Southface Energy Institute: A Resource For Sustainable Design

Energy efficient building designs and technologies are everywhere these days. In fact, the sheer number of options can seem a little overwhelming for those interested in sustainable construction techniques. But Southface Energy Institute, headquartered in Atlanta, can be a valuable resource for homeowners, commercial or residential builders, or individuals who simply want to learn more about environmentally friendly design.

Biogas: Producing Ultra-Efficient Fuel From Sewage

We could be generating huge amounts of power from sewage. The process is fairly simple — just ferment sewage to produce a fuel called biogas. Biogas is almost entirely methane, and so is natural gas, so the two are essential interchangeable. The potential to produce biogas is almost entirely overlooked by most countries — except Sweden.

Efficient Moisturizer: Unrefined Shea Butter

Shea Butter is one of the most efficient skin moisturizers available. It is an organic product that protects against dry skin and sunburn. Shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the Shea Karite tree, found in the tropical regions of West Africa. It is a sustainable resource and it requires no pesticides to grow.

Bamboo Clothes

Bamboo Textile sells clothes made out of bamboo fiber. Why bamboo? Well, its one of the softest fabrics in the world &#8212 softer than cotton, and it has a slightly silky sheen. It also very breatheable, which makes its great to wear in spring and summer. The other advantage of this fabric is that bamboo is a readily renewable resource …

Metaefficient RVing

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 …

Book Review: The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes

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, …

Using Urine to Grow Plants

This book, Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants, by Carol Steinfeld explains how urine can be utilized as a resource! Urine contains most of the nutrients in domestic wastewater and usually carries no disease risk. Starting with a short history of urine use — from ritual to medicinal to even culinary — Liquid Gold …