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A List Of Cool Books On Biking

With the temperatures falling outside you may not be getting on your bike as much as you’d like, especially if you haven’t stocked up on your wool clothing. So it’s the perfect time to catch up on your reading. As bike popularity is exploding, so are the number of books written about the love and care of a bicycle. Whether …

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Free Book: Sustainable Energy — Without The Hot Air

I’m very glad to see the publication of a book called Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air. Don’t be fooled by the cover — this is book is a lively look at sustainable energy. I liked the way reviewer Cory Doctorow describes the book on Boing Boing: “This is to energy and climate what Freakonomics is to economics: an …

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Notes From The MetaEfficient Labs

Ozone Systems Won’t Directly Affect Pool PH Levels

I’ve been doing a lot of work in the MetaEfficient lab. I thought I would post an update on my experiments and research:

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Carfree Cities: Where Are They?

Interested in knowing where you can find places free of cars? There’s an extensive list of carfree places around the world, available now on the Wikipedia. There’s also a book about Carfree Citites available. Here’s our review: Imagine life in a city free from the noise, stench, and danger of cars, trucks, and buses. Imagine that all basic needs, from …

Efficient: Eating Weeds

Weed ‘Em and Reap is a light-hearted but informative introduction to the free bounty of wild foods in lawns and woods, prairies and pastures. Even if you have no intentions of brewing up a crock of dandelion wine or tossing a salad of sour dock and purslane, you will enjoy reading Roger Welsch’s adventures in the world of weeds. We’re …

The Healing Powers of Peppers

Chile peppers contain one of the most effective curative substances in the world — capsaicin. While many people enjoy eating hot and spicy food they are not aware of the therapeutic properties of chile peppers. The authors of The Healing Powers of Peppers present a wealth of scientific and medical information, including personal testimonies about the healthful advantages of chile …

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Building Green: A Complete How-To Guide

This practical book is the first step-by-step green building guide we’ve seen. It is packed with photographs illustrating building techniques like Earth Plastering, Straw Bale Construction, Living Roofs, Cordwood Building and Cob Building. At over 600 pages, this hefty guide is useful for anyone wanting to see the nitty-gritty details of green building. The author’s web site is Think Building …

Better Basics For The Home: Less Toxic Living

You can make household and personal care products at home. The mixtures you create will be healthier and of a higher quality than those found in stores. Once you have the right ingredients, mixing them up is quite straightforward. The book, Better Basics for the Home, offers more than 800 simple alternatives to toxic household products, covering everything from skin …

The Solar House: Free Heating

People often think of using solar energy for producing electricity, but it is actually easier to harness the power of the sun to heat your home. It’s free heat that has been utilized since ancient times but few modern architects or builders really understand the principles involved. The Solar House, by Dan Chiras, explains architectural techniques that can be incorporated …

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Earth Sheltered Houses

Earth sheltered houses make use of earth or “berms” for protection against the natural elements. These homes can be complete underground homes, or homes which are protected by earth on just one side. The major advantage of this style of building is that the house has a constant and comfortable temperature throughout the year, so it is much less expensive …

Clumping Bamboos: The Ones To Grow

Many people are reluctant to plant bamboo because they are afraid it will spread like wildfire and have the entire neighborhood up in arms against them. But there’s a simple solution to this problem — plant the right kind of bamboo — the “clumping” kind. The invasive kind is the “running” bamboo which probably should never touch foot in your …

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Carfree Cities

Imagine life in a city free from the noise, stench, and danger of cars, trucks, and buses. Imagine that all basic needs, from groceries to child care, lie within a five-minute walk of every doorstep. Imagine that no commute takes more than 35 minutes from door to door, and that service is provided by a fast, cheap, safe, comfortable public …

Hyper-Optimal: Create an Oasis with Greywater

The book “Create an Oasis with Greywater” by Art Ludwig is packed with information about how to reuse greywater by diverting it into your garden. What is greywater? It’s all the “waste” water produced in a house besides sewage — e.g. water from showers, sinks and washing machines. This is a key meta-efficient technique because, when done correctly, and combined …

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Book Review: “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things”

The ideas in this book are refreshing and optimistic. The authors, William McDonough and Michael Braungart, propose that factories, homes and consumer products can be redesigned so that they are actually beneficial to the world. This is in contrast to the approach of attempting to regulate industries and minimize environmental damage. Instead of trying to cause "less harm" the authors …