Freedom is being able to say yes or no to any proposition or command.
Are you free?
Freedom is being able to say yes or no to any proposition or command.
Are you free?
I finally got 2 of the videos of my cousin's and my work on the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) in Costa Rica up.
Some extended information: Each of these turbines is 6 feet tall... the total width of the two turbines is 10' ... it's pretty big and will definitely crank out the wattage! We estimate that the payback period for these simple to build turbines will be 2-3 years.
Each of these was built for about $250 excluding the generator, electronics and batteries. We think and hope that they will last for at least the next 10-20 years with very little maintenance. They are solid steel construction turning in automotive axle supporting ball bearings.
What would you do if our first rate sewage system was destroyed in some apocalyptic disaster?
I'm sure that few of us ever really stop think, "Where does all that poo go anyway".
Can you imagine what your neighborhood would start to smell like?
Luckily, nature has provided yet another simple solution... human waste composting! While the stuff you flush down the toilet is toxic and should not ever again see the light of day, when properly seperated, mixed with carbanaceous material like shredded junk mail the aerobic bacteria naturally found in poo will cause it to decompose into that well known substance... soil!
To learn more, read this comprehensive online guide to human waste composting.
Is it the freedom?
Is it the lack of a commute everyday?
Is it the feeling of saving the planet while being more productive?
Is it being able to take a 15 minute nap after lunch instead of feigning alertness while dying of sleepiness?
Nope... it's being able to play punk rock as loud as you want without wearing headphones!
A major part of a healthy lifestyle is excersize. But for every active and healthy person there is at least one excersize and diet philosophy. I thought I'd contribute my healthy and 'green' lifestyle and exercise ideas as well for any who might be interested.
Over the years I've done many different types of workouts. I've spent hours in the weight room (oh come on, we all wanted humongo pecs at at the age of 15 right?), to hours at the dojo and quite a few team and singular sports including football, soccer and basketball. However, the most effective work-out simply is:
First things first...
Proper excersize will not be possible without a good diet. Again let's keep it simple and natural. I recommend that the following diet be implimented immediately:
A workout guide
As with my guide to eating right let's try to keep the workout philosophy simple too.
When we listen to what our bodies want we will often be surprised by its desire for good things. Working out and eating are no exception. We were made to desire the good things of the earth and to enjoy recreation and liesure. Go ahead... enjoy the good food, excercize and activities that God intended for you!
It's been a few weeks since last greentheo had something to post. Yep... been kind of busy working in the garden. So far I've had all the lettuce come in along with the Spinach.. so delicious. The peas are forming their little pods, the squash are flowering and starting to form their little bulbous fruits, and the green beans are climbing the mammoth sunflowers as hoped.
But perhaps most importantly, Christmas has come early this year. Colorado now allows rain harvesting!
Finally, my law breaking lifestyle has come to an end and I can legally use the water collected from my roof.
I bet grey-water systems will be up next for review.
Happy Gardening and summer fun to you all!
After recently completing my Solar heater, it was time to embark on a new project... rain collection and redistribution for my garden.
Colorado is a wonderful place to live, but it can also be quite arid and moisture free. Thus, to grow many of the vegetables we know and love to eat, plenty of outside water is commonly used. But it sure can get expensive! Last summer my bill averaged $50-$75/month just for water!
So how much water can you collect from rain and snow anyway?
For every 1000 sq. ft of roof on your house one can collect:
On average, Boulder, Colorado get's about 19 inches of moisture... and thus my 1000 sq. ft roof can collect with it's pre existing gutter, about 11,000 gallons of water.
How much is practical to store for your garden?
While this depends on your particular garden, the answer is that it's practical to store as much wat as you'll reasonably use over a week's time. For a more practical calculation consider the rule of thumb that your plants want to get about 1 inch of rain per week.
My garden is 150 sq. ft (and growing) so I want to have 150*144*1*.004 = 86 gallons available on demand. Luckily I happen to have 3X55 gallon drums on hand giving me 165 gallons, 82.5 for watering... and 82.5 for storing for the next week.
So the rule of thumb turns out to be: 1/2 gallon per square foot of garden = 1 inch of water/week.
Other design considerations
I currently am cultivating ~150 sq. ft. But I'd like to add another 50-100 sq. ft. so I'd also like to be able to store my rain holding capacity appropriately. By the above calculation I know that every 50 sq. ft is properly served by a 55 gallon drum. Therefore the design of the rain storage and redistribution system should accomodate the adding of future drums.
