Tag Archive | "DIY"

Renewable Energy

Is It Possible to UNPLUG Your House from Your Electrical Company and Run Off 100% Renewable Energy?

According to Ben Ford, owner of the popular website Home Made Energy, the answer is yes!

Why most people struggle

According to Ben, there’s a reason why so many people struggle with electricity bills despite so much help being offered to them today…

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“The fact is that most people don’t know about the benefits of generating renewable energy themselves,” Ben tells us. “They also don’t know how easy it is to do this.”

How Ben conquered home made energy with a unique approach

“I’ve made countless tests for the most effective methods for producing heaps of energy,” Ben tells us. “Choose between two types of electricity generators, solar-based or wind-based. And this doesn’t mean you need to build one or another. You can easily build both systems and generate even more energy.”

Ben focuses on the unique approach of unplugging your house from your electrical company, knowing that you are fully powered by renewable energy.

Was it worth it?

“I wiped out my electric bill in less than 30 days, broke free from the electric company’s slavery, and humiliated some Big Energy fat cats by getting them to actually pay me for electricity.”

And Ben is not alone. There are many success stories from using Home Made Energy that should, at the very least, inspire you to give it a try too.

What others are saying…

“I made my first solar panel this weekend and I wanted to let you know it’s awesome.” – Terry Rains

“ Using the HomeMadeEnergy guide me and my son have built our own wind mill.” – Jason Hutto

“After reading your book I’ve decided to go with the solar system.” – Gerald Robinson

To learn more about Ben’s solution, and his story, visit Home Made Energy.

Posted in Clean Energy, EnergyComments (0)

Build Your Own Solar Panel

Build Your Own Solar Panel

Global warming is changing the planet with temperatures rising all around the world. As this continues and the prices of energy continue to rise people are looking for more affordable ways to get energy. More and more homeowners are realizing that energy resources are not as renewable when you use traditional sources. That’s why so many are learning that it is possible to build your own solar panel.

Build Your Own Solar Panel

Solar panels are typically reserved for homeowners with more spendable income. They are not cheap and without the right financial resources it limits the number of houses that will be able to use this technology. It can cost thousands of dollars to have a professional install a solar energy system for your house. That’s a reason why so many are looking to do it themselves.

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Completely Build Your Own Solar Panel Or Get A Kit?

While it is possible for people to build their own solar panels, they are not as large as needed to produce the wattage necessary for your entire house. So if you are planning to build your own solar panel it’s recommended that you get a solar panel kit. They are more affordable than hiring the professionals, but more effective than building one from scratch. They will come with everything you need to successfully build your own solar panel in your garage. Even larger, well-known, companies like GE are producing solar panel kits for homeowners. They are realizing that homeowners want affordable solutions to get energy. This is making it easier to find a kit.

With the instructions provided you’ll have build your own solar panel in no time. If you want to venture into the process of making your own solar panel there are many guides available to walk you through the process. Why not get the entire family together and everyone can learn exactly how you collect solar power and turn it into electricity. Be sure to find a guide that is easy to follow and detailed when you begin to build your own solar panel.

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DIY Project – Living Walls of Succulents Make Beautiful “Natural” Art

Robin Stockwell created beautiful wall hangings made of frames and succulents. Unique, stylish and textural – these are sure to create conversation. In three easy steps you’ll have your own beautiful art.

From Sunset Magazine’s website:

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Instead of framing a picture, why not a whole garden? Here, cuttings of assorted succulents knit together to create colorful, textual living tapestries.

Buy a preassembled frame for your living succulent art. Add soil to your frame to hold your succulents in place. Succulent plant cuttings will need to take root so leave the frame lying flat.

1. Buy or Build a Frame
2. Add soil
3. Plant Cuttings

To make your own frame, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Find an old or used picture frame. It needs to be at least 2″ deep. Or make your own.

  2. Staple or nail 1/2″ hardware wire mesh to one side of the opwn frame. To hide the frame you can add molding. (If you’re up to the challenge and know how to work with wood, you can cut a channel into the sood and slide the mesh into the channel so the cut mesh edges don’t show.)
  3. Staple or nail a piece of exterior plywood or redwood on to the other side (the open back) of the frame. You will not need drainage holes.
  4. With the wire mesh facing upwards, lay the frame flat on a table. Will with a good soil up to the wire mesh.
  5. Work your plant cuttings into each wire mesh square.
  6. After you’re complete with the plantings and the desired look, you need to lay it in full sun and let the plants take root fully. Don’t water for the first 7 to 10 days. You’ll be able to display your new “picture” upright as soon as 4 weeks, but this can take up to 3 months so be patient. They will feel firmly rooted when you gently tug.
  7. Water when needed and enjoy your beautiful artwork. To water, you’ll want to lay the frame flat and let the soil drain before hanging it up again.

