Living Sustainably

Aquaponics | Rain Harvesting | Composting | Other Green Products

Archive for October, 2010

Street Ready Electric Vehicles, Available Now

We rode in a ZAP electric car a few years ago, and have they ever made improvements. Now with lithium batteries instead of lead acid!

With its new product offerings, the Company is positioned to become a leading brand and distribution portal of advanced technology vehicles. ZAP is committed to running its business based on a strong philosophical foundation that supports the environment, social responsibility and profitability.


Tips on Weatherproofing Doors and Windows

It’s that time of year, when the chill in the air finds it’s way into your living room. Reduce your energy bills, and increase your comfort, by weatherproofing your home.

Does it feel drafty, even though the windows and doors are shut tight? If so, it might be time to add or replace weather stripping to the doors and seal up the windows.



A friend of ours wrote an important eBook on survival. You can download or read it online at

We need to get back to the land and be caretakers of the garden. Adam and Eve were given the charge to take care of the garden, to take care of the earth. In fact, the series of commands to “be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, take dominion and subdue it” is five things, and they’re not all saying the same thing. They’re not all saying be fruitful and multiply – you know, have many, many children. The “replenish the earth” part, I believe, at least in part is to take care of the earth, to take care of the garden, to be caretakers, to tend it, to replenish and renew the soil. We would be blessed much more by “replenishing the earth” instead of poisoning and toxic waste dumping and strip mining and clear cutting it, all of which are far too prevalent. I know that I may sound like a liberal; I’m not, honest, but we do need to take care of the earth. “When man sins; nature suffers” was a dictum laid down by a memorable speaker I once heard back in my college days.

Consider that in the book of Revelation, many of the judgments that are going to come are earth-oriented judgments, in other words: earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, pestilence, famine and drought. Now if we are living close to the earth, and growing our wealth from the ground, and raising livestock, and care-taking the earth as we are commanded to by our Creator, and replenishing the soil, replenishing the earth, might it be possible that we be spared a great measure of judgment?


Need a Geiger Counter Radiation Detector?

We have a number of Geiger counter kits available, with extra detector tubes. Soldering is required (it’s a kit), and you have to supply a case for it (a plastic toolbox works). We throw in one extra detector tube. Operates from a 9v battery. $160 including S&H lower 48 states USA.


Free 77+ page Vermiposting Guide

Bently has released his new Vermiposting Guide, free, for subscribers of his email list. So subscribe, and avail yourself of his expertise!

Dear Worm Friends,

I am happy to report that I have the “first edition” of my Red Worm
Composting Guide to Vermicomposting all ready to go! Here are some
important things to mention before I provide the link:

1) This is VERY MUCH a work-in-progress. In fact, there are at least
two entire sections that need to be added. I would also like to add
some images before too long. It currently stands at 77 pages – so as
you can imagine it is pretty solid in terms of content even now. As
a “work-in-progress”, please forgive me for typos and general grammatical
weirdness (is “grammatical” a word?? lol) – don’t hesitate to point
any of these out either. It’s nice to have a lot of “eyes” helping me out.

2) I decided to add a “Q&A” section to help compensate for the missing
sections. I cover a wide range of topics there, and if you are fairly
new to worm composting that is probably a pretty good place to start
(well, perhaps after you read “The Basics”)

3) I consider this a foundational guide – focused on sharing my approach
to worm composting and what I consider to be the “fundamentals”. Some
may be disappointed to learn that I don’t really get into any of the
special topics like “Vermiponics”, “Winter Vermicomposting” etc. Rest
assured, I DO have plans to either create a series of special reports
and/or to incorporate those sections into the “bigger” worm composting
resource I’ve been starting to put together. I will definitely keep
everyone posted.

4) This is a special gift for my email list subscribers. Please do not
share it freely with others – yet! I will almost certainly make it more
widely available in the new year, but I want “my” people to benefit from
it first! 🙂 Should you wish to recommend it, simply point people in
the direction of the “newsletter” sign up page:

5) Speaking of which, make sure you STAY signed up for this list. I will
be notifying the list of any new updates, and this will just generally
be my main communication channel for keeping everyone up to speed on
things. I also hope to start talking about various topics covered in
the guide at some point as well (may even put together some sort of
“mini course” to make the info a bit easier to digest).

6) The guide itself will be best viewed on a computer (although a PDF
reading device may work just fine as well). Aside from being an electronic
file, it also contains a lot of links – some link to other areas in the
guide, others link to webpages. You can certainly save it to your
computer – just look for the little disk symbol up on the upper lefthand
side. You may want to reduce the viewing size when the PDF opens up.
The default seems to be super BIG for some reason. You will find “+”
and “-” symbols at the top of the page (and perhaps a box with “130%”
– what I see when I open it up). My preference is “66.7%” but that will
likely be smaller than a lot of people will want – so adjust to your
own tastes.

