Thursday, 31 December 2009


Below is a small selection of UK-based recycling websites which introduce the benefits and practicalities of recycling at home and also at work.
If you know of any other websites that should be included in this resource list then please leave a comment and I will add your resource.

Recycle Now - where and how to recycle - Official UK recycling campaign

Loads of tips and advice on how to recycle almost everything! Recyling is a big issue and we are here to help.

News and information for the Recycling and Waste Management Community

The one-stop recycling information centre

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,871 groups with 6,848,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun!

Don'tDumpThat provides a quick, easy, and free way to get rid of things you don't want without them ending up in a landfill site. All you have to do is find your nearest Don'tDumpThat forum using the interactive map or your postcode. Once you've found your local forum, register with a username of your choice and your email address - and you're ready to go. Quick and simple.

WheretoRecycle provide a service for people to find out the best places to recycle your unwanted goods. You can even earn cash with most recycling companies. We will be adding to this site on a weekly basis as we find out more places to recycle your unwanted goods.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009


Let's Get 1,000,000 People To Be More Sustainable In 2010: A new Facebook campaign I have started to try and do something to change the way we live our lives. Anyone can do something small but the power of all the people out there can do something that will really make a difference for out children and our children's children.

Join up for free and let other know what you have done to make a difference in 2010. Click the picture to view the group.


Ten tips for living more sustainably in 2010
A new decade & almost the beginning of a new year - is the time many people try to live differently.

For some, that change means living a more sustainable lifestyle. Sustainability, once merely a buzz word, is fast becoming the way to live consciously.From reducing your water usage to buying organic, here are 10 easy ways to make 2010 your year of sustainable living:

1. Use water more efficiently: Water is a limited resource and limiting it within your home is a cornerstone of sustainability. Rain butts, largely unheard of even a decade ago, are becoming a popular way to collect and reuse rainwater (Grey water) for purposes like gardening. Meanwhile, conserving water in the home by taking shorter showers or even fixing a leaking tap also can make a difference at a time when many communities are experiencing water shortages or are expressing concerns about water overuse.

2. Compost: Turning over leaves by way of a new compost garden is one way to live a more sustainable lifestyle. A compost heap is a simple, way to collect garden waste, like leaves and grass cuttings, and kitchen scraps such as raw vegetable peelings and tea leaves, and return them to the ground as organic matter.

3. Seek Eco-friendly packaging: To better fill that compost heap, alter shopping habits to look for products with compostable (Biodegradable) packaging.

4. Buy local & organic: Many farmers and, increasingly, food manufacturers, are offering foods and drinks made using sustainable practices. It could be a farmers market tomato, a local dairy's milk, an organic snack food, or any number of natural or organic items. The bottom line is that natural, organic and locally produced foods provide both sustenance and sustainability.

5. Go to seed: Take the locally grown movement a step further - like in your own garden or patio. One afternoon spent planting seeds or small plants can yield plenty of rewards a few weeks or months later, in the form of fresh, inexpensive and organic vegetables and fruits. You don't need a large plot of land, in fact, to start a small garden.

6. Ride out the trend: Sustain your own energy level by choosing to ride a bike or walk to a destination that isn't all that far away. Add a basket to a bike or take along a rucksack to bring something back home.

7. Re-recycle: Recycling is nothing new and most people have been recycling in some form for years. But recycling can be taken to another level, going beyond obvious and traditionally recycled items like drinks cans or newspaper to the smallest of waste materials, from plastic straws to the paper straw wrapper. Why not recycle clothing as well, by donating clothes and buying used clothes?

8. Plug in: Learn how to operate appliances more efficiently. For example, use cold water in the washing machine: clothes will still be cleaned, without the use of heated water. Turn off appliances when not in use, whether it's the television, computer or radio. Better yet, completely unplug. Many electronics and battery chargers continue to draw a small amount of power even when they are in standby. Instead, switch off at the socket outlet to cut power completely when not in use.

9. Lighten up: Use energy efficient lighting and lamps when possible and turn off lights when not in a room. That will reduce energy use and the family outgoing budget.

10. Get involved: As the sustainability movement gains momentum among the public, there are more opportunities to join in. Local communities, schools and organizations often have green committees, and there is a plethora of national and grassroots organizations geared around earth-friendly living that appreciate new volunteers or members.


Well we are fast approaching 2010 and here at we are thinking about what we can offer up to our readers and customers.

We have decided that one of the main aims of 2010 will be to produce our own Bio diesel from WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) We believe we have sourced a supply of waste oil to use for bio diesel production and have the knowledge to create a Bio diesel reactor.

Bio diesel is pretty much ,'Sunshine in a jar' It will provide our diesel van with all the B100 fuel we require.

We are also working towards a WVO powered heating system using Babington technology for heating our conservatory and with forced hot air the garage and workshop areas of our premises. Our aim is to design a fully automated, fail safe Babington heating system that uses waste vegetable oils for fuel.

We will post updates as and when they happen (Time permitting)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


For anyone of my festive followers who would like to sit up (With the kids) and watch Santa Claus live delivering all the presents all around the world then click on the link below.

Track Santa Claus

Merry Christmas

Friday, 11 December 2009


An Innovative Cooker

A cooker powered with plant oil?

That doesn't seem so unusual in an age in which even automobiles run on rapeseed or other common cooking oils. But, a high-tech, high-quality stove that is nevertheless so inexpensive that even poor families in developing countries can afford it, is a special challenge that requires a unique focus.

