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30

I would like to know if it is possible to recycle plastic at home by melting and molding. Yes it is possible. One guy makes chairs out of melted plastic. There are several guides on melting plastic that show up when you search google for it. This one, on ehow shows how to melt plastic in a toaster oven. Basically, wash the bottles, cut 'em into small ...


16

To contribute to the options offered by Elssar's answer, here is an interesting thing I read about just a few days ago: Filabot is a project of compact 3D printer that directly recycles plastic objects at home to create new shapes. It was launched for funding on the 19th of December 2011 on Kickstarter and tripled its goal by the 23rd of January 2012. Here ...


13

Rain water is generally the safest source of drinking water, as long as you don't live in a chemically polluted environment. To remove heavy metals etc. you'd need active carbon filters or use distillation. But if you live far from big industry, you can assume rain water is fit for drinking. You could boil it to feel safer on top of that. Ground water, if ...


10

Even when melted/burned in a place with lots of ventilation, plastics can produce many toxic chemicals. These are then breathed in or attach themselves to soil, where they can stay for years and years. Therefore, I really wouldn't suggest trying to reuse plastics at home by melting or heating them, as the health implications can be really dangerous and ...


10

Most areas do collect paper for recycling. The paper gets chopped up into pulp. Air is introduced and the ink sticks to the air bubbles, which rise to the top. The ink bubbles are then skimmed of the top and the fibres are processed into recycled paper (newspaper, for example). This might be a nice little project, but I doubt anyone has the stamina to make ...


8

In the United States, the average water consumption rate is about 1 quart per day. If you're the only person who needs drinking water, then the costs of digging a well are probably not justified. The easiest option is trucking. Anything between a 5-gallon carboy on a bicycle or in a car, up to a couple hundred gallons in the back of a pickup truck is ...


8

Added: Based on the added comment that The purpose of the question is to determine whether solar panels can be made after fossil fuels are widely unavailable and long-distance supply chains are extremely expensive or unavailable. I won't address the assumptions made re unavailability of supply chain, and will just assume that it is true in this case. ...


8

Thermal lined curtains would make a big difference especially if the windows are single glazed. Draught proofing using self-adhesive strip is both subtle and removable. Topping up loft insulation, as it's out of sight, is something that might be permitted quite easily, but could be expensive. Other options are things like shower flow reducers and toilet ...


7

I've worked in screen printing using water-based inks, and all we did there was a settling tank and cloth filters. By cloth, I mean we printed t shirts and used scrap t shirts to make the filters - just wrap 3-4 layers of t shirts around a screen printing screen and that's the filter (6-8 layers of cloth, one layer of ~0.5mm mesh). We had effectively a split ...


7

Here's the basis of the calculation you need for losses through conduction: heat loss rate = surface area x U-value of separater material x temperature difference. There will also be losses from convection. So, to compare the conduction losses through your external walls, to losses through your internal walls, do the calculation for each. I expect that ...


7

Is the use of plastic contrary to the idea of sustainability entirely? Yes. The general answer to this question is: Avoid plastics whereever you can. Plastic takes several hundred years to rot, it's a first class environmental toxic regarding the high amounts ending up in the nature. Although, plastic can be recycled in some ways most of it is simply ...


7

Groundwater is the stablest source of clean drinking water and normally does not need any extra purification assuming the well is well placed and there are no pollutants nearby. A sample of well water should be analyzed in a lab every three years or so. Water analysis will tell what kind of filters are needed - if any. If there is a danger of microbes ...


7

Short answer: it's unlikely to be cost-effective, if you consider only the energy savings. Longer answer: Yes, it's possible. Let's look at the issues one by one. Condensation If you only open the secondary glazing when the inside air is cool and dry that will reduce the chances of condensation. Put some dessicant in the gap, and dry it out occasionally, ...


7

FYI - you don't have to have a spinning wheel to spin small to moderate amounts of yarn. A hand-spinning spindle will work great, is much less expensive to buy and far less complicated to make, and is also very portable. I spun great yarn using a top whorl drop spindle for a couple of years or so before I finally (mostly) moved on to using a spinning wheel. ...


7

The line "All the DIY references I’ve found still require buying components that are dependent on fossil fuel-driven manufacturing and mining processes." makes it sound like you are hoping to build a solar cell with materials you pick up off the ground. Fortunately, there is such a cell. You can make Cuprous oxide solar cells using nothing but copper, heat, ...


