Living Sustainably

Aquaponics | Rain Harvesting | Composting | Other Green Products

Archive for June, 2009

Will the liberals really reduce gasoline prices?

How does “socializing” (I think Maxine meant nationalizing) oil companies, i.e. government takeover, reduce oil prices, as compared to increasing supplies? Consider Chavez and Argentina as an example!


John Shuttleworth, Co-founder of Mother Earth News, 1937-2009

john shuttleworthWe were saddened to learn today that John Shuttleworth — who co-founded Mother Earth News with his first wife Jane — passed away in late March. He was 71 and died of natural causes at his Evergreen, Colo., home.


Conserving Water

In our quest to conserve resources, and reduce expenses, we decided to capture rainwater, and install a composting toilet. The rain gutters direct roof water to a 1000 gallon concrete cistern. The cistern is connected to the house water system with a 12v piston pump. The piston pump has two sets of valves, so I can select the cistern, or the shallow well. The well goes dry in the hottest parts of summer. In order to reduce water usage, we installed a Sears front loader washer, and a waterless composting toilet by Nature’s Head. This reduced our water usage by 50%. In winter, when the rain water system freezes up, we switch back to the well, but we miss the soft water. A larger tank would allow us to use rain water all winter. The water is purified with our Berkey water purifier for drinking and cooking, eliminating the need for bottled water.


Preparedness is fun at the Bitterroot SOS Co-Op

Our friend Jim Farley sent us a newsletter put out by their preparedness co-op. We though you might find it interesting to see what other groups are doing. I have included an excerpt, and contact information for the group:

I was glad to see Dancing Bear express his fun in doing these things which is our whole intent of the Bitterroot SOS Co-op as I’ve said from the git-go.  In expressing this to the group last night, I said people pretty much do all they do in life, either out of fear or fun.  People are seeing we are all having these meetings out of fun, not fear.  It is fun to create all the many self-reliance tools, systems and products, not because of fear of the boogy man, but the sheer enjoyment of doing things for ourselves.  It is a true warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing you can do so much to free yourself of total life sustainment from outside sources.  I’ve never seen anybody that was not happier with themselves when they learned and built something that helped them to become a more self-reliant person. 
Prepared people have more fun in life.  Even if no catastrophic event ever happens, we will all still get to enjoy the fruits of our labors in this effort, become far more independent and save a lot of money in the normal costs of living in producing/generating much of our own food, energy, shelter and all of those activities of the 7 task forces.


The Ultimate in Human Power

Want to be able to produce your own power for very little money? David Butcher has videos showing how he can power a washing machine, a bread maker, and more with the power of the human body. For less than $250, you can run lights, a tv, radio, and more (but not all at once maybe), and get your exercise at the same time. Stay healthy, and save money. What a deal!

“Power From The People!”


87 mpg, in a 10 hp 500lb 2 seat 3 wheeled vehicle?

191 cc air cooled 2 stroke 1 cylinder engine.
10 hp
506 lbs.
2 seater
3 wheels (2 upfront)
rear engine
87 mpg

oh, and was produced between 1955 and 1964.

Where’s the progress?


What are we eating? Hungry for Change!

Do you know where your food comes from, and how it’s prepared?

Read more at and


Turn it Off!

We have discussed turning off appliances and phantom loads as a way to cut the electrical consumption of your home, but what about your office? Are there other considerations besides the electric bill? This video quantifies one of those considerations, CO2.

Please leave your comments, and share this post.


Composting Great for Small Gardens, Too

Did you know a typical family of four can reduce its amount of organic waste by an average of 85% with home composting?

When you read about composting, one of the first facts you’ll read is how one-third of all the trash we throw away in the United States is food waste, and 97 percent of these food scraps end up in landfills. Most people think that food waste in land fills isn’t a problem. It’s food, right? And food breaks down and certainly must break down faster than any other material in the landfill… right? Yes, but at an alarmingly slow rate and not without environmental consequences.

Read more at Lehman’s Country Life.


Shell, and others, sponsoring Fuel Efficiency Technology

Shell is investing heavily into fuel efficiency and alternative energy solutions. Please comment on how you perceive the traditional oil companies are moving towards efficiency and environmentally friendly solutions. Read more about Shell’s Alternative Energy Projects.