Wet Lead Acid Batteries

Wet Lead Acid batteries are the most common batteries used in energy systems because of their price, local availability, and ease of recycling. A properly maintained lead acid cell will last about ten years. This type of battery will deliver about 1000 full charge-discharge cycles. The drawbacks of Wet Lead Acid Batteries include the following: …

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Solar Shingles: Build A Meta-Efficient Roof!

   Solar Shingles — yes they do indeed exist and are available now. This new style of solar collector lets homeowners build electrical generation right into the roof itself. They can be added to existing homes or built into new homes. It saves money because the shingles serve a dual purpose — as a roofing …

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Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is inexpensive, looks great and is a renewable resource. Bamboo flooring is similar in appearance to hardwood but is even more durable in terms of scuffing, wear and expansion. The bamboo is harvested in plantations that take only 3-4 years to reach maturity. Although still not widely used, it is perhaps the most efficient …

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Ultralight Hammocks

This Hennessy Ultralight Backpacker Hammock is a compact and inexpensive shelter. Uniquely designed to be stable while entering the hammock, and to provide support while sleeping. It has an oversized rain-fly to protect you from the elements while you are sleeping. We like these expedition hammocks because they weigh 1 lbs. 7oz., and are substitutes …

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Self-Cleaning Glass: Pilkington Activ Glass

“Pilkington Activ” glass needs little cleaning, reducing consumption of detergent and water. The active glass has a special nano-scale (extremely thin) coating of microcrystalline titanium oxide which reacts to daylight. The reaction breaks down dirt on the glass, and when the water hits the glass the dirt slides off. The chemical used — titanium dioxide …

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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, …

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Biodegradable Plastic Made Using Bacteria

Metabolix has found a way to produce high-quality plastics using plants and bacteria. In one process it has re-engineered bacteria to turn them into highly efficient "biofactories." By feeding sugars and oils to bacteria in a fermentation process, the company has created bacteria that produce plastics amounting to more than 85% of the cell’s weight. …

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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 …

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Swampy IceStrMystr 12-Volt Model IM-30

Notes from Manufacturer: The IceStrMystr IM30 combines ice induced Air Conditioning with the age-old art of evaporative cooling. The cold water rushes through a special Cooling Core to produce air-conditioned air instead of merely evaporative cooled air. You can now choose your own size of cooling container. The water contained in your Ice Chest is …

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