How To Make Your Own Green Energy Source

February 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Eco Green Living HQ

Wouldn’t it be great if we can produce our own green energy source? If we can do that, we don’t have to pay electrical bills or gasoline anymore for our cars. While we can buy some of the equipment, the rest will have to be done on our own.

Take solar or wind energy for example. We already know how to harness and make it. If you want to make one, do some research online and then set up the system yourself.

To have solar energy, you will need to buy an inverter, battery, charge controller, solar panels, some wires and support structure. The only difference with wind energy is that you need a fan. Once you have everything you need, you can put it all together.

If you are not skillful, you will be happy to know that some companies sell the entire system. By buying it from them and having it installed by their experts, you are sure that there won’t be any problems the moment you switch it on.

There is one more thing you need before you can use one or the two green energy sources. Before you buy the materials or the system, make sure you have a flat area that is about a hundred square feet or so because it occupies a lot of space.

For those who don’t have the space or the budget to use these two energy sources, another option is to create your own biofuels.

Biofuels are used in many countries and they get it from harvesting corn, sugar and other crops. Luckily, you don’t need a farm to produce it because you can also make your own using some recycled waste.

A good example of this is vegetable oil which we use for cooking. To turn this into a biofuel, we first filter it by warming up the liquid and then filtering this with a coffee filter. The next step is to remove the water also by boiling it again at 100 degrees for a short period of time.

We need to know the amount of lye present in the vegetable oil and we do this by a process known as titration. When we are done with that, we now mix sodium hydroxide to produce sodium methoxide.

The process of converting used vegetable oil before it becomes a biofuel takes quite awhile and it must be heated the entire time. This is done so the fuel we produce is pure and only when this is achieved that we give it time to cool.

Just how much biofuel we make after all the work varies but you will have an idea of how much you have produced since this is the one you see floating at the top. If there is still some glycerin present, filter it again. From there, you already have your own backyard biofuel which you can use and even sell to those who are just as concerned with the environment as you are.

By making our own green energy sources, we make ourselves less dependent on gasoline in its various forms to power our heater, home or car. Why don’t a lot of people do it? Well simply because they don’t have the time to make it and would rather rely on someone else to do it for them.

Summer Break is Over

January 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Life Less Plastic

My co-worker, Nick, won’t stop asking me why I haven’t blogged since May. Nearly every day his loud, annoying voice curls around the wall between our cubicles and grates at my ears.

What I hear is something like, “So, Jeanne.”

It’s not a question, but I know there’s more to it. I know what’s coming. I say, “yeeeaaaah?”

Then he asks, “So, when are you gonna write another blog post?”

“Uhh…I don’t know!”

But that’s not totally true. I do sort of know why.

I moved into a new apartment last month and was transported into an anti-blogging state of preoccupation, confusion, and plastification.

Excuse #1: Preoccupation
I spent a good portion of June packing up my old apartment and moving into my new place. Then I had to unpack (Secret: I’m still not 100% done. I have one box to left to unpack and I still haven’t figured out how to organize my closets).

On top of that, it’s the summer, and my usually-super-busy boyfriend has tons of free time, and I went to visit my friend’s farm for a weekend, and I’ve been working on a new photo project. And, and, and.

Excuse #2: Confusion
It is not just the preoccupation. Now that I’m in a new apartment and location, I’ve had to figure out how to shop again. I had to assess the general plastic-free-ness of the products at my new grocery store and figure out the best way to get to a Whole Foods. I had to reform my routine—the exact routine that allows me to be (nearly) plastic-free in the first place.

Excuse #3: Plastic
I’ve used some plastic during this busy and confusing time, which left me un-motivated to write. Here’s a list of the things I recall using:

  • A Starbucks ice coffee cup
  • Two coffee cup lids
  • A carry out container (from delicious thai food)
  • Blue corn chips bag
  • A few straws
  • Two plastic forks and two plastic knives (at continental breakfast while on a mini-break)
  • Plastic bag (from cherries at a farmers’ market)

That’s all I can remember for now. I know it’s not so bad, but I felt terrible for each and every one of these things.

Summer Break Is Over
So that’s it. Summer is over, and it’s time to say “adios” to preocccupation, confusion, and plastic.

And it’s time to say “hello” to my blog! HELLO BLOG!

Thanks to Nick for allowing me to make fun of him in this post. If you’ve got time, check out his marketing strategy blog, Never A Lack of Ideas.

Raising Awareness Without Preaching

August 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Everything You Should Know

The human condition is constantly evolving, which may be news to those who believe it to be shallow and self-obsessed. As time goes on, the way we look at things is influenced both by the past and by the needs of the present. So while the 80s were considered to be a cynical time, and the 90s were about activism, the last decade became something in between the two – keen to do right, but terrified of appearing earnest and preachy.

This can be seen in a lot of the awareness movements and even charity telethons of the past decade. Although the issue of doing the right thing is always implicit in such movements, the underlying impression was that participants were keen to give a message of “Yes, I’m being noble, but I don’t want you to think that I am noble myself, so I will gently mock myself while doing so”. We are almost scared of appearing to care about something, so we mock ourselves before anyone else gets the chance.

In environmental terms this is often a matter of people saying “I’m just taking this to the recycling bank – yes, I’m one of those people, I’m sorry.”. Should we really be scared of being seen to care? Perhaps not. However, as the human condition changes with time, it might not be a bad way of going about things. It makes people think “I may be a little cynical about the issue, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything at all to help”. Better a participating cynic than someone who cares but won’t dare appear to.

Am I A Hypocrite?

August 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Eco Green Living HQ

In life, we must compromise from time to time. Even the principles that we hold so dear sometimes come under pressure when the situation becomes grave. And for an environmentalist the concern about compromising arises on a regular basis. If you get in the car to drive somewhere are you junking your principles? If you buy food that is not locally sourced, are you a traitor to the planet? If you let a glass jar fall into the wrong garbage bin, are you sticking your tongue out at Mother Nature?

Think about your other principles if you have a problem with the above questions. We all have principles and we cannot always live perfectly by those principles. We may always want to help the needy, but we may not be able to in every case. We may always want to think before judging, but anger can override that principle. We are human, and if you never slip in your principles then you should take a large bow, because you have managed something that hardly anyone ever does.

If you sometimes let your environmental principles slip, it is not because you are a charlatan. Sometimes we have to let one go because there is a reason we cannot live up to it. Sometimes we make mistakes and we cannot just repair them. As long as you live your life by sound general principles, a mistake can be forgotten and forgiven – but breaking them when it suits you is another matter, and one that is harder to justify.

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