If you have ANY questions/comments/concerns etc, don’t hesitate to
let me know!

Red Worm Composting


A Few Facts About Our Water Supply

Only 3% of the water on our planet is fresh. Less than 1/3 of 1% of this is available to humans. The rest is beyond our reach–deep within the earth or frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps.

Fresh water allows us to produce food, manufacture goods and sustain our health. It is essential to our lives.

Global water consumption has risen almost tenfold since 1900.

World population is expected to increase by 45% in the next thirty years, while freshwater runoff is expected to increase by 10%.

Daily per capita use of water in residential areas: 350 litres in North America and Japan; 200 litres in Europe; <20 litres in sub-Saharan Africa UNESCO has predicted that by 2020 water shortage will be a serious worldwide problem. Americans flush away 4.8 billion gallons of water every day — nearly 40 percent of our total indoor fresh water consumption. In Canada, approximately 30% of residential water is used for flushing toilets. See The Nature’s Head Composting Toilet!


Segway rides at the Georgetown SC Boat Show.

My wife and I, and our good friend George Schnellman (Myrtle Beach Segway) had a great time at the Georgetown, SC Wooden Boat Show. Got a tour of a sweet 40′ sailboat, about 70 years old or so. George brought 3 Segways, and gave us some tips for riding, then we went out on the town. Had a great time. I took a 20 minute video while “driving”, but lost it. Here’s a short clip of George teaching my wife Linda how to operate the Segway. I love electric transportation, but prefer solar charging!


Converting Evacuated Tube Solar to Heat Pipes

Here is some great info on converting “wet” evacuated tube solar collectors to a heat pipe design. They will not leak or freeze.

Unlike the inferior Chinese tubes, now on the market, these AMERICAN MADE, NASA Specified solar vacuum tubes have a GOLD IR (infrared) mirror for maximum heat retention. They will actually appreciate in value over time! Once you know what they can save you, then you will never want to “Smash Them to Cash Them” you will decide to leave them intact for your heirs to use.


Build a super capacitor flashlight

No batteries to throw away, infinitely rechargeable from a USB port (we use a usb solar charger). See if you can fit this in your favorite flashlight body. Supercaps charge quickly, are about 95% efficient, and last almost forever.

For those who never heard about supercapacitor, you can check for more info about supercapacitor here. Supercapacitor is basically a capacitor with very high capacity, and the capacity rating is normally around few Farads. With the “super” capacity, it basically can store a lot of charge, and I am going to use the “super” capacity to store charges for a 5mm LED. Let’s see how long will the 5mm LED last.


General Motors Selects Envision Solar’s EnvisionTrak™ Solar Trees®, CleanCharge™ Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

San Diego (October 14, 2010) – Envision Solar International, Inc., (OTCBB:EVSI), a leading sustainable infrastructure designer and developer, announced today that the company has been selected by General Motors, LLC to install its CleanCharge™ solar powered electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations integrated into EnvisionTrak™ tracking Solar Trees® at a number of prominent locations.

“We are pleased to have been selected by General Motors for these strategic installations that will enable Chevy Volts to leverage clean solar power to recharge their batteries without relying on carbon fuel generated electricity,” said Bob Noble, CEO of Envision Solar. “We applaud GM’s commitment to clean energy as well as green job creation through this initiative.”

The Chevy Volt extended-range electric car is expected to hit showrooms in November 2010 and will be rolled out initially in California, Michigan, Washington, D.C., Texas and New York. New Jersey and Connecticut will join in mid-2011.

“GM is committed to reducing carbon emissions and reliance on petroleum,” said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman, global product operations. “We chose Envision Solar because its clean charging infrastructure allows us to maximize the environmental benefits of our electric vehicles through the use of clean renewable energy and further demonstrates our commitment to the proliferation of sustainable EV charging infrastructure.”

Envision Solar’s Solar Tree with EnvisionTrak™ is a highly engineered parking lot solar array that is 20 to 25 percent more productive than conventional fixed solar arrays, due to the incorporation of dual axis tracking which enables the canopy to follow the sun throughout the day. “We have designed this technology with an architectural focus that enhances the overall aesthetic of corporate and commercial campuses,” Noble added. “The addition of our CleanCharge system makes this a truly comprehensive design and technology package, offering a value-added investment for businesses anticipating the dramatic growth in the electric vehicle market over the next decade.”

Pike Research forecasts that the market for plug-in hybrid and battery electric passenger cars and light duty trucks will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 106 percent between 2010 and 2015, resulting in sales of more than 3.24 million vehicles during that period.