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Questions tagged [diy]

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) and home improvements: the sustainability issues around mending and improving your home through repairs, renovation, carpentry, plumbing and other building activities that you do yourself, as an alternative to employing a tradesperson.

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0answers
54 views

Home efficiency

Please comment on which design is more thermally efficient. They are roughly the same. The apt is 2' shorter on the out (left) as space is not need for stairs. It is a cooler climate with 70" of ...
6
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1answer
135 views

Does Sawdust for Humanure/Composting Toilet need to be Powder?

First timer here, just getting into homesteading. I bought a pack of sawdust from Tractor Supply the other night. Finest variety they had. Fine premium pine shavings: This looks like very thin pine ...
2
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1answer
66 views

What is the problem in my aquaponics system?

I have an aquaponics system with 20 Koi fish and different plants which works by the Siphon method , and the fish water is about 22-26°c, which is usually less for plants of 2°c degrees. The water is ...
5
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1answer
54 views

Environmental concerns of a plastic bottle boat?

Having found several images of boats constructed primarily of plastic bottles, the boy scout within me was interested by the idea. However, I know that plastic bottles biodegrade in sunlight, and the ...
0
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1answer
119 views

Is it possible to reverse the air flow of a roof turbine/whirlybird?

I am currently working on a device that requires omnidirectional air currents (e.g. breezes/winds) to be directed downwards through a vertical tube. I think it would be a very similar design to a ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Organic or Homemade equivalent White board Cleaning liquid & scrub?

We have some white boards where the ink has dried. I am sure there are commercial cleaners out there, but I am looking to find something: Liquid: Organic/ Edible - Maybe as natural as a fruit/ ...
5
votes
1answer
59 views

how to make active charcoal soap rinse away?

I've created active charcoal soap by mixing active charcoal, aloe vera, and witch hazel. Problematically, the color clings to my skin and is very difficult to rinse off. What natural agents might I ...
11
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4answers
157 views

What are effective ways to make a home significantly more sustainable when renting?

People might not be able to buy their own home, or might even decide to rent their whole life for good reasons (it sometimes makes sense in an economical way; other people might not be able to stay at ...
10
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1answer
157 views

What is the most sustainable choice to write in a whiteboard?

I write a lot in a whiteboard and I would like to find a sustainable alternative to traditional (disposable) whiteboard markers which are what I'm using right now. I was thinking of getting a ...
6
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2answers
141 views

Trying to figure out what to buy for my solar power system

My plan is to get 4x 250w panels @24v, 6x 12v 200 ah batteries, a 60 amp charge controller and 1000w pure sine inverter. It will be a 48v system. How does all of this scale with each other? Also I ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Would it be possible to process bamboo for fabric at home?

I have been using bamboo socks and t-shirts, and I have read online about the fact that two main disadvantages of the industrial production of bamboo are: 1) Some companies process the bamboo ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Detailed breakdown of Solar PV installation site test (site survey)

I'm slowly teaching myself on how I can build a solar PV system for my own home. Anyone kind enough to provide a breakdown of what tools i need to test my site for an optimum conversion of solar ...
2
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0answers
110 views

Building a boat - out of recyclables [closed]

Looking for ideas to make a boat out of mostly recycled material. Two idea's that come to mind is cardboard and use weather sealer on it, and caulking the edges or plastic bottles, jugs, and the like ...
2
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1answer
399 views

Biodegradable paint for short term use

I attended a protest against the TPPA today and found myself wondering about what biodegradable paint might work nicely for short term use, such as for a cardboard placard. A similar use for such ...
4
votes
1answer
292 views

Solar Window Heater at Night

I have been thinking for a long time about building a Passive Solar Window Heater similar to this: I live in northern - North America which during the winter ranges from 30°F during the day to 0°F at ...
2
votes
3answers
20k views

How to fix plastic (acetate) glasses frame?

My prescription glasses has fallen on the ground... it's an Oakley Shifter 2.0 Black Smoke. Lenses are still good but the frame has broken when falling on the ground (a clean cut directly where the ...
7
votes
1answer
119 views

Have spray-on solar cells hit the market yet? What other lightweight cell can I use for unusual shapes?

I read in a couple of places that researchers at Sheffield University have made spray-on perovskite cells at efficiencies of 11%. I was interested in this because it is lightweight and could fit more ...
8
votes
2answers
963 views

Is there a green alternative for spray polyurethane foam?

I know that spray polyurethane foam is difficult to remove and separate from other building materials. Also, dust particules containing toxins can be released when applying or removing it. What is a ...
3
votes
3answers
213 views

Are there any uses for used up hair elastics so they don't end up in landfill?

