Not Using Petroleum - Boston Skillshare 2009

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Led by Mike.

I have a petroleum addiction

you can cut through a log in a minute
you get it done a lot faster, but at what cost, what are we giving up

Using less petroleum or even without it.

How much space do we need? Starting with smaller shelters can cut out a lot of unneeded energy.

Don't need sheetrock or linoleum floors.

Simple Shelters

Wigwam, saplings stuck in ground and bent over.

Earth houses, dig a hole and pile earth back on it. Don't require much materials, earth has stable temperature. But light is really nice, can make you feel better

Cob: sand, clay, and straw. Cob cottages. You do want to keep rain off of it, but there are one thousand year old houses in England made of yerts. There are cob houses in New England, New Hampshire and Vermont. And there were clay and sand pits in Cambridge once.

Yurts (not yerts as I spelled it). Same as a gur. Walls taper out and the roof tapers down, and the tension band, steel cable, you can get them discarded from old telephone poles. Skylight with lots of light, you can put in

Alternative to gas or oil heat.

You can harvest wood without clearcutting. Have to let green wood dry out for six months to a year.

In an urban area there's definitely places where you can find wood. Talk to the parks department, they are often looking to get rid of wood.

In Arlington, they'll have a day every fall where you can get all the trees they cut down.

Hindi poem: "bread labor" - sacred, doing things every day to provide for your needs.

Radical Simplicity, Jim Mirkle (or something like that), left engineering, moved to Vermont, lives on $5,000 a year.

Downside to heating home with wood stove it creates a lot of smoke. It would definitely harm air quality

Who has tasted petroleum? It's terrible. Why "put it into" what we're growing

Be part of a CSA, community supported agriculture, where it's grown in your neighborhood.

It tastes better and it's more nutritious

Growing food and season extension.

Canning.

Cold frame.

Eliot Coleman (?) on the coast of main, writes on the four season growing.

Root cellar is a great way to preserve food after you grow it-- potatoes, (and a ton more things he listed)
So simple and so unpretentious. Low cost cold (without freezing) storage. Get something in the ground and cover it up.

You want to keep the air circulating: a pipe at the top and at the bottom.

Different vegetables like different temperatures, and humidity.

Carrots, rutabagas,

Experiences with composting toilets? N has! She raised her hand up high.

Composting toilets are really quite amazing. Most farmers used animal

In a lot of ways our manure is not any different.

Joseph Jenkins: The Humanore Handbook.

Yikes.

Two approaches. The bucket system, you have a 5 gallon bucket and when it's full you put it in the pile, keep adding dry material, hay, grass clippings -- balance the greens and the browns. As it composts it heats up. Gets to over 116 to 130 degrees fahrenheit, three days, and it will kill all pathogens and bacteria that humans have to worry about. Then let it sit for a year. Then when you eat from the garden, completing a cycle.

I'm going to say yikes again, but ok, cool.

Largest polluter of groundwater? Septic systems. They are designed to leach blackwater, from your toilet and the rest of the house, untreated into the ground. The composting toilet system gets around that.

Massachusetts has title 5 that lets you use a smaller septic system

Composting toilet, you just need

Five feet by five feet by five feet. Use that for a year, by the time that's done, the next one is finished.

Can put it somewhere else than your garden, like trees or fruit.

Fifteen feet by five feet, and have the bucket right in your house. It does heat up, so it'll keep working in the winter.

Toilet, Hay/sauwdust, compost.

Bucket system doesn't stink if you do it right.

The other approach is the moldering system.
With the moldering system, I would recommend not peeing in it, because that's a lot of nitrogen going in there.

I just pee outside, which I enjoy doing anyway.

If anyone

Mattapan, nature center, has composting toilets (not in the main building, but farther in)

First time I used one I expected it to stink, but it didn't.

I find it really ridiculous that we pump this water to a treatment plant, dump all these chemicals in, do all this work to clean it, and then we poop in it. It's ridiculous.

Rocket Stoves

Popcorn tin with ash in it, and a J-tube. Burns hotter with less smoke. J-tube causes air to mix around with itself and burn completely. Originally designed and used where people didn't have a lot of gas stoves.
This eliminates all or most of the smoke, and you need to use much less wood, because you are using the wood completely.

The container around the J-Tube is filled with wood ash, perlite (used in potting soil), or masonry.

The pipe at the top ends about an inch below where your pot would sit.

Optionally, you can add another rim that goes up and ends an inch from the top of you

In my experience this will heat up a pot of water just as fast as a gas stove will.

Wood is put on top of the shelf in the bottom part of the

You just keep pushing the sticks in.

You do need to cut the wood smaller.

Can you use smaller branches and twigs?

I haven't really used it much yet.

Mass version of this.
Add a thermal battery. And can put a cob bench or bed above it.

You can also use pallets, they are the perfect hardwood, and warehouses and grocery stores can't get rid of the old ones.

Heat up to boiling, put your pot in the box, with three inches of insulation on all sides, close the door. Your rice or millet or such comes out great overnight.

I've been getting time down to an hour and a half by putting a rock I heat up at the same time in there. A big ceramic pot will also act as a heat store.

Bicycles are marvelous invention. I really enjoy riding them. You're getting somewhere while you're getting somewhere. You can get bicycle trailers, racks, bags. There's a bicycle-only moving service.

Boston isn't so bike friendly.

Portland Oregon is amazingly bike friendly.