Living Sustainably

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Archive for December, 2004

Freecycling and NY BackHome


The Potsdam NY Freecycle Network is open to all who want to “recycle” that special something rather than throw it away. Whether it’s a chair, a fax machine, piano or an old door, feel free to post it. Or maybe you’re looking to acquire something yourself! Nonprofit groups are also welcome to participate too!

One constraint: everything posted must be free. This network is brought to you by The Freecycle Network, a nonprofit organization and a movement of people interested in keeping good stuff out of landfills. Check out for other cities and info on the movement! E-mail us for questions or improvement ideas!

BackHome New York Chapter

We are the NY chapter of BackHome in America. A loose confederation of homesteaders, headed up by Bruce Kilgore.

Focus… simplicity, sustainable agriculture, alternate energy and building methods, autonomy and independance.

There are chapters through out the nation. If you want to see others go to our chapters page.

David Lee’s Build It Yourself Plans and Recycled JUNKYARD SCRAP

If you like to work with metal, this is the WEB site you’ve been looking for.

Everything shown here has been fabricated using the plans, booklets and templates.

You can make anything shown here from scrap steel at a fraction of what it would cost to buy in a retail store if you even could find it in a retail store.

You’re invited to browse through the pages on this site. The plans contained herein were collected from FREE PLANS WEB sites throughout the Internet. To download, first select the classification, then click the plan title, wait for the .pdf to load and then click the “Save a Copy” radio button.


For readers of BACKWOODS HOME MAGAZINE(online or off), practical ideas for self-reliant living.

This list is for people who enjoy BHM and want to have a list to discuss topics, share ideas, recipes, or anything else from the mag. For those unfamiliar with the mag. it is for, self-sufficient living, personal independence(i.e. politics, gardening & true country living, and other topics relating to self-sufficiency)with a Libertarian atmosphere.



What is Wiki?

Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.

Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself.

Like many simple concepts, “open editing” has some profound and subtle effects on Wiki usage. Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users. This site is a semi-restricted wiki. There is a short list of authorized contributers who have edit capabilities. The reason for this is that people come to Green Trust for answers, and the inference is that anything read on this site is authorized and tested by Green Trust. The majority of DIY articles on energy and sustainable living are held in the wiki database. Enter to read …..


Ron Morrison – VeggieBus

My buddy Ron Morrison, owner of the VeggieBus, has been in an accident. He needs our prayers:


This is Ron’s daughter, Tammy. My dad has asked me to send an email to all of his email friends to let them know that he is in the hospital. He was in a motorcycle accident and taken by helicopter to the hospital. He is ok, but has been moved to a nursing home for rehab. He asks that you hold forwards for awhile until he gets out of the hospital, which may be a few weeks. He broke a bone in his leg (fibulous bone?), bruised some ribs, and hurt his back. You can write him at:

Terra Vista

1730 Lucerne Terrace

Orlando, FL 32806


Bicycling – A beneficial alternative

Supporting Bicycle Commuting tells us:

Bicycling can be one of most pleasant ways to commute to work. Rather than creating stress while driving to work, the exercise actually relieves stress. Many commute trips are short and bicycling is an ideal commute mode for short trips. While relatively few people envision themselves bicycling to work, the people who do it are enthusiastic about their commute mode.

At The Health Benefits of Non-motorised Modes of Transport, we learn:

“In order to improve public health, national governments should develop and implement strategies to stimulate daily cycling. It is the most effective way to save billions of funds in the health sector and solve traffic and environmental problems at the same time.”

My new friend, Bryan Ball, has a neat site on Recumbent Bikes and Trikes, at, and is very open to giving advice and explaining the ins and outs of human transport. We also have a human power forum at


Submit your off grid articles

We are accepting submissions of articles and stories of an off grid or renewable energy flavor. Let us know what you have done and your experiences in these areas, for possible publication in a variety of Internet Ezines and websites. Please submit article ideas to

Possible submission topics:

Solar (heat or electric)


Rain water/cisterns


Organic Gardening

Biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel, wvo, etc.)

Green Construction (cordwood, log, papercrete, etc.)

Daily life experiences off grid

Raising animals

and many other related areas.

Discuss these articles and get submission ideas at


Good Reading!

I just received my copy of Back Home Magazine, and there is an excellent article (Part 1) of constructing your own wind generator from scratch, by my good friends, DanB and DanF at Check it out. Also around the net, some great off-grid articles at, including info on the FreeCycle movement. The Freecycle Network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson’s downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. Freecycle provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to “recycle” unwanted items. One person’s trash can truly be another’s treasure!