I have some hair ties that have been stretched so much that they aren't stretchy anymore. I'm talking about ones that look like this: It's basically thread wrapped around elastic. The elastic inside ...
8
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1answer
204 views

How can I clean old cooking oil for use in candles?

I have a tupperware of old cooking oil in the fridge that I've been debating throwing away - but I would rather re-use it than just toss it. Can I render it and make it into jar candles? It's ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

If made on-site, what is needed for a solar panel

In this answer Russel says solar panels are: a sandwich of glass + bonder + silicon PV cells + bonder + backsheet This got me wondering how much of those materials are needed to make the solar ...
9
votes
3answers
379 views

Are there types of solar panels that can be made completely locally and independent of fossil fuels?

I want to know if there are any kinds of solar panels that can be produced completely locally, from gathering materials to manufacturing to installing, without fossil fuel inputs anywhere in the ...
4
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1answer
229 views

Microbes used for home composting and cost effectiveness

This product which has recently launched in India claiming to provide a stench free alternative to home composting with little hassle. I had a discussion with its founder and he says its similar to ...
8
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3answers
473 views

Open Source DIY Architecture Alternatives?

After watching this video I felt really inspired and started thinking that it would be a great idea if we could research the same idea more and develop a way to make it easy enough for anyone to build ...
6
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4answers
15k views

How can I build a spinning wheel?

I have a large wolf-dog hybrid who sheds, a lot! I have to brush him every day. A friend came by, saw the massive amount of fur he's shedding and remarked that it would be great for spinning into ...
7
votes
1answer
127 views

Instructions for making, and comparisons of, *small* solar thermal collectors

The web has probably thousands of pages with instructions on how to build solar devices for heating air, water, and probably things I've never even thought of. Wikipedia describes different types of ...
11
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1answer
8k views

How to recycle paper with ink on it?

In my work and study, I have a lot of printouts - many of which re drafts and redrafts. Is there are a way to recycle printed paper (standard printer paper) without using harsh chemicals and minimal ...
9
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5answers
4k views

How to filter/dewater water mixed with water-based paint

PROBLEM I would like to find the best way to filter 2 cubic meters of water which is full of water-based paint. This water is used in a closed-loop circuit in a Spray booth. The water does not need ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

How to make a fully reused/reusable plastic bottle raft?

"Recycle" is the last in reduce-reuse-recycle triad, and though it's an obvious choice for plastic bottles, there are ways to make the most of every bottle. I drink from every bottle for some time and ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

What is the most effective mixture of soil and amendments to use with Open Source Ecology's compressed earth brick press?

What is the best input mixture to produce cohesive, strong bricks when using Open Source Ecology's compressed earth brick press? I've heard that lime and sand should be added to help brick ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

How can I determine the U-value (or R-value) of my existing double glazing system?

Is there an easy way to determine the U-value (or R-value) of an existing fitted double glazing system? Two options spring to mind, looking up the value in some kind of database (sadly I have no idea ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How much of my flat heating is going to heat my neighbours flats?

I live in a block of flats with neighbours on 5 sides and only one side open to the outside. I understand that conduction is likely to be the main way I lose or gain heat to or from the neighbours on ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Is secondary triple glazing a practical way to reduce energy costs?

I have been considering installing secondary double glazing units in my home in an attempt to turn my double glazed windows into triple glazed windows. I understand the law of diminishing returns, ...
37
votes
5answers
154k views

Can I recycle plastics at home by melting and molding?

I would like to know if it is possible to recycle plastic at home by melting and molding. Is it at all possible? What technique or technology do I need? Can it be done with any plastic? Are there ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to avoid plastic in aquaponics designs?

Ignoring the question of whether aquaponics is a sustainable process (which it may not be due to seemingly high energy input required for water movement and filtration). Most aquaponics designs use ...
12
votes
1answer
196 views

Which plastics should I avoid and what qualities of plastics are important to consider?

I see a lot of DIY projects that use various plastics, even projects with a focus on sustainable processes and methods. Is the use of plastic contrary to the idea of sustainability entirely? Are ...
11
votes
5answers
417 views

Yeasts - Home production for alcoholic beverages / Baking / etc

Yeasts are used to produce "alcoholic beverages" / beer / wine, to bake, yogurt/cheese, etc.... Going to a shop and buy some baker's yeast is easy but not a long term solution, at least the ones I ...
20
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4answers
585 views

What is a good way to produce drinking water?

I want to make sure I have a sustainable water source for one household. If I have a source of reasonably safe water like rain water or ground water, how can I purify this water to a level that I ...