All people eat. Around the world we prepare many different types of food in many different ways. Over 2.5 billion of the world's population prepares food on open fires. Up to 700 kilograms of wood are needed per person per year to fulfill such cooking requirements, often leading to severe deforestation as well as health and safety problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every year as many as 1.6 million people die - mostly women and children - from indoor air pollution caused, in large part, by those fires. Furthermore, deforestation leads to ecological problems like flash floods and mudslides - as seen recently in the Philippines and elsewhere. 

The Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group (BSH) is working to provide a viable alternative to open fires, charcoal, kerosene, or gas used for cooking. Specialized in developing world-class home appliances, BSH is dedicated promoting sustainable living all members of society around the world. In 2003, BSH acquired the plant oil cooker technology and offered to apply its considerable know-how to further develop the technology and create a market-ready, plant oil cooker.

The plant oil cooker with "protos" technology, developed by BSH, was conceived to be more than just another appliance; in addition to fulfilling the basic human need of food preparation, it also has the potential to generate positive ecological, economic, health, and social benefits. The innovative protos technology allows the use of any type of available plant oil as fuel for cooking.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Copenhagen climate summit: developing countries warn of 'absolute devastation'

The Copenhagen climate summit was thrown into disarray last night after developing countries said the current plans for a deal on global warming condemned millions of people to “absolute devastation”.

The row broke out after the draft text of a deal allegedly prepared by the Danish government emerged, which campaigners claimed favoured rich countries and risked squeezing poor nations out of the negotiations.

The text, a draft agreement, was interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on carbon emissions for developed and developing countries – meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much.

They also expressed concern that a 'climate fund’ – supposed to provide financial assistance from richer nations to developing countries – would be run by the World Bank, under the control of developed nations.

Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, the chief negotiator for the G77, a group of 130 developing nations including China, said the leaders of the rich world had a “moral obligation” to cut greenhouse gases.
He said failure to keep temperature rise below 2C (3.6F) would lead to the disappearance of island states and “certain death” for Africa.

He also said the United States President Barack Obama was condemning “the cousins and extended family of his own daughters to be destroyed to preserve the interests of the few”.

And he said the funding proposed by Gordon Brown of $10 billion per annum to help poor countries adapt to climate change was not enough to “buy developing nations citizens enough coffins”.

“What we need to ask the President is the following: We see the 2C target exposes over 100 countries to massive suffering and devastation. If that is the case, on what definition of leadership would the most developed and industrialised nations sign up to that? Would he accept that the cousins and extended family of his own daughters be destroyed to preserve the interests of the few?”

On just the second day of negotiations, Mr di-Aping upped the pressure on the rich nations to make drastic cuts in greenhouse gases.

“A British Prime Minister cannot say the cost of inaction as far as climate change is concerned will result in irreparable damage on the world and then follow that by not committing his own country the EU and advanced countries to commit to ambitious and radical reductions in emissions.
"That is what is necessary and we call on world leaders and ordinary people to put the utmost pressure on politicians to come to their senses. It is not acceptable that this opportunity will be wasted because of a few leaders.”

Mr Di-Aping, from Sudan, pointed out that the world paid $1.3 trillion to bail out the banks in the financial crisis.

He said substantial money should also be offered to help poor countries adapt to climate change, but ultimately rich nations must make cuts in emissions.

He compared the money being offered to poor nations to adapt to climate change to a sum of money being offered to an individual becoming ill.

“For example someone is going to give me a trillion dollars for exchange for having cancer,” he said. “Would a person accept that kind of damage to his health for any amount of money? I doubt it.”

However the developed nations insisted that there is still everything to play for at negotiations.
A spokesman for the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy played down the importance of the text.

"In this kind of process, many different working papers are circulated among many different parties with their hands on the process. These papers are the basis for informal consultations that contribute with input used for testing various positions. Therefore, many papers exist. That is quite normal."

It is understood the text has been circulating as part of the process of trying to reach an agreement but has not been accepted formally by any countries.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Copenhagen climate summit: global warming "caused by sun's radiation"
Global warming is caused by radiation from the sun, according to a leading scientist speaking out at an alternative "sceptics' conference" in Copenhagen.

Professor Henrik Svensmark argued that the recent warming period was caused by solar activity. Photo: REUTERS
As the world gathered in the Danish capital for the UN Climate Change Conference, more than 50 scientists, businessmen and lobby groups met to discuss the arguments against man made global warming.
Although the meeting was considerably smaller than the official gathering of 15,000 people meeting down the road, the organisers claimed it could change the course of negotiations.
Sceptics 'may resort to illegal acts to stop climate deal'
Past decade warmest on record, says Met Office Professor Henrik Svensmark, a physicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen, said the recent warming period was caused by solar activity.
He said the last time the world experienced such high temperatures, during the medieval warming period, the Sun and the Earth were in a similar cycle.
Professor Nils-Axel Morner, a geologist from Stockholm University, said sea level rise has also been exaggerated by the “climate alarmists” using computer models.
He said observational data from lake sediments, coast lines and trees show sea levels have remained stable.
Professor Cliff Ollier, another geologist from the University of Western Australia, also said the environmental lobby have got it wrong on ice caps. He said the melting of ice sheets is caused by geothermal activity rather than global surface temperatures.
Professor Ian Plimer, from the University of Adelaide, claimed carbon dioxide from volcanoes rather than humans is driving warming as part of a natural process.
The meeting was organised by Danish group Climate Sense and the lobby group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).
Craig Rucker, Executive Director of CFACT, admitted the organisation have taken funding from Exxon Mobil in the past but pointed out that many environmental groups are also receiving funding from major corporations.
Graham Capper of Climate Sense said manmade global warming was a myth and scientists who said otherwise were lying. :
"There are people who know they are lying and do it simply for money and others who think they are doing good," he said. "But they not good scientists."
Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, said he was speaking to delegations from the US and Canada about question marks over the science.
He said a recent poll by the Telegraph, that shows only one in two people accept man made climate change, show people are questioning the consensus being pushed by the UN summit.
“As anybody knows who follows the opinion polls in Britain and Australia and the US, in the last few weeks and months there has been a rapid collapse in the global warming chimera so while we still have our freedom, let us speak out.”

