New book - 'Building a Better World in Your Backyard' - on Kickstarter (sponsored friend)

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Bwb-book-mockup-no-bg.png New book Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys Check currently being funded on Kickstarter. (sponsored friend).


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Solar Charged Lawnmower
Solar Charged Lawnmower. An electric lawnmower that utilizes solar power as an energy source will address a number of issues that standard internal combustion engine mowers do not. An electric lawnmower with a solar charger will be easier to use. There is no messy dangerous gasoline to deal with. It will eliminate those pesky trips to the gas station for fill-ups. Just plug the mower into the charging station when not in use and it will be charged and ready for your next mow! Most importantly it eliminates the emissions of an internal combustion mower.

The basic idea is to convert an older non-working gas mower into an electric powered mower by replacing the gas engine with an electric motor that runs from a 12 volt battery. This battery will be charged using photovoltaic panel (A.K.A. - solar panel). I chose to convert an old gas mower rather than just starting with an electric mower due to cost and so I could design the power output. I also planned on using as many used materials as I can. This will help to save these materials from ending up in our already over filled landfills.

I would like to claim that I came up with this solar charged electric mower idea on my own but the truth is I came across an article about one in a "Home Power" magazine (Issue 107) a while back and have wanted to build one ever since. When the opportunity arose to use it as a project in my Engineering 305 class at Humboldt State University I jumped at the chance.

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CCAT's Vermicomposting Bin

Build your own Vermicomposting System!

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Portrait of Benjamin Franklin
He that is rich need not live sparingly, and he that can live sparingly need not be rich.

Benjamin FranklinW
Planted cattails at Millcreek greywater
Greywater, sometimes also spelled as graywater, grey water or gray water, is all of the effluent water from a household, such as water discharged from lavatories (bathroom sinks), bathtubs, showers, clothes washers, and laundry trays. Greywater is not wastewater from a sink used for food preparation, or water closet (toilet) wastewater.

The water leaving our homes carries nutrients and value. It may also contain pathogens, and/or harsh chemicals and care should be taken with it. However, it is not a great risk compared to blackwater (sewage).

Redirecting the water we use for tasks such as showering allows us to reclaim some of that value to grow plants and recharge the water table. It may be necessary to choose our soaps and detergents more carefully, if we use the greywater for watering and fertilizing plants.

Main portal: Water
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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Spring 2010: RCEA: Two labs of the Spring 2010 semester of Engineering 215 worked with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority to build energy education boxes for classrooms in Humboldt County. These boxes are designed for different K-12 grade ranges and cover one of three topics: energy conservation, renewable energy or climate change.

Spring 2010 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - RCEA
The Power of Wind
Educates students on the basics of wind power  
The Rad Triad
A Chutes and Ladders-like board game, a popup book and a sing-a-long song  
Weather Warnings
Teaches climate change through a movie, three stations, and a worksheet  
Modeling Renewable Energy
Educates students on many types of renewable energy  
Bust-A-Watt
Teaches energy conservation through activities, home assessments, and an art assignment  
Seas of Change
Educates students about the polar ice caps melting effects of climate change through a hands-on model  
Energy in a Cinch
Teaches about renewable energy through the use of a Windbelt  
CAN YOU WorKIT
Students assemble and operate a hand crank electrical generators  
Climate Crusaders
A Cap-and-Trade game and a model greenhouse gas experiment  
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