Trade in your Prius and buy a VW!

Michael Briggs: Trade in your Prius and buy a VW! What’s better than hybrids and better than fuel cells? According to UNH researcher Michael Briggs, the answer is Biodiesel. Read his manifesto to find out why biodiesel is cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to produce, ready for large-scale production, and usable in existing automobiles. The results may surprise you.

About the author:

The UNH Biodiesel Group is working on improving the technology for growing algae on waste streams for biodiesel production. UNH has filed a provisional patent application and is seeking partners to develop the technology.


North Carolina – Anti Recycling, Anti Green, Anti Self-Sufficiency!

It appears that the great state of North Carolina has declared war upon those of us who are trying to become more self sufficient, less dependent upon foreign oil, and cleaning up the environment.

I spoke to Patty Thompson, and indeed, they (NC) have decided to classify both homemade biodiesel and recycled wvo as taxable fuels even if made at home for home use. When pressed on the issue of enforcement, she could only say that an investigator may stop by and check your “records” of production and usage. When I asked her how one would enforce record keeping (especially waste vegetable oil), she seemed confused, and offered to have their investigator call me. I left my contact info and encouraged her to do so. I heard nothing from them, and can only conclude they are too busy making sure Billy Bob isn’t making his own fuel in his garage. This really seems like a clueless administration thing, and unless you are business, or advertising the fact you are running clean fuels, it’s easily avoided.

We had a tea party over such shenanigans over 200 years ago, but some folks never learn.

Robert Murphy – IRS – Excise Tax Specialist – 803 – 981 – 6869

Patty Thompson – Motor Fuels Division – N.C. Dept. of Rev. 919 – 715 – 3753


Simple Living

I found a link to this at

Simple River emerged out of a passion to find a better way of living, and to create an intentional community around the notion of simplicity. In today’s society, the simple living movement is just starting to take off (again). Our goal is to help sustain the movement so that it doesn’t become a fad or another lost promise. We believe (as you can see in our monthly newsletters) that simplicity offers so much more than just cutting back on our excess. While it could be helpful for some, we don’t advocate living in a yurt with a bicycle for everyone.

Rather, simplicity is about finding the base truth in our life and living that out. It’s about a way of living that draws us into community and into a better spiritual relationship. Simple living then becomes the process whereby all the interference and distractions to these two goals are reduced.

Towards this end, if anyone is interested in dialoguing more about simple living, please let us know. If you have any resources or other ideas around this concept that have inspired you, we would love to explore them further and collaborate. If you would like someone from Simple River to come lead a discussion or share ideas with your local community, group, club, organization, or friends, just drop us an e-mail. We would be glad to coordinate something.

If you would like to be on our e-mail list for the monthly one page Simple River newsletter, you can register through this site.

In the end, we believe that simplicity is something that is best lived with other people.

Tim Burdick


Win a New Prius!

Are you sick of spending a small fortune every time you fill up your gas tank?

Wouldn’t it be nice to drive a sleek, fuel-efficient hybrid that gets 55 mpg, instead?

Unfortunately, that could take a while. Despite churning out gas-guzzling SUVs in record time, automakers are dragging their feet on meeting the demand for fuel-efficient hybrids, resulting in waits of up to 9 months to buy these driver and earth-friendly vehicles! But now you can do something to move auto manufacturers and win a free Toyota Prius in the process!

Give us a short powerful slogan that we can use to send automakers a direct message: The time for fuel-efficient vehicles is NOW! And we’ll give you a brand new 2005 Toyota Prius! Click here to learn more about the contest and enter now.

The unnecessarily long delay on hybrid cars is hurting our environment and our wallets. Automakers must respond to Americans’ desire to consume more responsibly by making hybrid cars just as easy to get as their hulking 14 mpg counterparts are.

That’s where you come in. Visit the contest web page and enter your short and brilliant slogan. If your slogan is selected, you’ll win a brand new 2005 Toyota Prius! Runners up will receive travel insurance through Better World Travel.

Click below to learn more about the contest rules and enter today:

And please help us spread the word about this great opportunity by forwarding this message to your friends and family and encouraging them to enter, too.


-Sean Sheehan

National Outreach Manager

Center for a New American Dream

This contest is brought to you by The Center for a New American Dream, a non-profit organization that helps Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice. Please visit us at our web site – to learn more about our work and find out how to get more of what really matters in life.