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Free heating is something lots of people this time of year will be thinking about. The temperature has dropped to almost 0 Degrees right now here in the UK, everyone is running central heating 7 days a week and worrying about the increasing costs of fossil fuel.

Free heating would be the answer for us all right now!

There are many ways that we can provide ourselves with free (Well almost free) heating providing we put some initial efforts in.

The number 1 thing we can do to get free heating is to use wood to heat our homes. Wood is a ‘Carbon Neutral’ source of energy and it actually heats you 3 times. 1. Felling 2.Splitting & 3.Burning!

Solar hot air panels are also another great source of free heating, providing the sun is shining (Even well below freezing) the solar hot air panels will provide warm air for you.

Some people have used solar hot water to heat a heat store (A large insulated body of water) through the day, then on an evening the heated water can be pumped around their radiators which in turn heat your home.

Finally you can burn waste vegetable oils with a babington burner and use the produced heat in all manor of ways to heat your home. The uses of a Babington burner are endless.

Free Heating is something we can all achieve with a little bit of handy work and imagination.

Wishing all my readers a very ‘Warm Christmas’

Babington Burner Atomizing Nozzles For Sale

Our Babington nozzles are now on ebay and we have for the christmas period added a ‘Accept Best Offers’ so for anyone wanting a Babington Burner Nozzle but think the price of £39.00 to be a little bit over budget then why now make me an offer?

Babington Burner Link Via Ebay

Babington Burner Atomizing Nozzles For Sale

Babington burner atomizing nozzles are used to atomize almost all combustible fuel sources. Fuels such as vegetable oil, WVO waste vegetable oil, WMO waste motor oil, waste gearbox oil, waste transmission oil, peanut oil, canola oil and paraffin oil can all be burned very cleanly.

We guarantee to send each individual Nozzle out within 5 working days of receipt of money.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


HomeBrewPower now has a great new way to search for interesting links. You can use the google search facility if you prefer that system of searching but I have now added the facility to find all posts by catagory or topic.


Just scroll down the left sidebar and you will see a complete list of every single Topic I have covered since the website was born! Just click the link you are interested and every single page that is tagged with the topic will be displayed, newest first.

I hope this is a valuable addition to


Learn how to make a wind turbine from recycled parts with little or no money.

Many ask if it can be done. Well yes it can be done. Many of the parts used in small scale wind turbines can be found in scrap yards or your local tips.


To make a DIY wind turbine that is capable of producing DC (Direct Current) then you require the following items.

  1. PMDC Motor (Permanent Magnet Direct Current) 50 to 1,000 Watts and as high voltage as possible 90–140 are the best.

  2. A Blocking Diode To Suit.

  3. Some PVC pipe for the blades.

  4. A Tail Fin.

  5. Scaffolding Pole To Mount

  6. Mounting brackets.

  7. Some suitable cable

  8. Lots of constant, non turbulent wind!

For a more detailed explanation of how to make a wind turbine then visit our DIY Wind Turbine page.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Well it seems whilst the guys over at Navitron were installing the worlds largest solar powered shower unit for the Big Green Gathering back in 2007 that the ‘Little Green Men’ were keeping a watchful eye over the installation!

I noticed this picture late last night and decided I would mention it to my fellow readers.

Navitron UFO Captured

I will leave it to my readers to decide if this is a UFO or not but the fact remains that the picture is on their website for all to see! I wonder if Ivan (The Director) of Navitron knows about the picture??

LINK to actual page at Navitron

Monday, 23 November 2009



Thoughts on a cleaner greener Christmas for 2009

Well it is actually 'that' time of year again where we are all thinking about what to buy for our children and loved ones this Christmas, for me it that time of year to worry about all the excess and waste that goes on during the Christmas festive period. Excessive plastic bags usage, packaging galore and heating and lighting on all day long. My largest worry is the amount of plastic products are used in gifts and toys, plastic is made from crude oil which is a fossil fuel, it does not biodegrade for 100's of years and is toxic when burned.

What we can do this Christmas to be more Eco Friendly

After all Christmas is about giving so I am not about to suggest that we stop giving gifts away, there are things we can all do to be more Earth Friendly this Christmas 2009, below are some ideas you may want to try out.

