background preloader

How to Make a Vermicomposting Flush Toilet

How to Make a Vermicomposting Flush Toilet
Quinta do Vale is an off-grid permaculture project of 2.5ha in the mountains of Central Portugal. It’s an evolving demonstration site for many aspects of sustainable living, with a particular emphasis on off-grid infrastructure. It’s run by Wendy Howard. When I first started planning the infrastructure here, I intended to use Joe Jenkins‘ dry ‘humanure’ composting toilet system throughout. Many people though dislike dry toilets. In 2013, we were converting an old hen coop into an outhouse toilet. From a conventional flush toilet, flushings drain through a waste pipe into an insulated plastic container. When the flushings enter the container, the solids remain on the surface to be processed by the worms and the liquids drain through the organic filter material and exit the container. I used a second-hand 1,000-litre plastic IBC to form the basis of the system. The tank is sited immediately below the toilet in a dry-stone schist enclosure. Further resources How to make a DIY worm tower Related:  VermicultureHouse, building, energy, watercompost toilet

Tranquility Device - About Us The cows wouldn’t drink from any of the “drinkers” as soon as the old tank was full of the new water. I couldn’t get them away from that water, even in the middle of Ohio winter. Our farm is near a chemical plant. The cows were getting scrawny, and we weren’t doing too well either. Now the milk yield and the butterfat content is way up. The cows are downright perky now. I was just drained after a long week and shorter weekend. However, after drinking about 3 glasses of this water, I felt like a new person. My legs have been itching and I scratched them until they would bleed. Our new water has rejuvenated our plants. The doctor was beyond shocked when Ron went for a health screening last week to determine the condition of his arteries. Our 19 year old cat was dying of kidney failure. Real Results The lowest yielding strawberry field was chosen for the test site for one structured water unit. Size Comparison Chart

How to Build a Beautiful, Energy Efficient Round Home in the Woods Meet our house, the Magnolia 2300. It's a three bedroom, round, passive solar home located in the lush green forest of Nelson, B.C. Canada. My husband and I, along with our 15 year old daughter, Poppy, designed the house using Slow Home principles for building houses that are healthy and designed with both the inhabitants and direct environment in mind. The design was 'slow' but the construction process was very quick because we pre-fabricated the wall panels off-site along with the insulation, doors, windows and siding. Some glowing benefits of prefab include a lower environmental impact on-site and a reduction in construction waste. This is the first ENERGY STAR Qualified home in B.C., which means that it uses 30% less energy while remaining functional and comfortable. Round Homes - "A Way of Living More Closely With Nature" My husband, Lars has been building round homes since 2000 and every aspect of this home has been designed to perfectly match the needs of our family.

19-Year-Old's Ocean Cleanup Array Could Clean Half the Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 Years, Study Shows Last year we reported on teenage inventor Boyan Slat’s plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. His proposal for an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms received a lot of criticism – but now, just over a year later, Boyan is back with the results of a year-long investigation that shows his invention does offer a feasible method to rid the world’s oceans of plastic pollution. In fact, he claims that a single array could remove half of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 10 years. The year-long study sought to determine if Boyan Slat’s array is indeed a feasible ocean cleanup method. The result? Slat’s proposed Ocean Cleanup Array uses natural ocean currents and winds to passively transport plastic towards an anchored collection platform. The study conducted many tests to see if the array was feasible, including a proof-of-concept test performed at the Azores Islands.

.facebook 1425418937851 It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up | George Monbiot Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5% a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? This is the calculation performed by the investment banker Jeremy Grantham. Go on, take a guess. To succeed is to destroy ourselves. Economic growth is an artefact of the use of fossil fuels. It was neither capitalism nor communism that made possible the progress and pathologies (total war, the unprecedented concentration of global wealth, planetary destruction) of the modern age. On Friday, a few days after scientists announced that the collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet is now inevitable, the Ecuadorean government decided to allow oil drilling in the heart of the Yasuni national park. The trajectory of compound growth shows that the scouring of the planet has only just begun. Look at the lives of the super-rich, who set the pace for global consumption.

As Uses of Biochar Expand, Climate Benefits Still Uncertain by Mark Hertsgaard: Yale Environment 360 21 Jan 2014: Analysis by mark hertsgaard Biochar, the charcoal-like material sometimes touted as a miracle cure for global warming, might first gain economic traction as a weapon against local air pollution, research by the U.S. "We don’t know why, actually," says Thomas Klasson, a scientist at the USDA’s Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans. Jeff Hutchens/Getty Images Biochar holds promise for sequestering carbon and cleansing polluted air. biochar made from chicken manure "removed almost all of the mercury" from a simulated coal emissions stream, Klasson’s team found. Biochar is produced when plant matter (leaves, trunks, roots), manure, or other organic material is heated in a zero- or low-oxygen environment. Adding biochar to 10 percent of global cropland could sequester the equivalent of 29 billion tons of CO2. flooding; it can also rid soil of heavy metals and other pollutants. Biochar may enable us to essentially 'unmine coal and undrill oil,' says Bill McKibben. children.

