Low-impact blog

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Jul
27
2017
Scarlett Penn

Taking the pee: is urine a good fertiliser?

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Many of us consider our urine to be a waste product, which we flush out of our lives with purified drinking water. Even with a low-flush toilet the average person may use about 40L of treated water a day to whisk away their wee. The eco and cash cost of sanitising water for drinking is huge, so to recklessly contaminate and flush it is, in both senses, taking the piss. Read more …

Jul
25
2017
Dave Darby

Low-impact & the city 12: switching to the Phone Co-op (do it today!)

1

The Phone Co-op is the UK’s only co-operative telecoms provider. 100% member-owned, they have a democratic internal structure and no external shareholders. You can just become a customer, or you can become a member too, and have a say in the way the co-op is run. Read more …

Jul
23
2017
Sophie Paterson

A tale of two greenhouses: in praise of the solar greenhouse

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Strawberries in a Chinese solar greenhouse

Asked to describe the average greenhouse, many readers might picture a mainly glass structure. There is, however, an alternative which offers even greater growing potential across the seasons with far less energy consumption: the solar greenhouse. Particularly popular in China since the late 1970s, solar greenhouses make use of passive solar energy to retain the maximum possible amount of heat. Read more …

Jul
20
2017
Geoff

One man’s journey from diesel to veg oil

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Diesel to veg oil conversion

This week Lowimpact.org met Geoff, a.k.a the Veg Oil Guy, who runs two websites and a YouTube channel chronicling his exploration of diesel to vegetable oil conversion and proving veg oil motoring can be done! Read more …

Jul
18
2017
Dave Darby

What’s the most environmentally-damaging thing that a human can do?

4

This question is really important for us at Lowimpact.org, because we’re all about providing information and other resources on ways that people can live in a less environmentally-damaging way. So I was very interested to see that researchers at Lund University in Sweden recently put the hours in Read more …

Jul
15
2017
Richard Vale

Superhomes: free open-house events for you to have a look at homes with renewable and energy-saving technologies

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This year marks the 10th year of SuperHomes, the innovative and multi-award winning national network of over 200 homes which have all reduced their carbon footprint by a minimum of 60%. There’s a record 100 free Open House events occurring across all parts of UK Read more …

Jul
11
2017
Stuart Yendle

Building your own sea kayak part 3: cockpit, sealing & fibreglassing

0

In the third instalment of the building your own sea kayak series, after a long break in the build over the winter the materials have arrived for the next stage of the process. The Petrel’s cockpit is recessed to give it a lower profile, which makes Eskimo rolls easier.  The forms are temporally glued to the boat and cockpit area is cut. Read more …

Jul
9
2017
Robin

Crabapple community is looking for new members

35

Crabapple Community is a thriving housing co-op of 10 adults and 4 children (mainly teenagers) aiming to live as sustainably as possible in our large Georgian house and 20 acres of land, 5 miles south-east of Shrewsbury. Crabapple Community was founded in 1975 Read more …

Jul
6
2017
Cormac Stanton

How to make a pair of bellows: a step by step guide with Kormak the Carter

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Re-enacters Kormak and Mo hard at work using handmade bellows at their forge

In this post we learn from Cormac Stanton how to construct a pair of working bellows, be they for the fireplace or the forge. A member of the Manaraefan Herred Dark Age and Early Medieval re-enactment group, as Kormak the Carter he works alongside blacksmith Mo Swinhosson. Both are described as highly competent early medieval technicians and can fix almost anything, especially if you can hit it with a hammer! It’s over to Cormac from here with his step by step guide. Read more …

Jul
4
2017
Stuart Yendle

Building your own sea kayak part 2: hull & deck

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The first strips are on.  I spent a while setting up the forms on the strongback and securing them with cleats.  I then cut and shaped the stem pieces seen here on the bow. Read more …

Jul
2
2017
Chris Smaje

Starting a market garden: Q&A with Chris Smaje of Small Farm Future

1

Chris Smaje of Small Farm Future kindly agreed to share with us a recent blog post of his own about starting a market garden, drawing on his experiences at Vallis Veg, a small farm on the outskirts of Frome in Somerset with a veg box scheme and much more besides. Covering 13 questions collated from his most common reader comments, he offers his personal advice to anyone considering a market garden venture. It’s over to Chris from here. Read more …

Jun
30
2017
John Harrison

What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in July

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Your polytunnel or greenhouse is absolutely packed and you’ll be harvesting fruits from your summer crops – the first tomato of the year is always the most anticipated and delicious. Soon you’ll have more food than you can cope with. Read more …

Jun
29
2017
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for July

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July is usually one of the hottest and driest months so a lot of time may be spent watering. You can reduce water loss and so save yourself some time. Mulching with a layer of organic matter will help preserve moisture but may encourage slugs so you will need to take action against them. Read more …

Jun
27
2017
Stuart Yendle

Building your own sea kayak part 1: forms & ‘strongback’

0

I’m going to post three articles about how I built my own sea kayak, followed by some articles about the adventures you can have once you’ve built it. The idea is that you buy some detailed plans and follow them carefully. They will guide you through every step of the build. Read more …

Jun
25
2017
Dave Darby

B-corporations – yes or no?

52

What do you consider the correct approach towards multinational corporations – tame them, or start to get rid of them? And what do we mean by ‘tame’ exactly? And what are the problems with multinational corporations in the first place? Read more …

Jun
22
2017
Sophie Paterson

The great Human Power Plant experiment

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Components of the Human Power Plant

Taking pedal power to a whole new level, an ambitious project will see the conversion of a 22 floor building into an entirely human powered community of 750 students at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Dubbed the Human Power Plant, Kris de Decker of Low-tech Magazine and artist Melle Smets will lead a team exploring the feasibility of modern human energy production in what promises to be both a technical and social challenge. Read more …

Jun
20
2017
Dan McCallum

Wind farm open day, July 4th: see what it’s like inside a giant turbine, and ask questions in the pub afterwards

0

It’s Community Energy Fortnight from June 24th – July 9th and all over the country there are events to galvanise support for clean power. To celebrate this and to draw attention to Global Wind Day, we are opening up one of Awel’s turbines for people to see inside a wind turbine. Read more …

Jun
18
2017
Sigi Koko

Waste not want not: 5 tips for collecting salvaged building materials

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Using salvage building materials brings new life to otherwise discarded items.  Reusing materials can inspire creativity and reduce construction costs. But you need to have a plan, or you risk spinning your wheels and burning out from all the leg work involved. Read more …

Jun
16
2017
Libby Cameron

Opportunity to achieve a permaculture livelihood on a couple of acres on Devon/Cornwall border

4

Hi, I have a small piece of land (approx. 1.75 acres)  with small barn on the Devon-Cornwall border that I would really like to make available to someone committed to creating a permaculture lifestyle.  Read more …

Jun
14
2017
Walter Lewis

In sight of Pendle Hill: a glimpse of life at Gazegill Farm

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Organic raw milk production at Gazegill Farm

We’re delighted to introduce the first in a series of posts by photographer and researcher Walter Lewis of Feeding Body and Soul. He will be sharing a selection of stories from his journey exploring local sustainable food production in England and Wales, beginning with Gazegill Farm in Lancashire. Read more …

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