For the good eyed/attentive person, a certain thing might have become increasingly clear as of late; the anomaly I am reffering is that despite reported "increased efforts" on environmental pollution, global poverty, biodiversity decline, energy security and rising food prices, have all kept deteriorating rather than improving or even staying stagnant. As such, even for the average joe or jenny from the block, it becomes more and more clear that the way on how we are handling these problems must certainly not be the most efficient one and that, perhaps, organisations (and indeed, the nation itself) should take on another angle or even adress things entirely differently. Having seen quite enough of the problems at hand (see the lengthier version of my experiences at the text file added), I tried figuring out a way on how we ourselves can alter our lifestyle and decrease these problems decribed. In the process, I also figured out a way on how we can make our (urban) life more simple and make ourselves and our environment more healthy aswell. Perhaps that, with these measures, and if enough people are willing, we may change the current society of Takers alltogether (atleast to some degree) and still be in time to avoid the biggest environmental damage. If not, then things will turn bleak indeed and we might end up
-destroying the planet's life support systems which we need to survive (eg trees which filter the air, rivers to provide our water, ...)
- moving towards a unhospitable planet in which violence, illeteracy, insecurity and a worsoning economic situation are a plenty.

Step 1: (Re-)assesment and gathering of reading and construction materials required

This first step in the instructable is inmediatly also going to be your last (you will return here in 5mins and you'll be rereading this very same line). Now that you have reviewed the steps in this instructable, you will need to asses on what you are going to execute and thus what reading/construction materials you are going to need. Decide on whether or not you are going to get a (64-bit) umpc or subnotebook (eg Asus Eee PC 901, digital textbook, ...) (to reduce the flood of information). If so, we may inmediatelly use it in this lifestyle-change project and go and get one. We can then buy all books we will need inmediatelly in electronic format. We make sure we get a working internet internet connection on this device to access websites as Green Living Ideas, PESwiki Home Generation, Wikipedia, The Big Green Idea, Treehugger.com, ... Also, we will download the required software tools to read the zipped documents added along (eg 7-zip and openoffice or staroffice).

Books and reading you may want to gather are VillageEarth AT Sourcebook (freely downloadable), EarthShip Volume 1, 2, ..., The Okinawa Program by Bradley Willcox, The Anti-Aging Plan by Roy Walford, ... Also make sure you read my own designs and get a full list of websites from the documents in my zip-file (refer to the Autonomous Home System Map and the CountryMeasures-map). This zip-file will probably prove indespensable to help us in our quest. Extra information (if required) may also be obtained from dvd's and/or from real-life people/model homes (eg trough appropriate technology organisations as Practical Action, ..., homesteads as The New House farm, Integral Urban House, ....).

Construction materials you may require include things like the completed, (commercially bought) cuttings-starting and/or seed starting greenhouses, hot water heating systems, water collection systems (eg rainwater harvesting systems), power sources as wind turbines and/or PV-solar panel(s), ... (!Refer to the drawings in step 6 to get a general overview of the systems required and/or to understand what they are/do !) Another approach you may opt for is to construct most of these things (or atleast a part of it) do-it-yourself. This will decrease costs tremendously (depending on how you execute it). Things you may require then are: stuff like nails, screws and washers, wind turbine magnets, hot water piping, ... Following is an example of a diy wind turbine; more diy examples and plans to construct the other systems diy can be obtained trough the PESwiki Home Generation website, BuildItSolar, Appropedia and the Wikipedia. Order the materials required in advance trough websites as Ebay, speciality shops as ForceFieldMagnets, JourneytoForever, or fetch them from civic amenity sites, the freecycle network, auto recycling (or "junk") yards, ... Hackerspaces, Fab labs and repair cafés finally may also prove helpful, for example to custom-make specific parts. Junkyards may be used to obtain windturbine-magnets, diy car-construction parts, solar hot water system piping, electrical piping, ... Depending on the local availability of parts in these 'supply-stores', we may also somewhat change/finetune our choice of the diy power source (eg windturbine, PV-system, ...) or other systems (solar hot water system, ...) to be put in place.