1. When you go Christmas shopping this year, take with you re usable bags to bring your presents & gifts back with you.
2. Try doing your Christmas shopping all at the same time so you are only traveling once. It will save you travel costs as well.
3. Why not make your friends & children some carbon neutral gifts. You could make them something from Wood, which is a renewable source, or how about making a 2011 Eco Calendar from recycled paper?
4. How about wrapping all your presents and gifts in used newspaper? Sounds cheap but if you take your time it looks really nice!
5. Buy your children or loved ones a bicycle for Christmas, sounds simple but not enough people get out these days and exercise, go on do them a favor and why not get yourself one while you are at it?
6. On Christmas day, once all the present opening is done with, spend 20 minutes with your friends and family collecting all the paper, cardboard and empty boxes and flat packing them for your recycle bins. This may sound obvious but if it is left until after your Christmas meal then it is more likely to all get thrown in the waste bin and becoming land fill. You know what it feels like when you have indulged in more than your share of Christmas lunch, pudding and trifle then started on the sherry! Recycling will be the last thing on your mind.
7. Get yourself some LED Christmas lights, they are more energy efficient than traditional filament lamp ones.
8. If your family are over for the festive season then the central heating will be on all day. Why not go into the bedrooms and turn down the radiator control valves (TRV's) a little bit?
9. If you are all sat around having fun and chatting away, turn the television off at the wall, if you like background noise then pop on the radio instead, it consumes much less power than a television does.
10. If you insist on a large outdoor display of lighting for all to see then why not at least put them on a 24 Hour timer? Who will be there to see them at 3AM!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Merry Eco Christmas 2009.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


A common question I come across is...

How Can I Calculate the Amount of Power Available at a Given Wind Speed?

Since air has mass and it moves to form wind, it has kinetic energy. You may remember from college that:
kinetic energy (joules) = 0.5 x m x V2

where:m = mass (kg) (1 kg = 2.2 pounds)V = velocity (meters/second) (meter = 3.281 feet = 39.37 inches)

Usually, we're more interested in power than energy. Since energy = power x time and density is a more convenient way to express the mass of flowing air, the kinetic energy equation can be converted into a flow equation as below:

Power in the area swept by the wind turbine rotor:
P = 0.5 x rho x A x V3
where:P = power in watts (746 watts = 1 hp) (1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt)rho = air density (about 1.225 kg/m3 at sea level, less higher up)A = rotor swept area, exposed to the wind (m2)V = wind speed in meters/sec (20 mph = 9 m/s) (mph/2.24 = m/s)

This yields the power in a free flowing stream of wind. Of course, it is impossible to extract all the power from the wind because some flow must be maintained through the rotor (otherwise a solid wall would be a 100% efficient wind power extractor). So, we need to include some additional terms to get a practical equation for a wind turbine.

Wind Turbine Power:
P = 0.5 x rho x A x Cp x V3 x Ng x Nb
where:P = power in watts (746 watts = 1 hp) (1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt)rho = air density (about 1.225 kg/m3 at sea level, less higher up)A = rotor swept area, exposed to the wind (m2)Cp = Coefficient of performance (.59 {Betz limit} is the maximum thoretically possible, .35 for a good design) V = wind speed in meters/sec (20 mph = 9 m/s)Ng = generator efficiency (50% for car alternator, 80% or possibly more for a permanent magnet generator or grid-connected induction generator)Nb = gearbox/bearings efficiency (depends, could be as high as 95% if good)

Friday, 20 November 2009


Climate Depot seems to have all the climate issue answers!

Some think it is gossip, others say fact but may I present you with the website and let you, my readers, decide what you think of Climate Depot.

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Sunday, 15 November 2009


Home Truths

Energy Saving Week content
Home Truths videos from Energy Saving Week 2009
In 2009 we recruited up to 50 families across the UK to help us identify how we waste energy in the home. Capturing these wasteful acts were Undercover Reporters who created a video capturing their families wasteful habits.

You can see all five Home Truths videos here.

The Barry family

The Sime family

The Arnold family

The McKeown family

The Manning family

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Geothermal – just add water

With a $25 million influx of federal stimulus money, two companies are planning to try a different way of generating geothermal power just west of Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
But to test this method, Newberry Geothermal and AltaRock will need to add something more to the equation — an estimated 77 million gallons of water or more.

“The water question is clearly one that we all know is there, and that we will have to address,” said Doug Perry, the president of Newberry Geothermal.

In a traditional geothermal system, a company drills a deep well and taps into a pent up supply of water or steam, heated by the surrounding rocks. But when Newberry Geothermal drilled test wells in 2008, they found hot rocks but no water or steam.
So the idea with the new method, called enhanced geothermal systems, is to pump outside water down into a system of hairline fractures, have the rocks heat up the water, then pump it back to the surface. The hot water or steam will be harnessed to turn turbines, then cooled a bit and sent back down to be heated up again.
But the rocks could be leaky, said Asante Riverwind, with the local chapter of the Sierra Club, and people don't yet know how much water one of these plants would consume to generate power.
“Where would they get this water, given the water concerns already existent here?” Riverwind said.
Newberry Geothermal already has a temporary OK to use up to 100 gallons of water a minute, which it can get from any of four groundwater wells.

The company had to make up for the water it removed from the groundwater aquifer by buying mitigation credits, which pay for other projects that put water back into streams and rivers of the Deschutes Basin.
“Some farmer, someplace in Deschutes County or the Deschutes basin, is not irrigating, and in return the groundwater mitigation buyer is using that water instead,” said Scott McCaulou, program director with the Deschutes River Conservancy.
The Newberry project doesn't need to mitigate for that much water, compared with irrigators and other water users, he said — it's about the equivalent of watering 2 or 3 acres of alfalfa.
If the company needed to use more water, it could either apply for a new temporary license to do so, which would require more mitigation credits, McCaulou said, or buy up new water rights.
And the geothermal project will probably need to use more water, Perry said.

