The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “conservation”

Swales for Harvesting Water

Geoff Lawton demonstrates what swales do.

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Solving Water Runoff Problems Block by Block

This video shows water runoff solutions in Philadelphia. Some topics here are moving water off roofs, rain barrels, planter boxes to divert water and water as a resource.

Improving Water Quality and Conserving Water with Porous Pavement

The idea here is that regular pavement doesn’t allow for water to seep into the ground. Instead, usually we end up with a lot of pollution in streams and rivers flooded with stormwater run-off or (sometimes severed) flooding. Porous pavement can prevent all that…

Porous Pavement from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

Using a Temperature Controller to Save On Kitchen-related Electricity Costs

I was pretty blown away by this project.

Mikey and Wendy live on an off-grid, homestead in New Mexico (see their Holy Scrap Homestead blog). As such, they were looking for more efficiency from their appliances. Mikey has come up with a temperature controller that has allowed them convert a small chest freezer into a refrigerator and so downsize from their full-size fridge that cost them a lot in energy and was underutilized.

The temperature controller can also be used to regulate temperature for stuff like tempeh and yoghurt making, incubation, heat pads, raising bread dough, and controlling the temperature on simple crockpots and on hot plates for tasks like candy-making. There are a lot of possible uses.

The design and instructions on how to build it are “open source” in other words, free, off his website but he also sells kits to build it yourself and already completed units from there, as well.

Here is Mikey talking about the controller and what he was able to do with it. BTW, I don’t know Mikey or Wendy and they haven’t asked me to blog this. Just stumbled across this and thought it should be shared.

Here’s Wendy making yoghurt using the device:

Wendy using the temperature controller to make tempeh:

Mikey raising bread dough.

Besides the temperature controller, Mikey has other useful open source projects.

Monitor Your Property’s Health

Learn an easy photo technique to monitor your property’s health. The video is taken on a rural property in Wyoming and is produced by the University of Wyoming. Embedding was disabled on this video, so just click through to watch it directly on YouTube.

Harvesting Rainwater in Pennsylvania

Maximizing the uses of rainwater and minimizing the impacts of stormwater runoff through native landscaping, infiltration and harvesting for reuse was a goal from the start. This video looks at a property (house with barn and surrounding land) in Pennsylvania and what the architect did to design a more sustainable use of the water that falls as rain. Rainwater here is redirected to irrigate yard plantings and once filtered to a cistern that the homeowner says is full almost all the time.

Harvesting Rainwater from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

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