Total: as little as $15, as much as $95
The finished design
Here we have 3 food grade 55 gallon plastic drums. The black pipe runing between the three barrels (all the way to the bottom of either barrel) is for auto-siphoning between the barrels. When the barrel at the end of the spout fills, the water is automatically siphoned to the the second barrel... when both are full, the water siphons to the third.. etc. Furthermore, once the whole system is full, any change in level in one barrel is distributed evenly to all the rest provided that the siphon is not broken.
Step 1 - Site the area for storage and collection
Take a look around your proposed garden and water storing area. The best areas are ones that:
Step 2 - Put a bung in the barrel
Drill a one inch hole in the last barrel near the bottom. Water leaves the system here.
Step 3 - Insert the male threaded PVC bung
Step 4 - Using silicon caulk, make a bead around the outside of the bung and let it dry. Make sure that the femail pvc thread to garden hose thread can screw on first.
Step 5 - Screw on the female PVC to garden hose adapter.. the silicon caulk should act like a custom molded washer or gasket preventing leaking.
Step 6 - Screw in the stop valve, the male to male adapter and the water meter (if you'd like)
Step 7 - Screw on the drip line or drip hose.
Step 8 - Drill 1 inch hole on the both sides near the top of any of the intermediate barrels. Should be near the top, but not at the top. An auto-siphon only works when the level of the water threatens to rise above the siphon point.
Step 9 - Drill 1, 1 inch hole at the top of the entrance and exit barrels.
Step 10 - Move barrels to site.
Step 11 - Insert auto-siphon tubes between barrels. Make sure it goes down as far as possible into each barrel.
Step 12 - Attach entrance barrel to gutter and wait for rain!
A rain barrel is a great addition to any garden. Not only do they lower the cost of gardening but they also help out your municipal water district by lowering the demand for water. They can be cheap and easy to build in such a way that they mostly act autonomously, distributing water slowly to your garden at a preset drip rate.
Now if only it would rain or snow around here!
Every serious gardener has a compost bin. They throw their old, unused vegetables, egg shells and other miscellaneous vegetables in it. And there it sits, dead and rotting for a whole year before it goes back into the garden... as an afterthought to most.
But what an awesome experience it is to discover that what we cast aside as dead and rotting is truly alive and thriving! What man has cast aside, God has infused with millions of tiny bacteria! And all those bacteria are busy making a feast of your left over broccoli stems and coffee grounds.
In fact they are so happy eating away at your refuse that the party literally gets hot! The chore of walking out to stir the compost on a cold winter morning can only be redeemed by the wonderful phenomenon of a steaming pile of old vegetables. And yes, when you put your hand close to the pile it really is hot!
The bacteria eventually consume everything and turn it into the richest and most protective, life nurturing fertilizer. Compost really can get just about anything to grow... anywhere (even Colorado).
It's cheap (actually it has negative cost), and it's easy. But on a large scale it makes up a tiny portion of the fertilizers used in agriculture. It provides a chemical-free, and bioengineering-free growing medium that anyone in the world can produce locally, efficiently and cheaply. All gratis from the Lord.
And yet, who do we first blame for the evil of starvation? Who do we first blame for the evil of cancer? Who do we blame for wars which are usually driven by the economics of land and agriculture?
God may have cursed man to work the soil by the sweat of his brow, but then he gave us rich topsoil from compost to make it easier. God may have punished women with the pains of child birth, but then he gave her pain killers to make it easier. God may let it be dark and cold in the winter, but he gives us the warm sun to collect with the simplest of technology. God gave us the ten commandments, and then gave us Jesus. God allows our bodies to die, but our selves to be resurrected.
God is like that. He gives a righteous judgment and then gives us a pardon. That's amazing grace.
So from whence comes evil? I'll start with myself....
My friend once asked me what the word sustainable meant in the context of society and humanity. My reply was that it was:
"The ability for an organism or organization to perpetuate itself and it's progeny over time"
But how to accomplish such a large goal without breaking the bank?
Below are my top 5 cheapest and most effective goals towards becoming a more sustainable society and person.
Enjoy your cheap sustainable life!
A while back a German economist by the name of Silvio Gesell wrote a book called the Natural Economic Order. This book has received little attention amongst main stream economist but attracts a loyal following amongst intellectuals and otherwise far-out armchair philosophers.
His work gives us a simple answer to many of the economic woes this country has faced in the last 100 years since the creation of the Federal Reserve. The answer is quite simple... create money that systematically loses value over time.