Water is needed for several steps in the enhanced geothermal system. Crews use water to drill a well, and then pump pressurized water down into that well to fracture a network of tiny cracks in the rocks thousands of feet below the surface.
“It takes a lot of water for a short period of time” to create that network of cracks, Perry said.
The company will also use water to drill another well or two that will eventually bring hot water back to the surface. And it will use more water to test how well the whole system works — how easily the water flows from the original well, through the network of cracks, and back up to the surface.
Because this is a relatively new way of doing things, especially in the United States, geologists don't know exactly how much water this will take, Perry said.

But based on a similar project in France, Perry estimated that drilling the wells, creating the cracks and testing the system would take between 77 million and 121 million gallons of water — more than the 53 million gallons they currently have the OK for.
In comparison, on the peak summer day in 2007, the city of Bend used 27 million gallons of water, according to a city publication.
Creating the cracks would also take an OK from water officials to use more than 100 gallons a minute, he said.
Perry added that most of the water used in these tests remains in the different rock layers. Some of the fluid, however, is lost to evaporation — and that has to be mitigated for.
After the testing phase for enhanced geothermal systems, if the company decides to build a power plant, additional water would be needed to keep flow circulating through the system.
Project planners don't yet have an estimate for that volume, Perry said, noting that a lot depends on how leaky the rocks are and how much water needs to be replaced.

There could be alternatives to groundwater as well, he said. Project designers could end up piping in gray water, or treated wastewater, and cycling that through the underground reservoir. Or, some new technology uses liquefied carbon dioxide instead of water, he said.
But it will be several years before Newberry gets to the power plant stage, he said, and the company hopes by that time the enhanced geothermal tests will reveal more about how much water would be necessary.

“We'll know enough so it will be a lot more factual based, (rather) than by analogy,” Perry said.
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Solar Electricity Handbook

The Solar Electricity Handbook is a simple, practical guide to using electric solar panels and designing and installing photovoltaic PV systems.

The Solar Electricity Handbook assumes no previous knowledge of solar electric systems, it explains how panels work, how they can be used and explains the steps you need to take to successfully design and install a electric photovoltaic system from scratch.

Monday, 9 November 2009


I found a great urban homestead all about self sufficiency and just had to share it with all my readers.

A Family in the City An Urban Homestead A Homegrown Revolution

Path to Freedom is a grassroots, family operated, original urban homestead located in the midst of Pasadena
Surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a freeway, the Dervaes Family have steadily worked at transforming this ordinary city lot into an organic and sustainable micro-farm.

This website documents the many steps the Dervaeses have taken and hopes to inspire fellow travelers on their own life-changing journey. Be inspired to take the first step...

Lots of inspiration on Renewable Energy Types & Uses.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Cool: Fridge Without Using Electricity!

This is incredible idea is an extension of the pottery water cooling vessels used though the millennia.

Cool: Fridge Without Using Electricity!

This is Mohammed Bah Abba's Pot-in-pot invention. In northern Nigeria, where Mohammed is from, over 90% of the villages have no electricity. His invention, which he won a Rolex Award for (and $100,000), is a refrigerator than runs without electricity.
Here's how it works. You take a smaller pot and put it inside a larger pot. Fill the space in between them with wet sand, and cover the top with a wet cloth. When the water evaporates, it pulls the heat out with it, making the inside cold. It's a natural, cheap, easy-to-make refrigerator.

So, instead of perishable foods rotting after only three days, they can last up to three weeks. Obviously, this has the potential to change their lives. And it already has -- there are more girls attending school, for example, as their families no longer need them to sell food in the market.

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Saturday, 7 November 2009


Here are 100 Ways to help save our planet and it's fragile enviroment.......Before it is too late.

In Your Home – Conserve Energy

Clean or replace air filters on your air conditioning unit at least once a month.
If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms.
Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120.
Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket.
Turn down or shut off your water heater when you will be away for extended periods.
Turn off unneeded lights even when leaving a room for a short time.
Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5 .
When using an oven, minimize door opening while it is in use; it reduces oven temperature by 25 to 30 every time you open the door.
Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load so that it uses less energy.
Unplug seldom used appliances.
Use a microwave when- ever you can instead of a conventional oven or stove.
Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.
Reverse your indoor ceiling fans for summer and winter operations as recommended.
Turn off lights, computers and other appliances when not in use.
Purchase appliances and office equipment with the Energy Star Label; old refridgerators, for example, use up to 50 more electricity than newer models.
Only use electric appliances when you need them.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and energy.
Keep your thermostat at 68 in winter and 78 in summer.
Keep your thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter when you are away
Insulate your home as best as you can.
Install weather stripping around all doors and windows.
Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
Plant trees to shade your home.
Shade outside air conditioning units by trees or other means.
Replace old windows with energy efficient ones.
Use cold water instead of warm or hot water when possible.
Connect your outdoor lights to a timer.
Buy green electricity - electricity produced by low - or even zero-pollution facilities (NC Greenpower for North Carolina - In your home-reduce toxicity.

