CFL stands for compact fluorescent light. They are those squiggly bulbs. In comparison to incandescent bulbs, an electric current is driven through the squiggly tube which contains argon and a small amount of mercury to emit a visible light. By the way, argon is an inert, non-toxic gas and of course we know mercury is a heavy metal. The mercury is safe as long as the tube does not break and is recycled of properly. Home Depot and Ikea both have free CFL recycling programs.
More importantly, a CFL bulb uses about 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb. For instance a 13 watt CFL bulb gives of the same amount of light as a 60 watt incandescent. So you save a lot of energy.
Next, what about upfront cost? A CFL light is just a couple of dollars more and they’re very easy to find at your local hardware store.
And what about cost over time? A good CFL will last approximately 10,000 hours, whereas an incandescent lasts only 1,000 hours. So you save lot of money (and energy) there too.
Finally, Some people are concerned about the look of the bulb as well as the quality of light. CFLs have a bad rap because they used to give off a very blue, what I like to describe as alien-UFO light. The technology has improved so much that you can get warmer color temperatures that are flattering and comforting to have in your home. Make sure to get the warm or soft white bulbs (2700K or 3000k). They also have bulbs with globes around them so that they look like incandescent bulbs and you don’t see the squiggly tube.
Just screw in the bulbs into your regular fixture and you’re all done!
In conclusion, the next time one of your incandescent bulbs blows out, you should replace it with an energy efficient CFL bulb. Contrary to what most people believe, CFL bulbs are inexpensive, will save you more money over the long run, and can offer a pleasing and warm atmosphere in your home.
And! I’d love to hear from any readers with strong feelings about using CFL bulbs?
Reuse Everything! Nearly Everything we Buy and Consume can be Reused.
Here’s some ways to reuse simple household things…
1. Reuse your blankets and towels. Bring them to a local shelter that will be glad to put them to good use and give animals a soft, warm place to sit.
2. Reuse seeds from fruit and vegetables and try to grow them!
3. Reuse old plastic bags. There are 10 creative ways to reuse plastic bags here.
4. Reuse paper bags as school book covers, or be a little more creative with these ideas.
5. Cut used pieces of paper into scrap pieces of paper (a message pad!).
6. Reuse stove heat by opening up the stove once you are done with it and letting the warm air into your home in colder weather. Reuse the heat!
7. Reuse coffee grinds by keeping them aside and placing them into your garden or soil.
8. Reuse coffee that you don’t drink by putting it over ice and placing it in the fridge for an iced coffee later.
9. Reuse Christmas trees (not the fake ones) by putting them outside for birds and letting it naturally break down.
10. Reuse packing peanuts, air pillows, bubble wrap and boxes for your own ebay shipping, or bring them by the local post office or recycling center for others to use.
11. Reuse pens and art supplies by donating them to local schools.
12. Reuse your old carpet. Even slightly dirty carpets can have a second life.
13. Reuse your old food scraps by composting them.
14. Reuse your used margarine and butter tubs by cleaning them and keeping them for leftovers (free ziploc containers!).
15. Reuse old clothing by donating it to a local charity.
16. Reuse the stuffing from old pillows and comforters into new items. Reuse the pillow covers for rags.
17. Reuse used wrapping paper and save it for next year.
18. Reuse newspaper, interesting magazines, and other paper products by using them as wrapping paper.
19. Reuse kiddie pool water on plants and shrubs.
20. Reuse your old paint by finding things to paint in your home, touch up, or donate it to a local charity.
21. Reuse your old toilet paper rolls.
22. Reuse old wallpaper and turn it into one of a_willow’s suggestions!
23. Never throw away an old book, donate it to a library or to your recycling center, or a school! They can reuse it.
24. Reuse old curtains as rags for cleaning your car.
25. Reuse your old electronics by selling them on Craigslist or on eBay.
26. Reuse old glass containers with lids and save them for leftovers, or, make your own jam or jelly. Food safe airtight glass containers would be great for storing rice, pasta, sugar and flour.
27. Reuse your old sneakers by donating them to Nike’s Shoe recycling program (okay, this is more recycling, but it’s important!)
28. Reuse greeting cards.
29. Reuse your old toothbrush and use it to clean hard to reach areas like around the sink, your drains, faucets and grout.
30. Save stale bread and give it to the birds in the backyard (be sure to rip it small enough so they can eat it!).
31. Make a piece of artwork with your old metal cans.
32. Make your own checker set by reusing your old bottle caps.
33. There are over 20 ways to reuse your old furniture here.
34. Sell or donate your old cellphone to the one of many companies out there.
35. Sell old clothing and let others reuse it, provided it looks good still.
36. For your next home renovation project, you might be able to reuse your old floor tiles.
37. Reuse popsicle sticks with these ingenius, crafty ideas.
38. Even bicycle tires can be reused.
39. Reuse old seafood seashells by crushing them and using them in your garden as decoration.
40. There are at least five ways you can reuse your old drinking straws.
41. Reuse insulation when building a home, or adding insulation. This will save energy and money!
42. There are some creative things you can do with old metal pie pan plates.
43. Reuse old aluminum foil by judging whether you it is clean enough to use again. If you’re using it for bread or dry goods, you should be able to shake it off and set it aside for next time (provided it is clean).
44. Reuse old spray bottles by first making sure they are okay to reuse (see the back of the bottle) and filling them with water to spray plants.
45. Reuse your old CDs and DVDs with these tips.
46. Reuse your old yard debris! Leaves, lawn cuttings, and wood chips naturally fertilize and add nutrients to your soil.
47. If you receive a gift in a gift bag, save it for another occasion and reuse that bag!
48. Is your old keyboard the perfect seedling starter?
49. Reuse your old toothpaste tubes.
50. Yes, you can even reuse your mattress.
Be sure to visit our lens featuring 30 more green tips here!
Turn off unnecessary lights. It’s so simple and yet for some people, they find the act so hard to implement.
Don’t throw away energy! Flipping a switch off when you leave a room is the EASIEST way to start saving energy!
Did you know? Artificial lighting is responsible for about 15 % of a home’s electricity use. That means turning off the lights can definitely reduce your home’s energy use—and your family’s energy bill!
Conserving resources at home saves money — and the planet.
Green product certification: 21 symbols you should recognize
There are dozens of symbols on packaging that are probably more meaningful to manufacturers than they are to consumers. Here’s your guide to the eco-labels found on everything from paper to light bulbs.
this picture capture just how EVERYTHING Solange is
That dress is breathtaking.