I found this post on yahoo answers to the question of, “How can I be more green?” I would like to thank The Tinker for his ardour and his candour. Now check this out as an example of “Be the Change”:
I was hoping someone would ask this calibre of a question (as above). I want to thank you in advance for it.
There is so much discussion about recycling when packaging reduction and reuse is a more valued approach to our consumer habits. I am very extreme in my extracurricular activities – even excentric.
I have a small backyard foundry where I melt my own metals to be cast into useful and decorative articles. I use biomass fuel stock for my combustables and volatiles. I sometimes suppliment with some cardboard because of its high nolatile value.
I recover most of the heat from this process and direct it into mass storage to heat my house and bath water. I also recover a high percentage of the fly ash by expressing water spray into an angled chimney. This primary mixture becomes a buffer for the high organic soil (slightly acidic) in my greenhouse. The flue gas is further cooled by the supply water (for the spray) surrounding the tube in a heat exchange jacket after the precipitator. This is not the end of it. The flue gas is then drawn through a water and catalyst solution to sequester the carbon dioxide and direct it toward the roots of the plants in my automatic watering system in the greenhouse.
The biochar from finishing the pyrolysis process becomes a catalytic soil enhancer to produce lush growth in any season.
The power for this process is generated from the sun via copper oxide cells (a technology from the 1940’s) instead of using expensive and negative net energy silicon cells (it takes 3.5 GJ to produce a square foot of these on average and only 2.7kJ for the manufacture of the copper ones). In 30 years you may get 2 GJ of power out of the silicone ones where the 2.7kJ is produced by the copper ones in 18 to 20 months.
I am grid connected but only pay the meter fee ($20 per month in our neck of the woods). This is only for convenience of long dark periods when i can not generate enough juice to charge my batteries. Even then, when it gets bright again, I have to watch the meter carefully so it doesn’t go back beyond the last reading (or the local power company ‘s computer would try to bill me for the capacity of the meter – 10’000 mega watt/hours in two month billing period). This is all legal as long as you have a lock out in case of a local grid power failure so you don’t electrify part of the lines that would be inert under these conditions.
I operate 16 CPU’s for scientific research and number crunching all from this independant power source. I utilize an 8 kva battery backup system that also is capable of running lights and appliances in my house. All these computers operate on 24 volts DC rather than 110vac. I have a small invertor to operate my two monitors.
I recover and recondition my own lead-acid batteries indefinitely with spony lead composite plates so that i always have one complet bank of units (one third of my system) in new condition ready to be put into active service. Most of these batteries have been built from scratch using a commercially made cell as a model. I have not purchased a battery since. These cells were manufactured from 12 volt car batteries that I was paid $5 each to dispose of them. The sufuric acid was recovered and purified.
I do drive my home-built electric mini truck. I have a generator that uses bio-diesel that I can tow behind on a trailer in case a long road trip is necesary. I walk everywhere because things are close where I live. I only use the truck to collect wood for my mini forge when I want to melt some metal or when the weather is so bad I can’t walk to my neighbors farm for fresh milk or eggs. (We created a methane gas generator at this farm from the chicken manure to use for cooking on demand).
I buy most of my foodstuffs in bulk stored reuseable, washable, sealed containers. These are the only polyethylene sleeved containers I own and purchased one time.
I have a pet hamster whom is part of the family and eats only organically grown seeds and veggies. I guess that is considered a non-green luxury but compost his litter when he is done with it.
You could consider me to be ‘green extreme’. I still have plans to do much more.
The author has formal training as a scientist but more practically experienced as an ‘uncertified’ engineer. Also, he is a very private person so that the media has not been allowed to showcase any of these self sufficiencies as ‘super green’. This is a personal choice NOT to be in the spotlight.