Posts from — November 2007

Self-Sufficient Veg: Space and yield
by AGRIC on NOVEMBER 30, 2007 - 1 Comment in SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Few weeds can fight potatoes!

Ever wondered why we usually grow many veg in rows? Two main reasons: to make it easier to cultivate and weed between the plants, and so we know where they are!

What is the best spacing and arrangement for various crops? It depends how you grow them and what you want to achieve.

First you need to bear in mind my previous post: they must have sufficient light, water and nutrients. The more you want to produce from a given space the more effort you have to make to ensure none of these are deficient. (more…)

Simple in the City 2 – Window boxes
by JUICED on NOVEMBER 30, 2007 - 0 Comments in PEOPLE
Jaana Nykenen head shot
Will work for food

If living in a metropolis means that I can

Eco glossary
by JO HOOPER on NOVEMBER 30, 2007 - 1 Comment in EVENTS
balancing act
Keeping up with the Greenses

It’s easy being green, but only if you know what the heck everyone is talking about.

What if Al Gore suggests you reduce your carbon footprint? Or Leonardo DiCaprio asks about your plans to live off the grid?

Eco-vocabulary has gone beyond the three R’s of reduce, reuse and recycle. Now, we have carbon footprints to offset and carbon neutral lives to live because of the greenhouse effect. (more…)

Fireplaces Aren’t Just For Decoration
by KELLY MEAD on NOVEMBER 29, 2007 - 1 Comment in ENERGY

Since winter is definitely on it’s way we decided to do an article about fireplaces. Since nothing beats sitting in front of a warm fire while it’s snowing outside and drinking some hot coco.

Now a days fireplaces are thought of more as a decoration then as a source of warmth and even cooking. They can still be very useful in heating your home and even cooking up many things from hot water to popcorn to stew, let your imagination and ingenuity go wild. My neighbor across the street does the majority of his winter heating with a wood-stove and on days that one of us is home we run our fireplace.

Since we love history and like to visit restored homes from the 18th and 19th century we have been introduced to some of the inventive things for the fireplace from when it was the center of the home. Some of those things still work and can be a great help with getting the most from your hearth.

Though before adding any additions making sure your fireplace and chimney are in working order should be the first step to using it to help heat your home. A clean and properly functioning fireplace that is kept up can outlive a home. Making sure there are no leaks or cresol buildup in the chimney is essential before using it for the health and safety of you and your family.

The easiest addition to your fireplace would be a fireback or the modern version a fire reflector. These are made of cast iron or reflective metal and are placed at the back of the fireplace to retain and reflect the heat out of the fireplace, not up the chimney. You can also find a grate version where the fireback is attached to the back of the grate, with some you may even have a smaller version on the front to double the heat retention. The fire reflector can be on to three panels that stand behind the fire and due to the shiny surface pushes more heat and light into your home. Another fireplace improvement would be a tepee style grate where the logs are stack like a mini bonfire. This should increases the vertical flow of heat and less heat escapes through your chimney. A grate with a mesh enables the embers to stay together and provide warnth longer.

Blocking the draft when not in use, is another energy saver. There are various methods for this. Closing your flue is only the first defense. There are inflatable bladders that insulate your closed flue, covers that close off the front of the fireplace, having installed doors and so on.

Putting a fireplace insert into an open hearth does everything in one step. Though this is the more expensive single item, if you buy everything above it can be the cheaper one. An insert in basically a wood-stove in your fireplace. It extends out of the fireplace, so more heat goes into the home and you can cook on it easier. Also since the fire can get hotter less of the harmful gases that are released in fires escape. The big drawback is that staring into a roaring fire is now through a small window.

So if you have a fireplace you’ve been keeping candles in maybe it’s time to change it’s use.

Daryl boosts eco-interest
by VEG-HEAD on NOVEMBER 28, 2007 - 0 Comments in PEOPLE
Daryl Hannah in tree
She really IS a treehugger

Daryl Hannah has given the off-grid lifestyle another boost, by re-stating why she lives that way herself. Last week the Press Association reported breathlessly that Daryl had “revealed” she was living off the grid. In fact she gave this web site an interview two years ago saying much the same thing but at much greater length.

