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9

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 ...


8

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 ...


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

A scheme used on many BMX bikes is a "detangler" disk on the fork. It's actually two disks, surrounding the fork shaft, arranged with flanges such that pulling up on the upper disk lifts the lower one. Both disks are attached to cables, with the upper generally attached to two cables which lead, via a Y adapter, to the brake lever. Two cables from the ...


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, ...


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. ...


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://...


6

So far the best alternative that I've found is to use a refillable marker. I bought one of these a week ago with a bottle of ink. The marker is not made of plastic (I would say it is made of aluminium) except from the cap, so I have reduced a lot the quantity of plastics used. Also, the ink bottle provides around 10 complete refills making it even cheaper ...


6

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

I use them to close bags in the kitchen and I use them to tidy up my cords behind the TV.


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

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

Not reasonable to do. Firstly, what you describe is only the final assembly. I don't see any advantage to doing that on site instead of at a plant. And I see considerable disadvantages. Paint on PV while demonstrated in the lab, has serious issues with longevity. Even at the household scale the infra-structure is now more expensive than the PV panels ...


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

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

One important thing is to talk to your landlord. In anglonesia I've found some landlords will negotiate improvements on a "you do the work to a professional standard, they reap the benefit when you leave" basis. This is especially the case when there are subsidies available, like the hot water and home insulation ones that make the cost to the landlord very ...


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' ...


5

The phenomenon that leads to all of this is called the "skin effect". Basically, DC current flows through a wire evenly, whereas AC current tends to want to flow along the outer edge (the "skin") of a wire. If you concentrate current through a smaller cross-sectional area of wire (e.g. the skin) you end up with more effective resistance and greater losses. ...


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 ...


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

Dye-sensetised solar cells are probably the best bet, but that still requires ITO glass. At least it doesn't require silicon wafers, cadmium, or anything aggresively toxic. It's likely that in the future those parts of the chemical industry that use FF inputs will start running off biological hydrocarbon inputs. There's no reason why you can't do metal ...


4

I suspect the problem here is expense: PV is cheap because the modules are commodity items made by the million. Fancy bespoke things will remain very expensive. Perovskites look interesting, but are still at the lab stage,as far as I know, though I see DyeSol say that are doing perovskite precursor manufacture for PV. Oxford Photovoltaics look like they'll ...


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

I think it would be milk paint. http://www.milkpaint.com/ Milk Paint receives USDA Biobased Certification Safe for MCS, Hospitals, Children's things and the Environment


3

Not much I'd do with those. My first thought, and past reaction, was to throw them in the trash. But now that I'm thinking about it, here are a few ideas. Most of them are decorative ideas: put them on a toilet paper or paper towel inner tube, or a tree branch, or anything cylindrical with a close enough diameter. cut them and braid them into bracelets or ...


3

There is a nice and quite detailed tutorial on how to do this on Instructables. They are solving the problem of holding the raft together by using garden mesh. If you have a garden, or know somebody who has a garden, it shouldn't be hard to get your hands on some of this and I'm pretty sure you can use it again as garden mesh once you don't use your raft ...


3

Check out Sugru http://sugru.com/ It is a self setting silicone that cures in 24 hours. I have used it to perform a number of repairs, and it is pretty amazing stuff. I repaired a pair of sunglasses with Sugru when the arm broke. The arm remained in a fixed open position, but it worked until my wife folded the fixed arm and broke it again. Most useful ...


3

I use lab alcohol for the ones in work. You need a solvent to free up the inks. At home I'd use methylated spirits (alcohol stove fuel). Flambe alcohol might work. You could test some vodka but the water content might be too high and make it smear. Brown paper works well, screwed up. If you end up with lots in packaging you can recycle it for this.


3

Many plastics can be used for melting, but not all. Basically there are 2 types to distinguish here; thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. Thermoplastics can be heated and shaped. Examples are HDPE, LDPE, PLA, and PP (see the Wikipedia link for a longer list of types) Thermosetting plastics harden or burn when heated. Examples are Phenolic (PF) resins, ...


2

Plastic bags can be cut into strips and made into rope of various thicknesses and durability. You could then tie the bottles together. http://www.instructables.com/id/Useful-Rope-or-Cord-from-Plastic-Shopping-Bags/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KiZXRK5h44


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