Reflect into the fact that depending on the amount of lifestyle changes/work you wish to agree to, you will be able to achieve anything in between a moderate to a larger postive environmental influence. You will also be able to achieve a smaller to again larger financial gain (in the midterm to long run). Deciding to be bold (with the same level of determination as Harrison Ford (in The Mosquito Coast) when he said Goodby America! (And Have a Nice Day!)" is certainly to be picked over merely believing that the measures will have a second to none influence in your life/environment (hereby preferring a lighter change and thus again continuing along the road we are taking now). As mentioned in the extra text-file in my intro, atleast I will prefer the more radical approach and I will accept anyone who joins me. I hereby declare my own quest for Brahmacharya opened and hope to achieve my vision of a greater, coordinated response on the issues mentioned.
I find it odd that you would look to electric, hydrogen fuel cells and flywheel storage for the school bus when most of them are diesel. Why not simply make your own Biodiesel. It would be much more simple and fit into your anarchist dogma much easier. Hydrogen is a joke that is endorsed by the chemical, and fuel companies as well as the government. They do this because they know the technology is so far down the road and requires a massive infrasturcture that they can control. BioDiesel is the democratization of fuel. It can be made anywere there is oil, and a few basic chemicals. I feel for ease of reading this instructable could be shortened, and cleared up a bit. It has a tendency in some places to sound like a rambling manefesto. I must admit I have that habbit as well. Please don't take that as an insult. I simply agree with some of these ideas and I would like to see a more positive response to this as it is read more.
Some old vehicles may no longer have a working (internal combustion) engine, so swapping it out with an engine that only allows to run on a clean fuel seems useful. Hydrogen (and other similar fuels -ie oxyhydrogen, ...) is indeed difficult to work with (short shelf life), but can possibly be more practical in the future as better storage options become available; . Otherwise, biodiesel (or biobutanol in case of a petrol engine) makes more sense.
I have been a bit dense recently. I am just wondering what you meant by &quot;environmental monastery&quot;? I checked the link, and I wasn't sure exactly what you meant.<br />
The idea is that religious people/religious centers act against climate change (for example by making constructions against the effects of climate change) or by living more ecologically. See also arcworld.org/
Wow. Where do I start? How about if you think there is a problem with Illiteracy, that you make absolutely certain that you spell the word &quot;Illiteracy&quot; correctly? <br> <br>I think that the OLPC is representative of much of what's wrong with the world (yes, I know you didn't present that, and I apologize as it's a real sore point for me) . Children don't need computers, or at least not first (or probably 10th). What they need is clean water and safe sanitation, but that's not &quot;techy&quot; enough. <br> <br>That all being said, I really do appreciate that you have taken the time and trouble to identify what you think is wrong with the world, thinking through and presenting your ideas as to how to ease these problems. <br> <br>
It may indeed seem weird to promote computers like the OLPC to children. The intent however is that they use it appropriately, ie for learning skills. Clean water and safe sanitation can only be provided by adults (which have (had) access to knowledge, for example via these computers) in the past.
Is this an Instructable on how to clog your browser up with so many tool bars that you loose 25% of your screen and also misspell a bunch of words?
thanks for taking the time to help your fellow humans
&nbsp;No offence, but...tree hugger. &nbsp;
Darn! XD I look like a stupid mother----er. XD
&nbsp;Very nice, long, and detailed Instructable, a piece of work that toke weeks, very nicely done, but no my thing.
It's probably because English is not my native language, some of the handwriting is a bit difficult to read for me. Is it possible that you type them up for me?<br /> <br /> Thanks!<br />
Enjoyed. Would like to add this to your ideas of green living via computer. You mentioned the eee - how about the XO? For a quick rundown,<br/> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://green-pc.blogspot.com/2007/11/greening-of-computer.html">http://green-pc.blogspot.com/2007/11/greening-of-computer.html</a><br/>All kinds of people are trying - yay!<br/>
I know of the XO-1, however I find this PC to be to small and slow to be used for people that use their PC for serious work. Note that were I say &quot;slow&quot;, I don't mean that it works slow (as it has Linux running), yet to install other alternative OS' and to do other labour-intensive work (GPS navigation, video-playing, ...), the CPU does not provide enough support. Also, the screen is way too small to do serious text editing, ... I advocate atleast a 10inch screen (the Eee PC 901-1000 has one). Also, I recommend the Eee as it has a 64-bit CPU (so you don't need to switch the PC soon). Note that I do not disregard the XO (its great, especially for people in the developing work that only just start working with a computer), however for serious work (eg Wikipedia-editing, text editing, ...) I do not recommend it. You can however look trough <a rel="nofollow" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_netbooks">this site</a> to determine other good UMPC's if you don't like the Eee (may other UMPC's are now coming out by several computer brands). <br/>
I think you have some good ideas that were not thought out. I have been researching alternative energy for 3+ years. Here's the reason why solar/wind power has not been accepted in the majority of households. Let's consider the 5 year cost of a solar system vs. the 5 year cost (in dollars, not CO2 or anything else) of mass-produced electricity. In my area the average cost of electricity for 1 month is $60us. Over 5 years that's $3600. Here's a breakdown of a solar system: battery bank: $5000 solar cells: $10,000 charging regulator and all other electronics: $2000 Total: $17,000 Now keep in mind you must replace the batteries every 4-5 years. So repeat the $5000 expense every 4-5 years. Now you can see the reason why the majority of people do not have solar: they do not have the income to support the expense. $3600 vs $17000 for the first 5 years is a big difference. You talk about reducing consumerism and saving money, solar/wind power is not the way to save money. Save CO2 perhaps, but how much CO2 is involved in making those lead-acid deep-cycle batteries you replace every 5 years?
In exchanges with those who live off grid, I learn that a battery bank can last up to 10 years. How much CO2 is used to construct the batteries is a valid question, but should be compared to how much CO2 the batteries prevented from being formed over their lifetime. Along with being compared to the CO2 produced to create the machinery used to produce transport the electrical power to the home using solar/ wind generated electrical power. Not to mention CO2 released by the fuel burned to create grid power.
Glad you ask that question; please look at the suggestions I made at step 1 and step 6: first of all I note that you make allot (if not all) of the systems diy. This will allow to save on your primary costs. Making the stuff diy is btw explained in more detail and concrete steps/info on how to do so in practice is noted down. Also, I noted avoiding the use of energy storage; rather a simpler hook up unto the net is recommended. Finally, if you do decide to implement energy storage, I recommended using other energy storage devices as flywheel energy storage, hydrogen fuel cells, and or compressed air tanks (the latter being the most intresting). Download the zip file I added and shift trough all of it. (you'll have your work cut out). Btw; I too spend several years researching the technologies and writing them down (4 years)