Press Association’s Premier Showbiz section reported that the actress explained: “We sell fruit and vegetables at the farmers’ market and I have a bunch of rescue animals. It is all off the grid. I have been off the grid for 16 years.” (more…)

Saffy back on the grid
by SPY_VONDEGA on NOVEMBER 28, 2007 - 0 Comments in PEOPLE
Julia Sawhala in anti Esso demo
When Saffy was happy

It is two years since former Absolutely Fabulous star Julia Sawalha moved into a canal narrowboat with a group of other off-gridders and turned her back on her acting career.

She and her boyfriend eventually decamped to an idyllic woodland cottage with solar panels in deepest Somerset, eating home-grown veg around their woodburning stove.

But it seems that while you can take a woman out of showbusiness, you can’t take the showbusiness out of the woman. (more…)

Government Grants for Alternative Energy
by KELLY MEAD on NOVEMBER 27, 2007 - 4 Comments in ENERGY

By: Warren Peters

In his State of the Union Address for 2007, President George W. Bush called for a 22% increase in federal grants for research and development of alternative energy. However, in a speech he gave soon after, he said to those assembled, I recognize that there has been some interesting mixed signals when it comes to funding.

Where the mixed signals were coming from concerned the fact that at the same time the President was calling on more government backing for research and development, the NREL, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of Golden, Colorado was laying off workers and contractors left and right.

Apparently, the Laboratory got the hint, because soon after the State of the Union Address, everyone was re-hired. The second speech of the President’s was actually given at the NREL. There is almost unanimous public support for the federal backing through research grants, tax breaks, and other financial incentives of research and development of alternative energy sources.

The NREL is the nation’s leading component of the National Bioenergy Center, a virtual center that has no central bricks and mortar office. The NREL’s raison d’etre is the advancing of the US Department of Energy’s and the United States’ alternative energy objectives.

The laboratory’s field researchers and staff scientists, in the words of Laboratory Director Dan Arvizu, support critical market objectives to accelerate research from scientific innovations to market-viable solutions. At the core of this strategic direction are NREL’s research and technology development areas.

These areas span from understanding renewable resources for energy, to the conversion of these resources to renewable electricity and fuels, and ultimately to the use of renewable electricity and fuels in homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles. The federally-backed Laboratory directly helps along the United States’ objectives for discovering renewable alternative fuels for powering our economy and our lifestyles.

The NREL is set up to have several areas of expertise in energy research and development. It spearheads research and development efforts into renewable sources of electricity; these would include such things as solar power, wind power, biomass power, and geothermal power.

It also spearheads research and development of renewable fuels for powering our vehicles such as biomass and biodiesel fuels and hydrogen fuel cells. Then, it seeks to develop plans for integrated system engineering; this includes bringing alternative energy into play within buildings, electrical grids and delivery systems, and transportation infrastructures.

The Laboratory is also set up for strategic development and analysis of alternative energy objectives through the forces of economics, market analysis and planning, and alternative energy investment portfolios structuring.

The NREL is additionally equipped with a Technology Transfer Office. This Office supports laboratory scientists and engineers in the practical application of and ability to make a living from their expertise and the technologies they develop.

NREL’s research and development staff and its facilities are recognized for their remarkable prowess by private industry, which is reflected in the hundreds of collaborative projects and licensed technologies that the Laboratory now has with both public and private partners.

Article Source:

Warren has been using alternative energy for years. Now he needs to share his expertise with the world to help save the planet. Learn all about other energy sources here:

Green Party
by VEG-HEAD on NOVEMBER 27, 2007 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY
Christmas Party Texas
Wheee-haa! Guilt free mayhem

Party on, man. But be kind to the planet this Easter.
Holiday celebrations may nourish the soul, but they can wreak havoc on the environment: between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans produce 25 percent more trash than usual, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. To throw a greener party, follow these tips:

* Invitations E-vites save paper, but for an intimate gathering, they may be (more…)

Enough’s enough
by NICK ROSEN on NOVEMBER 27, 2007 - 0 Comments in SOLAR, SPIRIT
Gordon Brown could care less about the environment
Become an activist

Citizen action in the UK takes many forms. Enough

Creative Commons license, which allows you to utilise all the information on this site for non-commercial purposes, providing you credit the information with the word '', which should be written as one word and accompanied by a link to our web site.
View our creative commons license. View our Privacy Policy.

Vivum Intelligent Media Ltd. 2009
17 Scawfell Street
London E2 8NG

email nick (at),
call US office:
toll-free 1-877-706-7423
UK +44 207 729 2749