In Your Home – Reduce Toxicity

Eliminate mercury from your home by purchasing items without mercury, and dispose of items containing mercury at an appropriate drop-off facility when necessary (e.g. old thermometers).
Learn about alternatives to household cleaning items that do not use hazardous chemicals.
Buy the right amount of paint for the job.
Review labels of household cleaners you use. Consider alternatives like baking soda, scouring pads, water or a little more elbow grease.
When no good alternatives exist to a toxic item, find the least amount required for an effective, sanitary result.
If you have an older home, have paint in your home tested for lead. If you have lead-based paint, cover it with wall paper or other material instead of sanding it or burning it off.
Use traps instead of rat and mouse poisons and insect killers.
Have your home tested for radon.
Use cedar chips or aromatic herbs instead of mothballs. In Your Yard
Avoid using leaf blowers and other dust-producing equipment.
Use an electric lawn- mower instead of a gas-powered one.
Leave grass clippings on the yard-they decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
Use recycled wood chips as mulch to keep weeds down, retain moisture and prevent erosion.
Use only the required amount of fertilizer.
Minimize pesticide use.
Create a wildlife habitat in your yard.
Water grass early in the morning.
Rent or borrow items like ladders, chain saws, party decorations and others that are seldom used.
Take actions that use non hazardous components (e.g., to ward off pests, plant marigolds in a garden instead of using pesticide).
Put leaves in a compost heap instead of burning them or throwing them away. Yard debris too large for your compost bin should be taken to a yard-debris recycler.

In Your Office

Copy and print on both sides of paper.
Reuse items like envelopes, folders and paper clips.
Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.
Set up a bulletin board for memos instead of sending a copy to each employee.
Use e-mail instead of paper correspondence.
Use recycled paper.
Use discarded paper for scrap paper.
Encourage your school and/or company to print documents with soy-based inks, which are less toxic.
Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup. Ways To Protect Our Air
Ask your employer to consider flexible work schedules or telecommuting.
Recycle printer cartridges.
Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency.
Don't use your wood stove or fireplace when air quality is poor.
Avoid slow-burning, smoldering fires. They produce the largest amount of pollution.
Burn seasoned wood - it burns cleaner than green wood.
Use solar power for home and water heating.
Use low-VOC or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
Purchase radial tires and keep them properly inflated for your vehicle.
Paint with brushes or rollers instead of using spray paints to minimize harmful emissions.
Ignite charcoal barbecues with an electric probe or other alternative to lighter fluid.
If you use a wood stove, use one sold after 1990. They are required to meet federal emissions standards and are more efficient and cleaner burning.
Walk or ride your bike instead of driving, whenever possible.
Join a carpool or vanpool to get to work.

Ways to Use Less Water

Check and fix any water leaks.
Install water-saving devices on your faucets and toilets.
Don't wash dishes with the water running continuously.
Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes.
Follow your community's water use restrictions or guidelines.
Install a low-flow shower head.
Replace old toilets with new ones that use a lot less water.
Turn off washing machine's water supply to prevent leaks. Ways to Protect Our Water
Revegetate or mulch disturbed soil as soon as possible.
Never dump anything down a storm drain.
Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.
Check your car for oil or other leaks, and recycle motor oil.
Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
Learn about your watershed.

Create Less Rubbish
Buy items in bulk from loose bins when possible to reduce the packaging wasted.
Avoid products with several layers of packaging when only one is sufficient. About 33 of what we throw away is packaging.
Buy products that you can reuse.
Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones.
Check reports for products that are easily repaired and have low breakdown rates.
Reuse items like bags and containers when possible.
Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
Use reusable plates and utensils instead of disposable ones.
Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminum foil and cling wrap.
Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper and plastic bags.
Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.
Reuse packaging cartons and shipping materials. Old newspapers make great packaging material.
Compost your vegetable scraps.
Buy used furniture - there is a surplus of it, and it is much cheaper than new furniture.


Not just America, we all should think green and do something that makes a difference to the world for the better
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Friday, 6 November 2009



A one kilowatt PV system each month:
Prevents 150 lbs. of coal from being mined
Prevents 300 lbs. of CO 2 from entering the atmosphere
Keeps 105 gallons of water from being consumed
Keeps NO and SO 2 from being released into the environment or an equivalent system that produces 150 kWh per month

It's more than just a luxury, you are helping look after our planet by reducing your carbon footprint whilst living a more sustainable lifestyle.
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If you are considering saving energy or becoming more self sufficient then I strongly suggest that you pay Sust-It a visit. This website is great for those of us living Off-Grid on either Solar, Wind Generator and or a combination of them. You can browse appliances by category and it gives you the following information:

1. Power used in KWH/Per year (Kilo Watt Hours)
2. Co2 Emissions in KG Co2/Year (Kilo Grams Of Carbon Dioxide)
3. Cost Per Year in £ to run.

If you require more detailed information you can simply click the more info tab and find out more about that particular appliance.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


Here is a nice Christmas present for that special person who loves looking after the planet.

I have ordered one for myself!

Monday, 2 November 2009


Make a DIY solar air heater from soda cans for next to nothing.

Pictured above is a simple small passive solar heater made from recycled aluminium drinks cans and used to heat a room.

If the building to be heated is well insultated, a solar heater such as this can lift the temperature by a significant number of degrees. A larger heater or a number of similar heaters can be used to heat larger spaces, or to heat smaller spaces to a higher temperature.Offcuts of 2 x 4 and a sheet of plywood were used to build a box to tightly hold 5 rows of 10 black-painted aluminium drinks cans.

