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6
votes
1answer
42 views

Good uses for sweet whey

I make cheese from time to time which produces copious quantities of whey (often more than I can drink in the mean time). Are there any extra uses for whey that I may be overlooking?
19
votes
8answers
2k views

What is an easy way to cool off during the summer without electricity?

What are some easy ways to stay cool during the day without using electricity?
5
votes
4answers
114 views

Better to get a kombucha Mother from friend or buy from a catalogue?

I am looking to get started with creating my own kombucha. Is there any risk with getting a seed mother from a friend, or is it best to buy from an online store?
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the virtual water content of a cell phone?

Values for virtual water content, that is, all water used in the production of whatever product you are analyzing, are usually available for a meal, a piece of clothing, a fruit, but not very easily ...
22
votes
4answers
10k views

How can I seal a pond without using a plastic pond liner?

I'd like to create a pond in a wet spot in my yard so that I can plant some beneficial water plants and possibly attract frogs and toads to help control pests. Is it possible to seal the pond so that ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

How do I innoculate a 3 year old tree with a mycorrhizal fungus? [closed]

I have a number of fruit trees that have been in the ground for several years. I did not have access to mycorrhizal innoculants at the time of planting. Can I inoculate them somehow now? How?
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What species of mycorrhizal fungus do well with apple trees?

In Mycelium Running, Paul Stamets talks about inoculating seedlings with mycorrhizal funguses. He shows a side by side of young Maple saplings, one with and one with out showing the immense ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

What can I grow for chicken food?

I live in the northeast US, with relatively cold winters (USDA zone 5, about -15°F ) and a short growing season (about 90 days frost-free; snow possible October through April). I have a small flock (...
10
votes
1answer
223 views

What to use as an alternative to store-bought hay?

Given the chance and with endless cashflow I would use store-bought hay everywhere. This keeps animals dry, they like to munch on it and it also reduces the smell for those animals (like ducks) that ...
19
votes
2answers
257 views

Why should I compost?

I've seen a number of question about composting here. Five, if the composting tag is a good way to measure. In my sustainability efforts (no car, no meat, no flying) I've never really considered ...
10
votes
1answer
347 views

Organic aphid control on houseplants

What is the best option that's going to be safe for children/pets and require the least amount of reapplication? I'm looking for something that has little to no phytotoxicity between plant species.
30
votes
5answers
999 views

Estimating the cost of solar panels and return time?

I'm interested in installing a solar array on my property, and am trying to find tools that can help me do a cost analysis so I can optimize my budget and see how long it will take to balance the ...
19
votes
2answers
315 views

Can solar panels be recycled?

There are plenty solar panels installed in the recent years. Their operation expectancy as far as I know is about 50 yrs. This will produce waste for our grandchildren. Please, reassure me, that these ...
16
votes
1answer
222 views

What factors should I consider when deciding if cob construction is appropriate?

So I've read quite a bit about cob construction and even after this kind of research, I don't feel equipped to answer this question. What climates or locations make cob a good or bad idea? One ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What alternatives to Polypropylene bags could be used in Earthbag construction?

Given that Polypropylene bags are still a plastic product and not very biodegradable or earth friendly, if Earthbag construction became widely used how could this method be improved upon even further? ...
10
votes
1answer
77 views

Are there any 'home-grown' substances that can be used to clean carpet stains?

I've heard of using walnuts to remove scratches on wooden furniture. Are there any plants that can be grown or foraged that have the ability to remove dirt/stains from carpets?
7
votes
2answers
68 views

Minimum amount of time to use a consumer electronic?

I have read that the total embodied energy cost of consumer electronics (e.g. computers, smart phones, digital cameras, etc.) identifies these devices as products of an unsustainable energy economy. ...
-1
votes
1answer
142 views

Can I measure the average electricity consumption of a specific website design? [closed]

It is said that websites with a black background are more sustainable from an electricity consumption perspective. Is there a tool to measure the most sustainable website design you can use while ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

How can you compare the costs of using public transportation versus using a personal car? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Impact of various travelling options Freakonomics makes the claim that for public transportation, provided ridership is sufficiently high, that the most energy efficient means ...
22
votes
1answer
440 views

Do small portable solar chargers generate more energy than it costs to produce them?

I know large solar panels generate more energy than is needed to manufacture them, but what about small portable solar chargers for mobile phone or radio? I've read somewhere that their efficiency is ...
16
votes
1answer
181 views

How can I save seeds from a tomato for replanting?

I am a first time seeder and I am trying to save the seeds from the fruits and vegetables I consume so I can plant them later. I understand how to properly save most seeds like. However, I am unsure ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the typical energy usage of automatic light switches?

A good way to cope with forgetting to turn of the lights is automatic light switches. But they must be using some energy to do their job. What's the rate of energy use for a typical automatic/sensor ...
16
votes
1answer
190 views

How can consumers persuade manufacturers to make their products more sustainable?

How can we, as consumers, persuade manufacturers to make their products more sustainable? The only things I've come up with (and try to do myself) Buy the most sustainable version of products. The ...
63
votes
10answers
12k views

What is an energy efficient way to get fresh air indoors during winter?

Letting some fresh air inside is always a good idea, but during the winter it seems a bit wasteful to fling open the window and let the fresh air in at the expense of all that hot air going out, and ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

When are you a locavore? [closed]

I mentioned to someone that I admired the person because they were a locavore. They responded that they weren't a locavore because not all their foods were local, just like they weren't a vegetarian ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Any use for Norfolk Island Pine leaves?

