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9 votes

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

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 ...
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8 votes
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How to use a band brake cable with my home built wind turbine?

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 ...
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  • 195
6 votes

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

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)...
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6 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 308
5 votes
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How can I determine the U-value (or R-value) of my existing double glazing system?

First order approximation: R-1 (British units BTU/hr/ft2/°F) 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 ...
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5 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 51
5 votes

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

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 ...
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5 votes

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

I use them to close bags in the kitchen and I use them to tidy up my cords behind the TV.
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  • 61
5 votes
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How to fix plastic (acetate) glasses frame?

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

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

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

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 ...
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  • 2,734
5 votes

Is there a difference between DC \ PV cable and AC cable?

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 ...
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4 votes
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Biodegradable paint for short term use

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
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  • 182
4 votes

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

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 ...
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3 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 193
3 votes

How to fix plastic (acetate) glasses frame?

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 ...
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  • 141
3 votes
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How to make a fully reused/reusable plastic bottle raft?

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 ...
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  • 344
3 votes

Organic or Homemade equivalent White board Cleaning liquid & scrub?

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 ...
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  • 2,027
3 votes

What plastics are safe/useful to melt?

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 ...
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2 votes

Can I recycle plastics at home by melting and molding?

Depending on the type of reshaping you are interested in, you can do basic crafts with the right kind of plastic by simply using a hairblower to heat them up and bending them into shape.
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2 votes

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

My challenge was slightly different. I was purchasing new NorthStar windows to replace all of the old windows in my house but wanted to make sure I was getting what I paid for, as the windows would ...
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  • 21
2 votes

How can I build a spinning wheel?

It seems the bottom line of the question is low cost spinning wheel. The Dodeca wheeldesign is available free on line. This has been noted in another post. Porter also sells this wheel and a ...
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  • 123
2 votes

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

One possible problem: plastic is usually photo-degradable. It doesn't matter when you keep a plastic bottle in your house, but if your raft stays 12 hours/day in plain sunshine, it may leak within ...
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  • 363
2 votes

Is there a green alternative for spray polyurethane foam?

A trick I've seen used for repairing drywall holes: Cut a piece of wood that is roughly elliptical with the narrow dimension being just under the widest dimension of the hole. Drill two holes in ...
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2 votes
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Is there a green alternative for spray polyurethane foam?

Apparantly Icynene is more environmentally friendly than traditional spray polyurethane foam, but it is more expensive and needs to be applied by professionals. Icynene still is a polyurethane foam, ...
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  • 13.9k
2 votes

How to fix plastic (acetate) glasses frame?

Well, here's an "out of the box " answer to broken glasses. If it's at the bridge and a pretty even brake use some electrical heat shrink tubing. It comes in lots of colors (including clear) it's ...
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  • 21
2 votes

How can I form heat sinks from waste aluminum?

Forget the foil. Even if you laminate it, you'll never eliminate tiny air gaps, which will make it into a fairly effective insulator. I've seen (copper) heatsinks made from thin precision-cut fins, ...
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  • 2,027
2 votes
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How to identify the rating of my electrical panel

Yes, the short of it is that what we’re concerned with on solar is the internal bus rating of the panel’s buses, not anything else. Suppose you have a 100A main breaker because your wiring from pole ...
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2 votes

DIY portable solar panel mount

What about a set of "rabbit ears" from an old TV or TV antenna? With two sets you should be able to use them to prop the panel, depending on how heavy it is and how substantial the antennas ...
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