The inside of the box was then sealed using silicone to prevent hot air from escaping.

Cold air is drawn in from a hole at the bottom of the box, and the heated air emerges from the top passing through a pipe into the room to be heated. A perspex sheet was glued to the box to let sunlight in but not let the hot air escape.

Monday, 26 October 2009

I have just been notified that the HomeBrewPower Monthly magazine has made it to the website!

Full link below


How 'Off-Grid' can we really become? We are in times where technology is at the tips of our fingers. Electronics are cheap, almost disposable, we do not think twice about leaving the lights on all night or turning off the central heating system before bedding down for the night. You may think that living without mains electricity and a piped gas supply is nothing but a childhood dream but you would be wrong! There are actually people out there who generate their own electricity & gas.

The 'Green Revolution' is something that is no longer associated with Hippies in the 70's, more and more are moving away from traditional homes and purchasing land to build there very own 'Off-Grid' home from environmentally friendly materials and producing clean, green power.

The thing that ALL potential 'Off-Gridders' fail to grasp is that to become self sufficient one MUST reduce the impact they have on our planet. Not just cutting back on how many coffees they have a day, you have to look at your entire lifestyle and make huge changes to be able to live a happy life away from the power hungry energy providers. I will not, in this post, go into the details of how and why but this is the one thing you need to look at prior to trying to jump into Green Living.

Mains Electricity - We use and abuse electricity on a daily basis without even thinking about it. To live successfully away from the electricity grid you need to use it like you do when drinking the very best red wine! You simply can not leave appliances on standby, everything has be be energy efficient and every drop of electricity you generate has to be stored and used only when needed.

Natural Gas - there are 2 alternative ways to supply gas for cooking and heating.
1. Bottled propane, expensive and you have to haul the bottles back to the shop to be exchanged.
2. Methane Digestion - Using food waste and or manure you can generate methane that cab be used for cooking and heating! Is is a simple process which we will cover in further posts.


Lemar's Homestead
Ken Boak

Renewable Energy UK Website Forum

I found this fascinating Free Website Forum on renewable energy today:

You should visit and join.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


Just a reminder about the HomeBrewPower - Renewable energy free forum.

Please visit the following link and be sure to bookmark it for future reference.

Saturday, 17 October 2009


Our Babington Burner Balls are selling out as fast as we can manufacturer them!

The cold weather is setting in now and more and more people are looking into cleaner and cheaper ways to heat their homes. The Babington Burner Nozzles are the perfect solution to burning animal and vegetable fats easily.

The Babington Nozzle works on the same principle when a whale surfaces to breathe. It is not the whale spraying out water from it's blow hole but air blown out under high pressure and the water running over the whales skin creates surface tension (Thin film of sea water) when the air passes through the film of water the water is atomized.

We are proud to announce that our Babington Nozzles are now in full production and payments should be made to via Paypal for £39.99 - Free P&P within the UK and + £5.00 worldwide shipping.
We guarantee to send each individual Nozzle out within 5 working days of receipt of money.

Our Babington Burner Nozzles have the following specification:

Ball Diameter

Ball Material
1MM Thick Spun Brass

Air Connection
15MM Copper Compression Gland

Brazing Metal
55% Sure Silver M25T Rods 680 Degrees Celsius Melting Point

Atomizing Hole Specification
0.0135" Diameter Hole - Pillar Drilled @ 20,000 RPM

Air Pressure Suggested Rating
15 - 80 PSI - Set To Suit Individual Application

Acid Dipped, Hand Wired & Polished

Notes On Finish
Oxidization will occur when exposed to air - This does not affect performance

Hand Made In The United Kingdom

Babington Ball Usage
Clean Atomization of combustible oils & fats - Various Heating Projects

Chug from Vegetable Oil Diesel has added a link to my Babington Burner Nozzles, you can read about it HERE
Here is a really informative website for people wishing to know more about the Babington's

Another link to a really powerful Babington burner setup HERE

Homebrewpower Website is dedicated to information and news on WVO, WMO, CHAP, CHP, Solar Power, Solar Panels, Solar Hot Water, Wind Generators, Wind Machines, Solar PV, Alternative Energy, Energy Saving, Carbon Footprint, Carbon Neutral, Sustainable Living plus much more.

For more on Renewable Energy please visit

EMAIL Questions

Friday, 11 September 2009


I have recently noticed that one of my website pages Solar Power For My Summerhouse Shed receives over 200 hits a day.

It seems from my own research that more and more are looking to move into 'Low Impact' houses / log cabins. Domestic dwellers are now also looking to move away from grid connected lifestyles. The enquiries for 'Solar hot water, Solar hot water powered swimming pools and Off-Grid cabins' are coming through to me on a daily basis. All great news for my business and even better news for our planet. I am always happy to see the completion of one of my Renewable Energy installations as I get to walk the client through their new devices. To see the clients face light up when the hot water tank heats up by the power of the sun is such a great sense of achievement, or when the inverter springs to life from the battery bank and their television comes alive with nothing more than the power of the wind and the sun (Priceless)

Whilst on the subject of interesting pages here are the best ones from HomeBrewPower.

1. Solar For Log Cabins
2. Lister CS Stationary Engines
3. Renewable Energy Types & Uses
4. Renewable Energy Installer UK
5. Babington Burner Nozzles For Sale

Enjoy the links!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Here is a schematic for a Solar hot water installation coupled with a wood burning stove I recently completed. The existing system was a semi pumped and vented hot water and central heating system.

