Skeptical about buying things used? So was I.

Submitted by Greg on Thu, 01/10/2013 - 05:49

A few years ago, my wife told me about a group of people who make a pledge to not buy new things for a whole year. There are exceptions on their list, of course; there is no such thing as used food or fuel, or other consumables, and it is expected that certain important items like underwear will still be purchased new, but for the most part, the rule was to buy it used or do without.

Hand Washing Dishes vs Mechanical Dish Washers.

Submitted by Barbara on Sun, 01/01/2012 - 06:15

Dishwashers vs hand washing is one of those debates that rages though the green community and you can find plenty of facts, research and evidence to support both sides.

Trouble is, that most people try to compare apples and (some un-specified fruit that proves the desired outcome) so we here at set out to do our own first hand practical kitchen analysis.

How to make Self Sealing Insulated Curtains.

Submitted by Barbara on Mon, 01/17/2011 - 06:47

Windows, even double and triple pane are still one of the weakest parts of a building envelope.  A typical wall may be R13 while a good double pane window is only R-4.  Adding good insulation to your windows can greatly improve your over all insulation.

These instructions are for DIY insulating roman shades.

California approves molten-salt solar plant for construction

Submitted by Greg on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 23:16

We blogged about molten-salt plants a few months ago here on, and now we have some good news to go along with that. California has approved a molten-salt solar plant, and construction is expected to begin sometime late in 2011. Hopefully the cost and efficiency will play out as expected, and more of these plants will be built in the future.

Greenest Eco School & Office Supplies

Submitted by Barbara on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 20:33

The Back-to-School ritual that happens ever fall is one of those tides of consumption that periodically sweeps over us in our lives.  We can easily avoid the pit fall of clothing right now as our son is still young and having new trendy things is not important to him.  We are very proud of our little guy who gladly accepts cast-offs and thrift store clothes.  This may ch

How we use our water.

Submitted by Barbara on Tue, 04/13/2010 - 17:01

We are under 20 gallons per day per person and some months we are as low as 12 gallons per person per day.  Most months we come in around 16 gallons per person per day.  The Riot4Austerity goal is 10 gallons per person per day.  The 16 gallons we use includes some outdoor watering and some for my work as a costumer.  Textiles is a water intensive profession and we grow most of our own produce so we are proud to be as close as we are.  Before joining Riot4Austerity our water usage averaged 25 gallons per person per day.


Water Reclamation,Part Three: Rain Tote

Submitted by Greg on Sun, 03/14/2010 - 03:39

Rain ToteEarlier we talked about how to make your own rain barrel.  The rain barrel project was easy to do, and it was very exciting to see how quickly the barrels filled up when it rained.  Unfortunately, it was also a bit disappointing to see how quickly those sixty-five gallons of water were used up watering the

Uses for Egg Shells

Submitted by Barbara on Sat, 02/27/2010 - 22:48

We have 6 chickens and lots and lots of egg shells! 

Use #1 is compost. Many plants benefit from the addition of minerals to the soil. Especially tomatoes and strawberries.