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New Solar Tiles Introduced

by Justin Thomas •

Kyocera has introduced a new solar roof tile. The solar tile is designed so that it blends in with standard roof tiles. These are not the first solar tiles on the market (see this previous post), but it is the first time a large corporation has introduced them. Kyocera calls the solar tiles “MyGen Meridian”. The company says the tiles …

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“Biodiesel”: Book Review

by Justin Thomas •

Greg Pahl has just released a new book about Biodiesel. Pahl is the author of the informative book Natural Home Heating, which we featured previously. We like biodiesel because it a renewable fuel that can replace conventional diesel worldwide without the need for massive infrastructure change. Here is a review of the book: After setting the tone for the book …

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Efficient Wood Burning Stoves

by Justin Thomas •

Woodstoves can indeed be a metaefficient way to heat your home. Modern woodstoves are an economical and environmentally sound choice for home heating. Wood has a much higher BTU capacity than gas, and wood is a renewable resource. Older, conventional woodstoves emitted between 30 and 80 grams of particulate matter (smoke) per hour, while the new EPA-approved stoves have reduced …

Clumping Bamboos: The Ones To Grow

by Justin Thomas •

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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Recycled Rain Barrels

by Justin Thomas •

Aaron makes rain barrels out of recycled plastic, and runs an informative web site about rain water harvesting. The 58 gallon rain barrels are made out of thick food-grade plastic, and can withstand both hot and cold temperatures. The barrels connect directly to the downspout of your rain gutter. They are also paintable (with Krylon Fusion) for those who want …

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Metaefficient Fertilizer: TerraCycle

by Justin Thomas •

TerraCycle is a product that could be called completely Metaefficient. It is a liquid fertilizer produced through vermicomposting, or feeding organic waste to red worms. The worms’ excrement is a nutrient rich compost that can be mixed to produce liquid organic fertilizer. The TerraCycle bottles are recycled soda bottled collected by students in elementary schools, and the trigger sprays are …

Metaefficient Wood Stains

by Justin Thomas •

Napier Environmental is a company in British Columbia that sells non-toxic wood stains that replace the hazardous products widely used to treat wood today. An example of one of their products is Natural Desk Oil, a waterborne blend of natural oils designed to penetrate deep into wood, and protect it like the true oils found in wood. You can buy …

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Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

by Justin Thomas •

Hotspots are places with publically accessible wireless internet access. Depending on where you are in the U.S., finding a free Hotspot can be tricky. Here is a overview of what’s available: Panera Bread Company offers free Wi-Fi in about 500 of its stores nationwide. Here is a complete list of Wi-Fi enabled Paneras, you can also search for a ZIP …

Metaefficient RVing

by Justin Thomas •

With the right techniques, RVing can be a very efficient, non-polluting lifestyle. The best resource about retrofitting your RV to be more efficient is Phred’s “Poopsheets” which are free, compact information guides written by an experiencd RVer. Topics include water treatment, solar power, efficient heating and cooling, composting toilets and efficient 12V appliances and lighting. For solar power, he directs …