Is A Compost Heated Shower For You?

[youtube width=”360″ height=”240″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdu-r4h5yAA[/youtube]
Inspired by the work of Jean Pain, Darren Doherty and his group built a compost heated shower that can dispense 40 gallons of warm water every 10 minutes. The water travels through 400′ of 1″ hose that is snaked through a 6′ x 6′ compost pile. The compost piles’ day and night internal temperature reached and has remained at 90 degrees since day one. At some point, they do think the pile will run out of heat and when it does, they’ll be left with some good compost.


By far the best part of the video occurs in the first 25 seconds where Darren walks in and out of the shower and then calls out to his lady friend, “come on out doll.” Jubbling aspires to reach this level of eco-suavé but judging by the spam we get, we have to accept that our groupies peddle upskirt porn and sell cheap Zoloft. [Treehugger.com]

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Science&Sons Phonofone III Or Ceramic Coffee Cup?

Ok, the Phonofone III is a great idea. It’s a self-powered ceramic iPhone 4 speaker that kicks out sound in much the same way as the old gramophone wind-up phonographs worked. Your iPhone 4 sits in a base with its speakers pointed down and the audio is channeled, amplified and sent out of the cone shaped speaker. According to Science&Sons’ website, the Phonofone will amplify your iPhone’s audio 4x’s elevating it to 60 dB without the need for electricity. The Phonofone is currently being sold directly by Science&Sons for $195 + shipping.

Done deal – let’s buy one, right? Not really. Gizmodo, one of my favorite sites, always encourages visitors to post comments about the article they just read and the Phonofone III had its share. One of the recurring themes in the comments pushed the idea that the Phonofone III is cool but can be easily duplicated by putting your iPhone 4 in a ceramic coffee cup. I had to try it myself and not surprisingly, it worked great. I didn’t measure how much the audio amplified in the coffee cup but it was a obvious improvement. Changing the angle of my iPhone 4 in the coffee cup also tweaked the bass and treble levels.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like the Jubbling built into the electricity-free Phonofone III but I’m just not in a rush to go out and buy one. Maybe a smaller and less expensive version that also worked as a coffee cup might be enough to justify my purchase. Or maybe Science&Sons could create a version that was clear and let your iPhone 4 sit behind magnified glass – then you could amplify your audio and magnify your video. Or maybe I should just stick with the coffee cup for now.

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Instructables.com – Online Resource For The Resourceful

Instructables.com is one of those websites that you can make your homepage; Macgyver definitely would. It’s loaded with interesting DIY ideas and fundamental to the site is the whole reuse thing; turn nothing into something or extend the life of the stuff you have around. Treehugger.com posted an article about Instructables.com’s Alchemy Goods Inner Tube Reuse Contest. It’s being judged right now but we’ve already picked our winner [above].

Check out their site and see what contests are open and submit an idea. Or like me, just browse around and see what smarter people are doing with stuff most people would throw out.

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The Tightwad Gazette Makes Being Thrifty Less Uncool

The Tightwad Gazette’s tagline states it best: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle. What started out as a newsletter turned into a three-book series loaded with author and user generated ideas to save money by consuming less and reusing more; kind of like extreme Jubbling only organized and successful.

The Tightwad GazetteThe Tightwad Gazette is the brainchild of Amy Dacyczyn who in 1990 had the idea of sharing the art of “tightwaddery” in her effort to start a home based business. At its peak, The Tightwad Gazette had nearly 100,000 subscribers all searching for tips on how to save while submitting their own ideas for future issues of the newsletter that could also end up in the TG books. After her 3rd book in 1996, The Tightwad Gazette III, Amy decided to close down her successful franchise in order to spend more time with her family. After all, she was never in it for the money or the material goods that came with prolonged success; Amy’s motivation was the luxury of freedom from a job.

Here are just a few Jubbling examples from her book, The Tightwad Gazette III:

  1. The Advantages Of Buying Used – Sometimes, buying used things is better for the environment. A friend bought a like-new LL Bean jacket ($67 value) at a yard sale for $1. Not only did he get a great deal but he also took away the need to produce a new coat from virgin materials.

  2. Make Charcoal Last Longer – After grilling, spray the coals with water and leave them in the grill. By the next time of use, they have dried and are ready to use again.

  3. From Chips To Strips – Recycle Mylar popcorn and potato chip bags into ribbon for wrapping and decorating packages. Wipe the inside of the bag down and then cut a long strip from it by spiraling around the bag. Now you have a curling ribbon like one you would normally purchase.

Jubbling will not stump for tip #3 unless you are big into pork rinds… or if the gift you are wrapping is pork rinds.

All in all, The Tightwad Gazette is timeless and full of great ideas that you can incorporate into your daily life… or not. And the best part is that the book takes a very humble approach to pitching these ideas. The Tightwad Gazette can be purchased as new or USED through Amazon.com. What better way to pay homage to the mission than by purchasing used copies of The Tightwad Gazette. It’s what Amy Dacyczyn would do.

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Humancar’s Imagine_PS NEV – Human/Electric Hybrid Car

A cool article out of Treehugger about Oregon based Humancar™ and their Imagine_PS NEV (PS = Power Station; NEV = Neighborhood Electric Vehicle). The Imagine_PS NEV is propelled by a rowing action that also generates power stored in the vehicles battery.

[youtube width=”425″ height=”300″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXUJjFvgOdk&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Humancar is taking pre-orders on the Imagine_PS NEV. It’s $50 to hold your place in line and it’s fully refundable. Humancar plans to start building the cars when they reach 800 pre-orders and the final Imagine_PS NEV price will be $15,500.

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