The old fuel oil boiler was removed and the pipework modified to allow for heating via both Evacuated Solar Tubes and the Wood stove.

The main components were purchased from Navitron

I utilised a retro fit coil heat exchanger to replace the electric immersion heating element. My client is extremely pleased with how the whole system integrates. The whole 5 bed roomed house is heated via the wood stove and the hot water is heated via the evacuated tube solar hot water system and can be boosted via the wood stove.

If you are interested in a free quotation for a similar bespoke solar hot water installation then please do give me a call or drop me an email.

Pictures of the installation to be posted soon.

Sunday, 26 July 2009


In larger battery banks, where you have multiple series – parallel strings of batteries, you run the risk of some batteries getting more “depleated” than others, and this degrades your pack performance.

A simple way to reduce this effect is to cross-tie your batteries. This is a not often used but important method of getting extreme life out of your expensive batteries.

See above diagram for details of Cross-Tied-Battery-Bank

The dotted lines show the cross tie cables. It’s also important to make sure your cables are large enough so that you are not losing power as heat through resistance.

If you have caps on your batteries, not maintenance free, check the water levels once a month and top them off during charging. Do not overflow.

Friday, 17 July 2009


Video Link: (Source STV) CLICK HERE

An eco-mad Aberdeenshire couple have swapped their hatchback for horseback when embarking on their weekly shopping trips.

Green-thinking Joyce Youngson-Lamb and her husband Geoff now embark on a scenic two hour horse ride to pick up their groceries – when it only takes ten minutes by car.

But the environmentally aware pair insist the eight mile round trip to Ballater that involves crossing the River Dee is no big deal.

Joyce said: “Shopping on horseback is under-rated. It’s the perfect way to multi-task and today’s modern woman has to do exactly that to keep up!

“I like to trot along to the shops with my husband and our two horses. It gives us fresh air and exercise and we’re able to support the local community”.

Geoff added: “I’m an environmentalist, so I like doing things the hard way. Environmental living is about being difficult and it’s never the most economical or the most profitable”.

Their journey is made possible by following the old Deeside Railway line which has been closed since the 1960s.

And recent repairs to some of the bridges mean horses can now go along the picturesque route

Joyce said: “Prior to that it was pedestrian and cyclists only and with us having half a tonne of horse each, we needed to know the bridges were safe”.

Their shopping list is chosen with extreme care. After all – there is only so much they can carry back.

Joyce added: “Some things suit horse shopping better than others. For instance - our steak. If you think it’s tender when you get it, by the time you get it back on the horse, it’s absolutely super-dooper tender.

“Gin and tonic is a bit heavy but we can usually manage. Eggs though are a definite no, no”.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


The Government has announced today (July 16th 2009) the details of the proposed feed-in tariff for microgeneration from systems like small wind turbines and solar photovoltaics. The new tariff will pay for all energy generated by your system, irrespective of if you use it yourself or sell it back to the grid. The amounts paid are in addition to any saving you will make by purchasing less electricity from your supplier and any income you earn from selling your surplus power to your electricty supplier.

The key points of the announcement are:

- 36.5p/kWh for small solar photovoltaic systems up to 4kW and 28p/kWh for systems up to 10kW.
- 23.0p/kWh for small wind turbines between 1.5kW and 15kW.- Replaces the current ROC system which pays 10p/kWh.- Effective as of the 1st April 2010, but all systems commissioned from now on will qualify.- Systems installed from now until April 2010 will be eligible for both LCBP grants AND the new tariff.

A typical home solar photovoltaic system of 3kW, generating approximately 2,300kWh per annum will therefore earn around £1,000 per annum, which is an additional £600, dramatically reducing payback times.

An Evance Iskra R9000 small wind turbine will typically earn £2,000 - £3,000 per annum which is an additional £1,000.
A Gaia 133 small wind turbine installed at a modestly windy site will earn £6,000 - £9,000 per annum which is an additional £3,000, making it a very economic proposition with likely payback times of less than 5 years on a typical site.

Monday, 13 July 2009


What is a Grid-Tie Inverter?

A Grid-Tie inverter converts DC (Direct Current) from renewable energy sources such as Solar PV and Wind Turbines into 230 VAC (Volts Alternating Current). What is clever about a Grid-Tie inverter is that it synchronizes with the national grid's electricity supply frequency and back feeds the grid. This pushes electrical current back into the national grid and if the power your inverter is supplying is in excess of the power you are consuming then it will effectively run your electric meter backwards.

The clever part of a Grid-Tie inverter is that if the national grid supply is shut off then the inverter instantly senses this and ceases to create power. If this did not happen then the grid would still be energised by your Grid-Tie inverter (Extremely dangerous to a linesman / electrician working on a supposedly dead grid!)

In the UK a Grid-Tie inverter has to have a G83 Certificate to allow it to interconnect to the national grid system.

With recent advances in technology a Grid-Tie inverter can be purchased for around £100 GBP for a 200W version which will allow you to reduce your electricity bills. They can be added in parallel over time to allow for expansion. You can use them with many sources of renewable energy, some examples are: A Wind Turbine, Solar Panels, Micro-Hydro Turbines or even a Diesel Generator running on WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil)

The ever popular Windsave house mounted wind turbine uses the same setup described above to back feed the national grid system.