We have a giant (at least 30 metre high) Norfolk Island Pine in our back yard. Is there anything I could do to put the leaves to good use? They don't make good use for composting or as part of the ...
17
votes
5answers
244 views

Are economies that need growth unsustainable?

The presently dominant economic system appears to require exponential economic growth. I may be wrong, but whether or not it is is a question that is off-topic here — for the sake of this question, ...
12
votes
2answers
73 views

Maintaining or treating harvested water for animal consumption

I am currently storing rain water in a 60L blue barrel that is being used to feed chickens, ducks and rabbits. I have never run dry yet, although I have come close, but there is a steady supply. ...
4
votes
3answers
255 views

Is interest sustainable? [closed]

Organisations such as JAK and Rentevrij argue that economic interest is fundamentally unsustainable, because it requires perpetual exponential economic growth, something impossible in a finite ...
31
votes
3answers
666 views

Impact of various travelling options

Are there any objective resources to estimate the ecological impact of various travel alternatives? Sites like Bahn.de offer to calculate it, but they obviously favour trains. I've asked a question on ...
22
votes
2answers
375 views

Local greenhouse/hothouse vegetables vs. remote naturally-grown vegetables

I've often wondered what is ecologically better: A tomato from the region grown in a (heated) greenhouse/hothouse A tomato from several thousand km away grown naturally Ceteris paribus, are there ...
15
votes
1answer
605 views

How do I estimate my personal ecological footprint?

In 2000, I was introduced to the concept of the ecological footprint, and for the first time I realised how fundamentally unsustainable my lifestyle was. An environmental group had a small ...
16
votes
1answer
731 views

Infrastructure layers for a green roof?

What layers of sealing/insulation/etc are needed when putting a green roof on an existing structure? Strong preference is for materials that are easily findable/not specialized products. To clarify ...
15
votes
2answers
997 views

Which gases increase the greenhouse effect more than carbon dioxide?

Everywhere can be read that carbon dioxide increases greenhouse effect. But there are other gases having worse effect than carbon dioxide, e.g. methane. Is carbon dioxide emission the real threat, or ...
51
votes
15answers
12k views

Alternative to Toilet Paper?

Are there any sustainable alternatives for toilet paper? This could either be done by recycled paper (if such exists), but perhaps some other creative solution could be interesting.
11
votes
5answers
420 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
402 views

What is in vermiliquid (worm tea)? Or perhaps more importantly, what is not in vermiliquid?

Worm farming produces vermiliquid (the liquid component) and vermicast (the solid component). A google search (with the quotes) for "What is in worm tea" or "What is in vermiliquid" returns zero ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

What's an effective design for sending sink water to a toilet tank?

This answer to a question about a toilet/sink combo makes me wonder: What design considerations need to be taken into account if I was to modify my existing sink & toilet so that the sink waste ...
23
votes
6answers
12k views

How can I add thermal mass to a woodstove, without a lot of weight?

It's well-documented that adding thermal mass to a woodstove will improve efficiency. You can burn smaller splits of wood hotter, causing more complete combustion. The additional heat output won't ...
15
votes
2answers
12k views

Switching to Toilet/Sink Combo

As part of my ongoing downsizing, my new house's bathroom will be smaller, so I'm looking at installing a toilet/sink combo to save space, reduce construction costs by making the bathroom as small as ...
27
votes
4answers
180 views

Biodegradable cleaners to remove mold?

I've relocated to an apartment with considerable mold in a couple of closets and bathroom. Is there a way to remove this mold with a biodegradable solution?
14
votes
2answers
345 views

What are the downsides to so called greenware items?

Greenware is the brand name of a 100% corn based cups produced by Fabri-Kal. It is used to provide a plastic cup that can be composted. I'm wondering what externalities might exist for this product ...
34
votes
2answers
589 views

What’s the best strategy for turning off CFLs that will save energy but not reduce lifespan so much

With ordinary bulbs, I was used to turning the lights off even when I left the room for a few minutes (mostly because I know that I'll find other business and forget to return :-) ), but I've heard ...
16
votes
1answer
385 views

What percentage of plastic drinking bottles is recycled after use, worldwide?

I often hear that, although plastic bottles can be recycled quite efficiently, only a percentage of them gets effectively recycled. I have heard about shipments to Africa to pile them up without a ...
15
votes
3answers
214 views

How can I determine whether roof top wind turbines would be beneficial in my area?

Rooftop wind turbines seem great in principle, but in practice, especially in urban areas their usefulness and efficiency is debated, such as in this article. The most general consensus seems to be ...
9
votes
1answer
309 views

Indoor tilapia aquaponic farm in condo/apartment?

Are there problems with an aquaponic tilapia farm for a condo/apartment living space? Is this sustainable and safe? I'm thinking there might be problems with humidity/mold and possible water pump ...
72
votes
10answers
68k views

Why shouldn't meat be placed in my compost pile?

I've heard claims that it is a bad idea to place meat in your compost pile. What is the reason for this? I'd like to be able to compost all my table scraps to reduce my waste stream, however, if ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Would monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels perform best in a UK climate?

If I were to get solar panels installed on the roof of my home, in the UK, what type should I choose? There appear to be three main types, and at present the choice appears to be between the ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

Should I use my wood fireplace?

I live in a relatively modern (built 1983) home, which has a fireplace in the living room. How should I decide if I should use the fireplace for heat, or strictly use use the natural-gas central ...
13
votes
2answers
337 views

How to keep warm with limited use of fire?

The general rule for keeping warm in wilderness in cold climate is to make fire, as big as possible. While being effective, it's not sustainable in longer perspective because it is depleting natural ...

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