Month: July 2013

Poop-powered sewage treatment system fits in a shipping container : TreeHugger

Poop-powered sewage treatment system fits in a shipping container : TreeHugger.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet competition has funded the development of a number of different approaches to dealing with human waste. Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering has received a grant of $1.18 million to build a system that is very different from last year’s winner.

The Duke team doesn’t really reinvent the toilet at all, but reinvents sewage treatment by packing a very sophisticated processing system into a 20 foot shipping container. In many communities, people empty their latrines into the nearest river; with the Duke system, they either have their cisterns pumped or they carry it to the container. It can handle the waste of a community of 1200 people.

BBC News – Let’s go solar: How communities make energy together

BBC News – Let’s go solar: How communities make energy together.

Sizzling temperatures across the UK make most of us think of barbecues, swimming or sun-tan lotion.

But in part of south London, the thoughts of Agamemnon Otero are on the kilowatts per hour being generated on local rooftops.

“It’s a great summer to install solar panels,” he says.

“On a day like today, in the full sun, we’ll be creating more energy than all these buildings need.”

Permaculture Magazine – practical solutions for self-reliance | Permaculture Magazine

Permaculture Magazine – practical solutions for self-reliance | Permaculture Magazine.

Permaculture – practical solutions for self-reliance is the flagship publication of Permanent Publications and has been in print since 1992.

It keeps you in touch with the cutting edge of the sustainability movement and every issue brings you the best ideas, advice and inspiration from people who are actually creating a better world.

Green Gathering 2013

Green Gathering 2013.

Welcome to the Green Gathering!

Permaculture workshop Running from 1st – 4th August 2013, the Green Gathering returns to its lovely site near Chepstow for another year in the landscaped grounds of Piercefield Park bordered by the mighty river Wye. With the imposing ruin of Piercefield House as a backdrop and stunning views of the Severn bridges and estuary, some have said it is the most beautiful festival site in the country.

At the Green Gathering, you can rediscover ancient skills in our Crafts area and explore pathways to future sustainability with Permaculture and Transition. Talk with key speakers from the Green movement and engage in lively debate at the Green Forum venue; inform yourselves about current issues and causes with groups in the Campaigns area.

World’s biggest offshore wind farm officially opens in UK (175 turbines, 630MW) : TreeHugger

That’s it. After years and years, it’s finally officially done. Phase I of the London Array, the world’s biggest offshore wind farm with its 175 Siemens 3.6MW turbines rated at a combined capacity of 630MW, enough to power half a million UK homes, is officially open. Even british prime minister David Cameron was at the ceremony. Since construction began in 2009, a lot of teamwork was involved: Over 75 organisations have helped to build London Array with over 6,700 individuals involved.

World’s biggest offshore wind farm officially opens in UK (175 turbines, 630MW) : TreeHugger.

BBC News – Solar Impulse plane sets off for New York in last leg


BBC News – Solar Impulse plane sets off for New York in last leg.

The Solar Impulse plane has taken off for the final leg of its bid to cross the US on solar power alone.

The craft set off at 04:56 local time (08:56 GMT) on Saturday from Washington DC on a course for New York’s John F Kennedy airport.

Pilot Andre Borschberg anticipates a journey time of about 21 hours.

The Across America transcontinental bid began in San Francisco, California, and included stopovers in Phoenix, Arizona, Dallas, Texas, and St Louis, Missouri.

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA has the same wingspan as an Airbus A340 but at a weight of just 1.6 tonnes. By comparison, a fully laden A340 weighs about 370 tonnes.

The plane’s wing and stabiliser are covered with nearly 12,000 solar cells, which drive its four propellers and charge the plane’s 400kg of lithium-ion batteries for night-time flying.

Centre for Alternative Technology Home Page

Centre for Alternative Technology Home Page.

CAT is concerned with the search for globally sustainable, whole and ecologically sound technologies and ways of life.

Within this search the role of CAT is to explore and demonstrate a wide range of alternatives, communicating to other people the options for them to achieve positive change in their own lives.

This communication involves:

  • Inspiring – instilling the desire to change by practical example
  • Informing – feeding the desire to change by providing the most appropriate information
  • Enabling – providing effective and continuing support to put the change into practice.

CAT has a holistic approach to its work, integrating ideas and practice relating to land use, shelter, energy conservation and use, diet and health, waste management and recycling.

Through its resident community and work organisation, CAT is also committed to the implementation of co-operative principles and best achievable environmental practices.

Carry Me Cargo Bikes

Carry Me Cargo Bikes.

What are cargo bikes?

Cargo bikes are bicycles specially built to carry goods, people’s stuff, children, adults, or a combination of all of these. Even dogs… or cats. They’ve come a long way since the traditional ‘butchers boys’ bikes which basically had a tray with a box in front of the handlebars.

Nowadays cargo bikes they can replace cars for many local journeys, and can have three wheels or even four. They can be purely pedal-powered, or can have electric motors to assist your knees. They can be nippy and slimline like the Dutch Bakfiets, or vast containers like the Danish Christiania. They can look a lot like a normal bike but simply longer, like the American Yuba; or they can be wide and low like the go-kart-like Brox.

Or, you can customise your own ‘normal’ bike to be far more practical by adding a big basket, roomy panniers, or a trailer – all removable, flexible, and good value for money.

Bristol Pound – Our City. Our Money

Bristol Pound – Our City. Our Money.

It is a complementary local currency designed to support Bristol’s independent businesses, strengthen the local economy, keep our high streets diverse and distinct, and help build stronger communities.

The Bristol Pound is the UK’s first city wide local currency, the first to have electronic accounts managed by a regulated financial institution, and the first that can be used to pay some local taxes.

The Bristol Pound is run as a partnership between the Bristol Pound Community Interest Company and Bristol Credit Union. It is  a not-for-profit social enterprise.