6

It depends on the plastic you're using. Plastics often come in the thermoplastic and thermosetting categories. If the plastic is a thermosetting plastic then it is not able to melted (Most, if not all thermosetting plastics burn rather than melt). However, a thermoplastic plastic can be melted and remoulded as much as you want (quality of plastic is likely ...


6

That's great to have a constant source of yarn - from your pet. I saw a lady who knitted items for sale using her dog's fur. I've been studying about spinning wheels and how to spin only in the past few months. I've come to the conclusion that a spinning wheel is actually a sped up version of a drop spindle and it's also a lot of fun to spin with. Since ...


6

Your question is a little ambiguous- do you want a prefab home you can plop in a hole, or an open source DIY plan? There are some in progress in open source architecture, such as wikihouse: http://www.wikihouse.cc/about But it is early stages and not often focused sustainability. I think this DIY example (blueprints included) might interest you: http://...


5

I suggest you use a U-value kit from greenTEG. It is easy to use, very accurate and you get the U-value of any position of your wall or glass within a few days of measurement. I tested it on my new house and it resulted in the same value as predicted by the energy engineer.


5

As the other answer says, baking with sourdough involves keeping a portion of dough for the next loaf baked. Whether you create a sourdough culture from scratch or get one from a friend, once you've got a culture that works for you, you can thinly spread some fermented dough onto some waxed paper (or perhaps a greased tray, if you prefer something you don't ...


5

Excellent question, and I agree that much of the information is too focused on the commercial aspects. The best site I've found is http://www.builditsolar.com, which has extensive information on DIY solar thermal, along with a lot of project photos and links. The site organization may not be the best, but the content is outstanding.


5

Sure you can. Bring it up to heat and let it bubble and simmer for a bit, skim off any scum that floats to the top. Then break out a good sized funnel and some cheesecloth or paper towels, line the funnel, and slowly strain the still-warm oil into a holding container. You can then use this oil for survival candles. Just remember to keep a decent supply of ...


5

After reading carefully about the question on internet and how other have fix their glass' frame, It is known that acetate frames (or any other thing made of Acetate) can be "melt" using Acetone. You must be sure that your frame are made of pure acetate, which was my case. I dipped both broken parts into acetone for about 2 minutes I sticked them together ...


5

This question reminds me of Can I recycle plastics at home by melting and molding? Recycling paper at home in that it is asking if it is possible to do some industrialized process at home. Well, of course it is, but that's only because anything is possible. I think there are two ways of making bamboo fabric, sometimes called "bamboo rayon" and "bamboo ...


5

Faucet aerators are cheap ways to help save water and you can install/uninstall them pretty easily. SmartStrips and other power-saving devices can help cut off phantom loads. Most innovations that reduce plug load electric usage, except perhaps large appliances, are available to renters. Energy-saving light bulbs can also generally be installed/...


5

The role of sawdust/shavings in composting toilets is four-fold: Visually hide your waste so the next person using the toilet doesn't need to see it Trap gases immediately above the waste so that they don't waft into the room Absorb some of the fluids/urine Add carbon to the high-nitrogen mix so that the composting process can begin The labelled 'quality' ...


4

This is a fun question. I am not against plastics in my designs but lets see what we can do to get around this! Wood? I would think that a good hard wood with closely packed grain would be a great building block for grow beds and even the fish tank. If you employed basic boat building skills and adhesives such as a resin you might be "sustainable". You ...


4

First order approximation: R-1 (british units BTU/hr/sqft/DegF) per sheet of glass. So double pane is R2, triple pane R3. Second order approximation depends on the frame material, and to some degree on coatings, and gas fills, and years since the gas fill; also depends on your heating system, exterior wind exposure. It gets complicated enough that I have ...


4

In terms of sustainability concrete, glass, and polystyrene are not the way to go. The first two have very high embodied energy, the last is made from natural gas. In terms of DIY, look at Strawbale, COB, leichtlehm, earthships. Couple this with lime/earth based plasters. You lose on modularity. You gain on sustainability.


4

I have no experience with this Indian Smartbin system myself, but it looks like it is a Bokashi system. I suspect that the only difference with other commercial systems is that they sell their own mix of Effective Microorganisms (EM). This mix is probably slightly different from the already existing and trademarked mixes, but the principle of how to use it ...


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