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Free Book: Sustainable Energy — Without The Hot Air

by Justin Thomas •

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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The Sony Digital Book Reader

by Justin Thomas •

I’ve been following the progress of electronic book readers, because they have the potential to revolutionize the efficiency of the book industry. If electronic books were used on a large scale, they would greatly reduce the world’s consumption of paper, and eliminate the energy resources involved in printing, transporting and selling books. I do enjoy the act of reading a …

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Solar Water Heating: Book Review

by Justin Thomas •

Solar Water Heating is the first book I’ve seen that focuses solely on solar water heating. It’s a technique that’s been practiced since ancient times, but until now there’s been strangely few resources on the topic for a North American audience. The author, Bob Ramlow, examines state-of-the-art solar heating systems. He covers not only solar water heaters, but also solar …

Best Book Deal

by Justin Thomas •

If you want find out where to buy a particular book at the lowest cost, try out Best Book Deal. This service will search 100 bookstores, and show you how the prices compare. A very handy feature of this site is the inclusion of the shipping costs to calculate a total price. So, at a glance, you can see which …

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WordLock

by Justin Thomas •

It’s a lock with a password instead of a number. Because there are only 10 letters per ring, you are limited to a mere 1,000 dictionary words and names, anything from ALIEN and CHILI to SALSA and SARAH. The combination can be reset at any time. Available from Staples for about $6. Via: Book of Joe

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Book Review: Field Guide To Sprawl (De-Metaefficient)

by Justin Thomas •

Who would have thought sprawl could be so entertaining? I guess its the combination of Dolores Hayden’s extensive collection of sprawl coinages and the aerial photography by Jim Wark that makes this book an intriguing coffetable read. By glancing through the pages you see examples of curious sprawl phenomena such as “Pork Chop Lots”, “Boomburb”, “LULUs” and “Clustered Worlds”. This …

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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 …

Book Review: Natural Capitalism

by Justin Thomas •

Natural Capitalism is a book which dicusses similar ideas to those we present here at MetaEfficient. Written by Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, the book starts off by explaining the authors’ theory of “natural capitalism”, but then it really picks up and provides a fascinating and well-referenced examination of the vast inefficiences of …

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Book Review: The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes

by Justin Thomas •

Straw bales are a renewable resource, and they are becoming a widely used construction material in some parts of the U.S. Many localities have specific codes for strawbale construction, and some banks are willing to lend on this technique. Bale walls can be erected quickly, even by amatuer builders. This book, The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes, is lavishly illustrated, …

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Book Review: Earthbag Building

by Justin Thomas •

What is Earthbag Building? Well, plainly enough, it’s a method of building using bags filled with earth. This newly released book, Earthbag Building, is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks, and techniques for building with earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this “Flexible Form Rammed Earth …