sustainAgility

A virtuous cycle

Egyptian Teenager feeds Yanko design!

2 years and 4 months ago
By Drew

I wondered how this design might pay for itself...

Ocean Drone Jpg 492x0 Q85 Crop Smart

Swimmies!

And now I'd like some hummus.

Now no reason to freeze your ThermoBalls off

3 years ago
By Drew

But unlike down, which craps the bed when it gets wet, ThermoBall manages to maintain its usefulness even when it's wet.

via North Face's New ThermoBall Jacket: It's Better than Down.

Sound policies make a difference

3 years and 1 month ago
By Drew

With local ownership, making America a 100% solar nation could create nearly 10 million jobs, and add as much as $450 billion to the U.S. economy.

via Local Solar Could Power the Mountain West Right Now, All of America in 2026 | CleanTechnica.

 

Fishy Farm - Backyard Production Systems

3 years and 11 months ago
By abarker

It looks as though the state of the art for aquaponics may finally be ready for easier at home installations.

These guys, Fishy Farm, seem to have made this install fairly friendly, though I am not yet sure how their costs compare to other solutions.

Automated Gardening Systems

Everything you need to produce fresh, crisp vegetables, fruits, and fish for completely balanced meals all year long. Perfect for your greenhouse or just in the yard.

via Backyard Production Systems - Fishy Farm.

Next summer I'd like to finally start our backyard garden. Too much planning, not enough doing, I guess.

If I make a go of it, I'd like to eventually build a greenhouse. we certainly have the space for one, and plunk one of these down inside.

Synthetic Tree Hauls Water

6 years and 2 months ago
By Drew

Via: Technology Review: Synthetic Tree Hauls Water

Their 'synthetic tree' opens up a new way to move liquids over long distances without using mechanical pumps.

Gotta love smart people. Some blokes over at Cornell have found a way to mimic a tree's ability to move water from roots to leaves. (FYI... trees have no mechanical pumps to accomplish this feat. Just in case you didn't know that.)

So what. you ask? Well this system they've prototyped could be used to extract pollutants from contaminated fields, for instance. Personally, I'm thinking this would be a nice alternative to my well pump. Right now, if I lose electricity, I am gonna start stinking in no time cause I cannot easily access the water down there. If I could co-opt their product, maybe the water is simply siphoned up to the tank in the basement.

Even better would be to move the our pressure tank to the attic. This way I'd have water and pressure without using electricity.

Sheesh, me thinks I'd best contact them and see if i can get my paws on one of these.

Just came across this link: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Sept08/stroock.trees.aj.html (straight from the horses mouth)

Silver BBs - Time to get serious about electrified railroads

6 years and 2 months ago
By Drew

via: One Silver BB: A synergistic set of solutions to multiple issues focused on Electrified Railroads

Not a Silver Bullet, rather many BBs. This article goes into depth regarding electrifying US railroads and the many benefits of doing so.

This is the kind of thinking we are in desperate need of around here. It is well thought out and possible. Here are some of the points made:

  • technically feasible today
  • reduced oil usage by utilizing the much greater efficiencies of rail based freight and transferring truck based freight to rail (and in some cases air freight)
  • synergies with alternative energy sources along rail lines
  • better use of current electrical infrastructure
  • economic benefits
  • decreased road damage
  • safety
  • national security
  • job creation

This piece finishes with well thought out solutions.

Eat less

6 years and 4 months ago
By Drew

via EurekaAlert: *Why eating less can help the environment*

Virtuous circle alert...

Study finds a healthier diet and a return to traditional farming can help reduce energy consumption in US food system by 50 percent

50 percent?! Holy crap! So now we have another benefit to eating less:

  • trim our phat arses
  • live longer
  • support small family farms
  • stick it to the man (think of any industrial ag company and then think of not giving them your money)
  • save money
  • eat healthier chow

I'm sure there are others I have forgotten.

Why does this list seem so obvious? Why does it seem so hard to follow through on?

Did Mercedes just 'Jump the Spark'?

6 years and 4 months ago
By Drew

via ecoGeek: Mercedes to Cut Petroleum Out of Lineup by 2015

I know it's supposed to be Jump the Shark, but c'mon? This is electricity we're talking about here. And instead of its original meaning as an allusion to ridiculousness, my intent here is to commend Mercedes for doing something not only unpredictable, but heroic.

This is truly an awesome announcement from a major player, in any industry. For them to put this particular stake in the ground, that they will no longer build gas burning vehicles, indicates to me that they have either already developed much of the technology they deem necessary, or, even mo' betta cooler, they believe they can develop what is necessary.

In a way I hope it is the latter of the 2. That'd be like a call to put a man on the moon.

Whichever it is, full congratulations to them for having the seeds to say this publicly.

Mainstream media praising big dollars at the pump

6 years and 5 months ago
By Drew

Eight reasons you'll rejoice when we hit $8-a-gallon gasoline - MarketWatch

Wow?! Excellent? Yes!

Chris Pummer at MarketWatch recently published a «it's time to take our medicine» piece. He enumerates nicely why we should relish the coming gas pains as an opportunity to set ourselves back on track as global citizens, political and economic participants, and family members.

1. RIP for the internal-combustion engine
2. Economic stimulus
3. Wither the Middle East's clout
4. Deflating oil potentates
5. Mass-transit development
6. An antidote to sprawl
7. Restoration of financial discipline
8. Easing global tensions

Way to go MarketWatch for putting that yucky medicine in the spoon for us. Who's ready to plug their nose?

Why are we ignoring Moore's Law?

6 years and 6 months ago
By Drew

This article, at face value, asks why IT planners do not take into account advancements in technology when making assumptions about how they will do business in 5 years.

Almost never do people look at processor power or storage capabilities and cost trade-offs and decide, 'What does this mean to us in three to five years?

I think we fall into this same trap when considering our plans to, say for instance, ween ourselves from foreign energy supplies. The estimates made by the experts of our energy policies often reflect current capacities... like how much of our energy needs could be met by wind, solar, or geothermal investments.

And yet, every single day smart folks around the world invent new technologies, or improve current ones, that improve efficiencies and costs which taken together could help us reach our goals.

All I'm saying is that from now on, I'll be taking the prognostications of 'experts' in the current regime with a grain of salt when they try to tell us that we'll never be free of oil. (OK, so I already ignore them, but you could too.)

from Why are we ignoring Moore's Law? | IT Leadership | TechRepublic.com

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