Keeping Warm in the Deep Freeze - Restoring Mayberry Blog If you grew up in the modern West – North America, for example – you probably grew up with central heating, cheap fuel and a near-endless supply of electricity delivered right to a hole in your wall. Generations of us grew up handling the winter chill with one simple technique: reach for the thermostat and crank it up. This assumption of convenience has shaped how we build houses, how we eat, and how we dress for all seasons. It also means that a fuel crisis or depression – or the winter storm that cut power to half a million North Americans a few weeks ago – can leave us completely vulnerable. Consider, then, that people lived for thousands of years in wintry lands without a thermostat to crank, or without any modern fuel or technology, and obviously did not all freeze to death – nor were they even necessarily uncomfortable. Traditional homes in many cultures had thick walls, whose thermal mass absorbed heat during the day and radiated it back during the cool night. Photo: Wikicommons

In the Limelight: Jicaro Island Ecolodge – Water UseGreeningtheInn The Jicaro Island Ecolodge, part of the Cayuga Collection, occupies a picturesque setting on a private island in Granada, Nicaragua. Beautiful, yes – but despite the magnificent sight-lines, being located in the middle of Lake Nicaragua presents some extraordinary challenges; especially when it comes to managing the precious water supply in a healthy and sustainable way. However, aided by a combination of technology and practices, Jicaro Island has found a way to keep its water supply clean. Refusing to “Waste” Water Lacking alternative options, Jicaro must draw its water supply directly from Lake Nicaragua. Jicaro has also taken the effort to keep as many harmful elements as possible out of the water to begin with: All soaps, detergents, and spa products are organically based and biodegradable.The hotel pool is kept clean using a chlorine-free system.

untitled Five-dimensional glass memory can store 360TB per disc, rugged enough to outlive the human race Scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK have succeeded in creating five-dimensional (5D), ultra-high-density storage on standard silica glass discs that, unlike DVDs or Blu-rays, seem to be capable of storing data for an unlimited period of time without a reduction in data integrity. The scientists say that 5D optical storage could allow for densities as high as 360 terabytes per disc, and unless you crush it in a vice, these discs are so non-volatile that data stored on them should “survive the human race.” At first glance, five-dimensional storage might sound a bit like pseudoscience — but, in this case, the data really is stored on five different dimensions (surfaces, planes). There are the usual two dimensions (width, height) provided by a piece of silica glass, and depth is provided by writing at three different depths (layers) within the glass. To record data, spots are imprinted on the glass (pictured below) using a femtosecond laser.

A Living Sewage Treatment Plant? These People Grew One by Claudia Rowe Every flush of a standard toilet creates a several-gallon problem. Instead of wasting water, plants and animals can transform human waste into water rated pure enough to drink. posted Jan 03, 2013 In a large greenhouse two hours north of New York City, banana trees, flowers, and other tropical plants grow amid frogs, fish, and burbling waters. Outside, bullrushes and cattails wave in the Hudson Valley breeze. And each year, they stop in their tracks, stunned to learn that those lush gardens are actually sewage-treatment plants at work. “It looks like it came out of your kitchen faucet—there’s no odor, it’s perfectly clear,” says Omega’s CEO Skip Backus. "At the end, there’s this sense of awe and wonder. At Omega, the result is a 4,500-square-foot solar-powered greenhouse fed by a system of tanks, lagoons, and sand filters that process up to 52,000 gallons of human waste a day. But combine the word “feces” with composting and even the most progressive thinkers are likely to blanch.

How to Build a Gypsy Caravan from Recycled Materials The first thing you notice about this gypsy wagon is the surrounding smell of cedar forest and the sound of crashing waves from the lake, which is just a stone's throw over the hill. In the winter, woodsmoke spirals up from the chimney jutting out of the curved wagon roof. There is a little lane leading up to the green glade, but it's nicest to arrive on foot. The 8' wide x 20' long caravan, or vardo, has been parked in this particularly beautiful forest for a few years, but is completely moveable by truck or tractor because it has wheels. The floor joists for the house are nailed to fir beams and bolted to the metal frame. A Combination of Traditional and Modern Materials The construction methods used to create this wagon are a combination of tradition and ingenuity, and the building materials are both new and recycled. To accommodate the curve in the roof and the eyebrow entrance, the roofing material consists of flexible metal sheeting. So, what do you do when nature calls?

Energy Saving Trust's blog Concerns over carbon emissions and energy security in Europe has meant district heating schemes are on the verge of a boom. European Commission advisors have been pushing for greater emphasis on the efficiency of heating networks recently, arguing that the emphasis has been, until now, too much on making carbon savings in electricity generation. District heat can be a way of turning negatives into positives; using waste heat usefully and locally. A report from the International Energy Agency estimated the scale of waste heat from existing power stations in the world’s 34 richest nations to be enough to 10 times the EU’s total energy consumption. Clearly there is a lot of heat to go around, if the infrastructure can be put in place to use it. A study in 2009 suggested that district heating could provide 14 per cent of UK heat demand, provide access to renewable energy for those who cannot afford to install their own, and reduce costs for consumers.

Composting Toilets UK, Ireland & Europe - Sun Mar - Toilet Revolution Sun Mar composting toilets are the only residential composting toilet system certified and listed under NSF Standard 41. NSF Fact Sheet, see our NSF Listing by following the link. Products are only certified by NSF after an exhaustive 6 month test, backed up by satisfactory experience in the field, which requires amongst many requirements that there is to be no odour, even during overload testing, and the compost produced has to contain extremely low levels of faecal coliform. Sun Mar composting toilets, like everything we supply, require no septic tank or percolation area so using them avoids any septic tank inspections. How does a Sun Mar composting toilet work? Waste is broken down by microbes in the presence of air, moisture and mulch into finished compost. Summary: