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Urban Schools Aim for Environmental Revolution Looks, however, can be deceiving: They were the vanguard of what could become an environmental revolution in schools across the United States. With any uneaten food, the plates, made from sugar cane, can be thrown away and turned into a product prized by gardeners and farmers everywhere: compost. If all goes as planned, compostable plates will replace plastic foam lunch trays by September not just for the 345,000 students in the Miami-Dade County school system, but also for more than 2.6 million others nationwide. That would be some 271 million plates a year, replacing enough foam trays to create a stack of plastic several hundred miles tall. “I want our money and resources for food going into children, not in garbage going to the landfill,” said Penny Parham, the Miami school district’s administrative director of food and nutrition. The compostable plates are the first test of the alliance’s thesis. The alliance’s next target is healthier food. “It sounds corny,” Mr. Mr.

Home Made Wind Turbine Want to build a wind turbine for your home? I have gathered several PDFs for those who want to build there own wind turbines and have links to them at the bottom of this post. They cover all types of wind turbines and issues that you may run in to such as wind speeds and noise. From reading these my self I have found that the Hi-VAWT takes all into consideration and is easy to replicate. In VENTURI horizontal axis Wind Turbines wind turbines the blades rotate and describe a circular surface. What is Castile Soap? Castile soap is an ideal product for someone trying to go green and reduce the use of harsh soaps, many of which contain chemicals harmful for the skin. The main advantage of using this soap is that it is natural, biodegradable, and milder than other soaps. The Basic Ingredients It is made from vegetable oils. In general, olive oil is used for this purpose. This soap is not made from animal fats and synthetic substances, unlike the regular soaps. Its basic ingredients are pure olive oil, lye crystals (potassium hydroxide), and water. Traditionally, castile soap is made by using only olive oil. Uses It is a versatile soap. Benefits Made from pure olive oil, this soap is so mild that it is suitable for babies and people with sensitive skin as well. Recipe for Making Castile Soap Making your own soap can be a really rewarding experience, if you know the technique and the right ingredients. Now, allow the lye mixture to cool down, and in the meantime, put olive oil in a pan.

::: GNU Health ::: Light Clay-Straw & Solar Hal Brill and Allison Elliot’s light clay-straw home brings together passive solar design, active solar technologies, natural materials, and an efficient layout for an energy-saving, durable dwelling. Home Power (HP): Besides incorporating solar technologies, your home has some unique features. What served as your initial inspiration? Allison Elliot: The development process took several years. Key inspiration came from architect Michael Frerking’s house that was featured in a 2005 issue of Sunset magazine. We fell in love with the curved roof, and that really landed the design for us. The overall design is dominated by this curve, which evokes Anasazi cliff dwellings and our experiences in the canyons of Utah on raft trips. HP: Why did you decide to use clay-straw (or “light-clay”) as the wall infill material? Elliot: Through the years, we attended numerous sustainable building conferences, including the International Straw Builders Conference. Clay-straw seemed to be the middle ground.

DIY Dish “Soap” | Buy Nothing Project By Rebecca Rockefeller (This post originally appeared at Rock Farmer) DIY Dish Soap & Friends This is even easier to mix up than the DIY Dishwasher Detergent… It’s not really soap, and it’s not necessarily entirely plastic-free, but this will clean almost every dish in your kitchen sink. And here is all you need… Plastic-Free Dish “Soap”: Baking sodaEssential oils. What, that’s it? hammer some holes in that lid Now for the fun part. Find a jar that fits well in your hands. Using a large nail and a hammer, poke holes all over the jar’s lid . Fill the jar with baking soda, add your drops of essential oil, cover the lid with one hand and shake it well to mix. scrubbing a dirty bowl in a dirty sink Now, go wash some dishes. Marvel at the way the baking soda cuts through pretty much everything. What about bacteria? Where’s the plastic? The least expensive baking soda I know of is from Costco, but it comes in plastic bags that I can’t recycle locally. Here’s to clean dishes, with less plastic!

easy solar starter kit | DIY Solar & Wind My solar starter kit was a cheap little solar panel and I had a battery siting in the garage. I used a diode so the panel wouldn’t drain the battery at night. That’s what I started with. The next item I purchased was a solar battery charge controller. This little gadget will give your battery a proper charge. The proper battery for this solar kit is a marine battery or deep cycle battery. A grid tie solar kit don’t require a battery. The second photo displays the off grid solar power. The special part of the grid tie battery back-up is that when the batteries are always at full charge and you still feed off the grid.

