All Questions

4
votes
2answers
179 views

ecofriendly alternatives to PTFE-based (teflon) pots?

PTFE-based coating seems to be potentially harmful to humans and mortal for birds. PFOA, which is used for making teflon, persists in the environment and our bodies for long periods of time (see ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Is there any useful recycling of fibreglass boats or other products made of it?

Lifetime is running out for a large number of fibreglass boats produced about 50 years ago. Many shipyards where they have been produced do no longer exist and last users frequently do not have the ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

How does one utilize the low pressure of a rain barrel?

We've been considering getting a rain barrel, and I like the idea -- it doesn't make sense to just have the water run off into my yard creating a rut; I'd rather put it to good use. Problem is, my ...
4
votes
2answers
36 views

What chemicals does copper slag release into the soil or water table when it is recycled as a gravel?

We have a client who is considering options for building a compacted aggregate path and driveway. One of the products the stone company offers it called copper slag. Copper slag is the waste product ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Can vermicompost tea be used with aquaponics?

Has anyone ever used vermicompost tea with aquaponics? I have found little formal research on the area and am curious if the two nitrogen cycles can be combined.
5
votes
2answers
77 views

Are green roofs more sustainable than roofs with photo voltaic?

Both types of roofs have advantages. Green roofs do not produce energy (in some cases just fruits) but they do not consume that much energy for production of panels, installation and control and do ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Are there advantages to putting solar panels on individual homes rather than in large solar farms?

Suppose 10 million new solar panels will be installed in some country this year, and there are two options: A: the solar panels go onto the roofs of 1 million individual houses B: the solar panels ...
15
votes
1answer
138 views

Does transporting plastic offset the benefits of recycling it?

Apparently China has been processing about half the world's waste until this year, and most of that waste is transported over the ocean in large container ships. Recycling plastic uses less energy and ...
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Is delivery of mail to house doors by postal services more sustainable than picking up mail from a central location?

Today there exists more than one mail and parcel services to distribute deliveries. I wonder about sustainability effects, especially when you receive several deliveries a day. When everybody has to ...
7
votes
2answers
409 views

What are the consequences of wasting water in a water-rich country?

I live in Hungary where everyone has access to loads of clean water. Still, common knowledge says that one shouldn't waste water. Apart from the economic factors, like cleaning the water, why ...
4
votes
2answers
43 views

Is there a simple on-line tool for estimating wind turbine power output?

The back-and-forth in the comments on this answer sent me searching for a simple tool that would enable a user to put in a location, wind turbine size, and a few other parameters, in order to estimate ...
6
votes
2answers
103 views

Is flushing dog faeces down the lavatory better than bagging and binning them?

I have taken to collecting our dog’s fæces in lavatory paper and flushing them rather than using the little plastic bags one can buy for the purpose and putting those in the (non-recycling) rubbish ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Can hot air move horizontally without a fan (vertical is easy)

Passive solar thermal, taking cool air at bottom and hot air out at top is easy. But can the same 'hot air rising' system be made to work horizontally. IE long black tube on a narrowboat Any ideas ...
0
votes
2answers
136 views

Baking Soda and Slugs

Yesterday I went through my garden and removed the first slugs of the year from my tomatoes. The same question as every time: What to do with them? Throwing them into a bucket of water is no good; ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

What packaging should I use to ship vermicompost to customers

I know that vermicompost needs to "breathe" as it has living matter within. I've tried in vain to find out what material I should use for packaging, as I need to ship (by truck, up to 1500 km, in a ...
3
votes
4answers
192 views

Are trees more productive than wind turbines?

Tree farm assumptions: 250,000 square meters (m2) tree farm A 1 ton tree contains 1 MWh of energy Each tree takes 10 m2 of space Total energy for this farm is thus 25 GWh Wind farm assumptions: 5 ...
5
votes
2answers
78 views

Is “buying local” sustainable, with reference to food made from animals?

No doubt vegetables, fruits and salads produced locally in most cases provide local jobs and usually best fresh quality. On the other hand a lot of animal food (soy, corn, and others) are shipped ...
5
votes
1answer
55 views

Can I recycle waxy cardboard (in Greater Vancouver)?

Does anyone know what to do with these containers? Even though some of them are labelled "#3 Please recycle this container" I'm quite sure they can't be put with mixed paper or cardboard recycling ...
7
votes
3answers
192 views

Temperature equalisation throughout the house

We have been living in our home for a year now, so have seen both summer and winter, and we are now looking to solve the heating and cooling problems we have. Heating The walls and roof of the house ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

What feed is typically used in cricket farming?

Insect farming has been hailed by some as a sustainable alternative to animal agriculture because the requirements for land and water are much lower. But just as livestock depend on plant food that ...
11
votes
2answers
133 views

How do plastic bags and other waste end up in the ocean?

There are many photos of the ocean, which in some parts is littered with all sorts of waste, often plastic bags, containers etc. I just wonder - how do such large amounts of plastic land in the ocean/...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

In which cities “free” public transportation generated positive impact, no impact or negative impact to sustainability?

In Europe there are discussions about free public transportation to reduce pollution in cities. Even when in Germany first attempts failed due to economical and political arguments, the discussion ...
5
votes
2answers
85 views

Are motion activated faucets more sustainable than traditional faucets?

In the spirit of this question about paper towels vs electric dryers, which types of faucets are most sustainable? The marketing reasons for using motion-activated faucets are that they reduce water ...
7
votes
1answer
280 views

Composting bones in a worm bin

I have a composting worm farm and would like a definitive answer, as what I've read so far is confusing. When adding scraps of dog bones from beef or lamb, or inedible (for small dog breeds) chicken ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

Has anybody converted a bus from diesel drive to electric drive (hybrid) converting the old engine into a generator?

