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For Instructables, 2009 is a Green Year Answered

Part of Instructables' mission is to inspire our community to create and share great projects. We do this though contests, theme months, and challenges that are seasonally appropriate, part of a bigger cultural trend, or simply areas where we want to see more great Instructables. This year we've decided that our overarching theme will be "Green."

Our Green category focuses on the environment, reuse and recycling, and saving energy or making it in new ways. However, there's more to it. Green projects cut across all of our categories, and DIY is deeply and inherently green. When you make something yourself you often save materials, time, or money, while simultaneously generating less waste and creating a relationship with your project. Because of that relationship, you are more likely to cherish the final product, upgrade it, repair it, or even pass it along to someone else who will also cherish it. All of these actions involve making more with less, and that is fundamentally green.

From my perspective as a life-long DIYer, I feel that it's time our culture took an active interest in all things green. I want to make sure the things we do are meaningful. We may have passed peak oil, but we can all work to ensure we pass "peak waste." So, to help inspire you, we'll be running a number of Instructables project contests all with a green theme. Some will be large, and some will be small -- we've even arranged sponsorship to give away Voltaic solar laptop bags and an Epilog laser cutter!

To help you plan and get your projects started early and finished on time, we'll be publishing the timing of several of the contests scheduled during the first half of the year. Obviously, I think the best time to do a project is when you're most passionate about it, but I recognize everyone can benefit from a little extra motivation. Things are, of course, subject to change, but if you have even the slightest inkling of a green project, start now; especially since the real prize will be inspiring everyone that sees your work make their own lives a little bit greener.


Ohhh! I'll be making sure i am in those contests :-) And when id the "knex" theme coming up?


The new way of rickrolling...

Were no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do i
A full commitments what Im thinking of
You wouldnt get this from any other guy

I just wanna tell you how Im feeling
Gotta make you understand

  • never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

Weve know each other for so long
Your hearts been aching
But youre too shy to say it
Inside we both know whats been going on
We know the game and were gonna play it

And if you ask me how Im feeling
Dont tell me youre too blind to see

(* repeat)

Give you up. give you up
Give you up, give you up
Never gonna give
Never gonna give, give you up
Never gonna give
Never gonna give, five you up

I just wanna tell you how Im feeling
Gotta make you understand

(* repeat 3 times)

I once got rickrolled in the radio when my mom was driving me to school.

I am into low tech solar cooker design. I try to design reflective dishes that are easy and cheap to build ( make the dish out of mud with kitchen foil stuck to it if necessary!) and that will focus the suns heat on a cooking pot for several hours.
My ideal stationary reflector would do this for 3 or 4 hours per day, every day, winter and summer. BUT it is really hard to test your dish curves to see if they actually do it well. So since September I have been asking in software forums if modeling and animation software can do it. But it has to be easy to use because I am an amateur. Finally, I think I have found a suitable one.
Its a free one too.
It is called art of illusion and I have started a thread in their forum about solar cooking.
They have been really helpful, and I think their software and attitude will be very useful in the long run. Right now in Chad, people are no longer allowed to collect firewood for cooking. (Trees are nearly all gone!). Solar cooking built into mud walls can greatly help them. I believe that with the software, we can design the right curves even on a hit and miss basis or a" tweak to make better" basis.
I also did the dripper trackers last year, ( Though people do not seem that interested in low tech tracking)
The software has an animation function that could probably show how they work too!

I think we should have a contest to see who can burn the most old tyres, and smash the most florecent light bulbs! :-)


9 years ago

im gonna make a green lamp out of old computer parts just because of this!

Wow! That is some cools stuff you are going to give away!

*think green* *think green*

haha! actually... I know how i could do it easily, i would do it, but, im far to busy with many books

Contest is now live! Check back later today, as we'll be adding some sweet additional prizes for the runners-up.

Cool! I was surprised at how few prizes there were...not normal for you guys.

This is one of the coolest contests I've seen in a while! Beautifully simple and accesible to just about anyone.

Awesome post!! To say that I'm really happy to see things go in this direction is an understatement. I've already got an idea for the first challenge!

Oh, that's nice. I never use them but I might ask my coworkers to save them. :D

This is great! I am all for green! This is going to be another fun and exciting year whit Instructables... When will we get to see the contests timeline...?

How about a green building or green home improvement contest? Its probably not the right time now, but it would be good in the spring or summer.

Great! I'm making a nice little windmill for a competition next friday. I've also got a great idea for the bottle contest.

I do my part of reusing bits of junk for my ible's, the vast majority are made from bits purloined from the dustbin...

Well, most my current projects recycle, alot of the card would just get chucked otherwise.

I have three ideas going on right now that are recycle-upcycle themed. I'll have to get to work I suppose. :P

i like the way this is going...


9 years ago

Cool! And I'm working on a big green project already. Sweet!

I love this. Hopefully it will generate even more ways to be green, more that haven't been thought of.

erhem, For anyone that needs an idea, Giant Cordless Power Drill was a winner in the green category for Halloween. The giant cordless impact wrench, giant drill press, giant handheld vac, and giant flashlight are still up for grabs...


9 years ago

This contest is great. It will help to make the earth a bit more green
Most get money to build contest item

This is great! I hope that as the Instructables community grows, so will the determination to change some nasty, eco-damaging habits that many of us exhibit every day. I plan on sharing ideas, tips, and projects that I feel enrich the "Going Green" mindset, and influencing others to follow suit.

This is fantastic... from someone who participated in Green Contest last year, I was hoping there would be more along this line! Look forward to seeing the contests and instructables.


9 years ago

We've even arranged sponsorship to give away Voltaic solar laptop bags and an Epilog laser cutter!

Must....build........eco-friendly items!