Idea: Try to incorporate a drip irrigation system behind the mesh to make watering easier.

If you’d like to discover 350 easy-care plants to use in these beautiful living walls and other container gardens, then pick up a copy of Succulent Container Gardens: Design Eye-Catching Displays with 350 Easy-Care Plants.

From Weekend Gardener’s website:

By simply using an old picture frame, you can make living outdoor wall art that will definitely become the focal point of your patio or deck area.

These’s picture frame hanging planters can be filled with succulents, but you can also get imaginative and  add in pieces of drift wood, interesting shells, bits of colored tile, or just about anything that grabs your creative interests.

If you want to buy one, living plant frames can be purchased at:

This frame is available from Robin Stockwell’s Succulent Garden in Castroville, California (800-632-0482). From $35 for a 6″ x 12″ frame.

Fun Succulent Facts

From the BBC Gardening Guide: Did you know? Cacti:

How do they survive?

Cacti and succulents have adapted to grow where there is not much fresh water, in places like deserts. Deserts get very little rain, are very hot during the daytime and often frosty at night. A prickly cactus stops birds and animals trying to eat them for their water!

  • Succulent Gardens Offer Visual Appeal and Textural Components for  any DIYerAll cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.
  • The tallest cactus in the world, the giant saguaro cactus, can grow up to 67 feet high and 250 years old.
  • The ocotillo plant drops its leaves after the soil dries out and they regrow only after it rains.
  • The century plant, an agave, takes 25 years to grow a flower. Then it dies.
  • The spines of the Barrel cactus were used by local people for fishing hooks.
  • Cactus are only found in the North and South America.
  • Water is stored in the leaves of leaf succulents

Want to read more about succulents? Here are some posts from the archives you might like:

Posted in Apartment Living, DIY, Gardening, LifestyleComments (1)

DIY Faucet Leaks Fix

Discover 3 Common Sources for Water Leaks and How to Fix Them Yourself

The easiest way to find out if your house has leaks is to check your water meter. Note the reading and 2 hours later, after no water was used, recheck the water meter reading. If it’s not showing the exact same reading you probably have a leak. Now you just need to find it. Two common leaks occur in the bathroom and can be fixed quite inexpensively. While the third relates to any faucet in your home including the kitchen sink, laundry room sink and garage sink. Dripping showerheads, leaking toilet flappers and dripping faucets are easy to fix. Inexpensive parts don’t require a huge investment and if you are a handy do-it-yourselfer you’ll be saving up to 10% on your monthly water bill.

Showerhead releases water at full pressure.Common Leak Source: Showerhead

A leaking showerhead can waste 500 gallons of water a year by dripping only 10 drops a minute. That might not seem like much, but it’s as if you ran your dishwasher an extra 60 loads – more than once a week! If your showerhead is leakingit can usually be fixed by tightening the connection. A little pipe tape and a wrench is all you need.

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Time to upgrade your showerhead? Choose a low flow showerhead that incorporates air into the water flow.

Man fixing toilet flapper.Common Leak Source: Toilet

Is your toilet running?
Then you better go catch it.

We know. Corny joke. Did you know that a toilet that is constantly running can waste more than 200 gallons of water every day? That’s 6000 gallons a month added to your water bill. Thankfully it’s usually a pretty common leak due to an old or faulty toilet flapper. Older toilet flappers become faulty as the rubber begins to decay over time and collects mineral deposits. It’s best to replace the entire inexpensive rubber flapper. You’ll want to find our if your toilet is leaking.

Time to upgrade your toilet? Choose an efficient WaterSense labeled toilet.

Want to splurge? Invest in a dual flush toilet to save even more money on your water bill.

Dripping faucet.Common Leak Source: Faucet

No one likes a leaky faucet. That annoying “…drip…drip…drip…” sound is enough to drive some people a little crazy. But many people won’t take the time to fix it because they think they need to hire an expensive plumber. Most faucet leaks are actually easy to fix with just a little if your time. Check the washers and gaskets to see if they need to be replaced. It’s usually that simple. And the small parts aren’t expensive. Worn faucet gaskets and washers are usually to blame for that leaky faucet. And a faucet that leaks just a drop of water every second adds up to over 3,000 gallons per year.

Time to upgrade your faucet? Choose a WaterSense labeled model.

Go an extra step and install an aerator to add air to your water flow. You’ll be using less water and probably won’t miss it. These are the three typical culprits to wasting water through leakage. A dripping faucet, leaky toilet flapped and loose showerhead could be costing you more money on your water bill without you even realizing it. And you just learned how to fix them yourself for little money. A hands on approach and the cost of parts will pay for themselves in no time. So go check that water meter and see if you have a leak. You can contact professional plumbers in Ashfield, Australia by visiting www.plumberashfield.com.au.

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