I am aware that the vehicle will increase weight and that older engines must be modified to operate with less harmful impact to the ambient. I rather wonder about the accompanying effects and ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

Are aluminum sheets appropriate for rainwater catchment roof?

I was thinking of building a rainwater catchment system at my place in the boonies, but ... I want to make sure -- priority one -- I'm not going to get toxic stuff in my water. I looked at the ...
3
votes
1answer
775 views

Recycling soda stream cannisters in Australia?

My wife and I have a bunch of random broken things from our previous lives that we're trying to get rid of correctly. One of them is a few left over soda stream canisters. Many recycling centers in ...
6
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Will natural gas or propane generators also run off of methane?

I'm looking at building a sustainable energy project that will convert biogas (methane) into electricity. I haven't found any biogas or methane electric generators for sale. It seems that there are ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Are pure or modified sine inverters different?

Just starting my power closet to power my off grid mobile home I've come to question everyone that I belive would know with no concrete answer Is there a difference between using a modified sine or ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Use Ebooks or normal books? [duplicate]

Ebooks and normal paper books both contribute to environmental damage in some way. I want to know, which of those two contributes to less environmental damage, on average?
4
votes
3answers
126 views

How to consume all my photovoltaic electricity locally?

In a location where feed-in to the grid is not rewarded, it makes sense to consume "oversupply" locally produced photovoltaics energy with non-critical consumers, such as water heaters. How can I ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

What do the different rules for photovoltaics feed-in mean?

When researching about photovoltaics feed-in to grid options in my area, I came across various terms: net metering, feed-in limit, zero export / zero feed-in, solar smoothing. Can somebody explain ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to set up grid-tied photovoltaics without feed-in?

In my current place (Morocco), the electrical utility operator does not allow feed-in. How can I create a photovoltaics installation that respects this rule? I would like to create a grid-tied ...
4
votes
3answers
63 views

Can grass clippings be used for livestock feed?

I was at a university agricultural research farm and I noticed that sheep had maintained grass height on a pasture to less than 1 inch. I asked the person in charge if they used a lawn mower and he ...
12
votes
2answers
116 views

Is using a menstrual cup better for the environment than using pads or tampons?

Menstrual cups can last between 5 to 10 years depending on the brand and care in use. There are many different brands and designs. E.g. Diva cups only last about the average of 5 years, while Mooncup ...
3
votes
2answers
52 views

Alternative to sealing compound

Has anyone ever used self-made, eco-friendly sealing compound for outdoors? What recipe? How long does the recipe you used last? I intend to use this sealing compound to stop wasps from getting in ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

How can we all together clean up the vast plastic carpets in our oceans? [closed]

It is mind-boggling to me that there is still so much plastic out in our oceans, floating around for years and ever growing and nothing is being done about it. Governments should work together, ...
4
votes
2answers
42 views

Does adding essential oil to a wash waste detergent?

I sometimes use some essential oil / extracts in my washing machine as they can have some disinfecting effect and give a nice smell to the clothes (e.g. a capful of eucalyptus oil for one load). ...
4
votes
0answers
48 views

How to manage a largish hugelkultur?

As part of the site clearance for the in-fill house I'm building at the rear of the section I have had to remove a 100 year plus old pine ( which the neighbour wanted to remove as he felt it was ...
6
votes
3answers
134 views

Most sustainable vehicle that shelters from rain

I usually travel by bike, and it's a great vehicle and is mostly sustainable. I love travelling by bike when the weather is nice, but what all the pro-bike propaganda never mentions is that one very ...
5
votes
2answers
72 views

Garden fence - order options by most sustainable

Our new house has a garden, and part of the fence needs to be replaced. Part of what needs replacing is the pole that holds the lock for the garden-door. Last year, we replaced that part of the fence ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Innovative design solutions to increase recycling rates among university students

I have an assignment to research innovate design solutions to increase recycling rates, in particular recycling rates among university students. I've found an excellent research report on topic (but ...
7
votes
1answer
895 views

How many times can plastic be recycled?

This answer to another question brought up the point that "recycling" of plastic is often more accurately "downcycling." From Wikipedia: Downcycling, also referred to as cascading, describes the ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How to size an PV array?

Due to limitations on the street fuse we are going to make a new house ( 50 m2 ) a hybrid off-grid solution that is at the rear of an existing house which is on the grid. So, this means we can charge ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Lead nano carbon batteries over Lithium?

The person quoting me on an off grid solution is suggesting lead nano carbon batteries instead of Lithium Ion or ordinary lead acid. Is this technology mature enough yet? And is this now the way to ...
5
votes
3answers
63 views

Cost benefit analysis of a PV array with racking to set optimal angle, vs a larger array

I'm thinking of installing some panels on the roof. It's unshaded but only pitched at 5 degrees on long run roofing iron. Would I be better off racking at an angle to optimize for winter sun, or just ...
4
votes
3answers
105 views

Could hotels charge guests for the utilities they use to encourage conservation?

I travel often for work and stay in hotels. I have observed that with no direct incentive, it's often hard to stay motivated to make such sustainable choices as taking shorter showers, running the A/C ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

How much is the environmental benefit of organic food offset by its higher economic cost when purchased?

One thing that I do in my life is earn extra money just so I can afford organic food as much as possible. But in this higher-earning job (which is not organic farming and thus not sustainable ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

What is the current tax-credit for homeowners who install a geothermal heat pump system?

I'm confused by what this website is telling me about the tax-credit for a geothermal heat pump: https://www.energy.gov/savings/residential-renewable-energy-tax-credit It says: A taxpayer may ...

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