How to Build Your Own Solar Panels in Only Two Hours and Have Free Electricity For the Rest of Your Life! by Rich M.,AskAPrepper Solar is inarguably the most commonly chosen form of alternative power. The one problem with solar is its cost: installing enough solar panels on your home to power everything can cost upwards of $30,000. Even so, solar is still the king for alternative power. While most people buy ready-made solar panels or even buy them from a solar contractor, this isn’t the most cost effective way of getting solar for your home. An Important Bit of Theory Before we try to build anything, we’d better understand what we need. , connected and mounted together, so that they produce a usable output. In order to ensure that there is enough electrical power to charge 12 volt batteries, it is necessary to produce at least 14 volts. Each solar cell produces 0.5 volts, regardless of its size. produce more watts of power, but they are still producing 0.5 volts. There are two different ways of connecting solar cells together, what is known as “in series” or “in parallel.” .” . . . .

Greenlivingpedia, a wiki on green living, building and energy From Greenlivingpedia, a wiki on green living, building and energy Welcome to Greenlivingpedia, a free resource for sharing information on green living, now and for the future. This is a wiki, so you can create and edit content to share information and collaborate with others on how we can lighten our footprint on the planet and live in harmony with nature and our environment. You can also publish original information in a protected article if you wish. Our goal is to provide an information resource that you can use and contribute to across a broad range of green living and community action topics. Search Greenlivingpedia or create article Featured articles - green buildings See also: Gallery and map of green buildings Featured articles - community action, environment, water and energy Topics New content Some tips on how to use Greenlivingpedia Use the navigation bar on the left to access pages. Bookmark this site

15 Foods That Can Be Regrown From Scraps I love gardening. Well, not actually the work behind the gardening so much – it’s the harvesting that I really look forward to. There is nothing like fresh veggies from your own personal garden! I actually just planted a bunch of things in my vegetable garden, and may have gone a little plant happy at the feed & seed store. Obviously, we all know about the normal ways to grow plants – from seeds. Let’s count them out – from 1 to 15… 1, 2, 3, & 4. These are the ones I regrow the very most, I always have a mason jar of green onions regrowing above my kitchen sink. 5. You can regrow lemongrass the same way you regrow the green onions. 6. Plant a small chunk off of your piece of ginger in potting soil with the newest buds facing up. 7. Pick a potato that has a lot of good formed eyes, and cut it into 2-3 inch pieces, taking care to be sure that each piece has at least 1-2 eyes on it. 8. You will need sweet potatoes with good formed eyes, just as you would want with a regular potato. 13. 14.

Mobile home makeover: Before and after Looks like "Fixer Upper" Joanna Gaines may have some friendly competition when it comes to home makeovers. Amy Shock Amy's mobile home before the makeover. Gaszton Gal Los Angeles-based designer Amy Shock took a low-end $5,200 mobile home in Ojai, California, and turned it into a high-end dream house, complete with floor-to-ceiling walls of glass, a modern kitchen and a large, inviting deck. RELATED: Carmen Electra's new home is surprisingly traditional — until you step inside Amy's mobile home after the makeover. According to the LA Times, the 800-square-foot property took 12 months and about $175,000 to renovate. "The situation was attractive to me," she told TODAY of choosing to buy the mobile home. "The idea that I could purchase the opportunity for $5K was mind-numbing to me," she said. And resuscitate she did. A graduate of the Cornell University School of Architecture and residential designer, Shock conceived the idea for the update on her own.