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    Water and space heating from photovoltaics (or wind) using a grid diverter | Blog article

    This is an idea that allows you to heat water via solar electric panels instead of exporting surplus electricity to the National Grid. This makes sense because it then means that you can do the work yourself instead of hiring an (expensive) accredited installer – plus you can use second-hand gear. Read more

    The pros and cons of burning different types of wood for heating | Blog article

    Burning wood is a highly sustainable and environmentally friendly heating method. Burning wood on a high efficiency stove can create less CO2 than letting the same wood rot on the floor of a forest. Read more

    Historically heating: forgotten ways to keep warm this winter | Blog article

    With winter on the way and inspired by a recent visit to the Weald & Downland Museum, Sophie Paterson explores a selection of historical personal heating methods. Could they be adopted in homes today? Read more

    A south-facing, rammed earth, straw-bale-insulated house doesn’t need heating; why aren’t all new houses built this way? | Blog article

    Rowland ran rammed earth building courses with us for years. He said then that a C-shaped, rammed earth house with straw-bales for external insulation, and as much glass on the south side and as little glass on the north side as possible, wouldn’t need any heating. We wanted to catch up with him to learn… Continue reading A south-facing, rammed earth, straw-bale-insulated house doesn’t need heating; why aren’t all new houses built this way? Read more

    Converting an old cottage to ground source heating: how we did it | Blog article

    Living in an older building but keen to heat your house with 100% renewable energy? Simon Lennane shares how he tackled an ambitious project converting his old cottage to ground source heating. Read more

    Heating old buildings with heat pumps | Blog article

    It looks as though heat pumps are going to provide a lot more of our heating in the future – although there has been some controversy about how well they work in old buildings. Heat pump specialist John Cantor answers some of those concerns. Read more

    The diesel engine | Info Article

    “The use of plant oil as fuel may seem insignificant today. But such products can in time become just as important as kerosene and these coal-tar-products of today.” Read more

    Decide whether solar hot water is right for you | Info Article

    First read our introduction to solar hot water. Maybe talk to other system owners, read books, attend courses, ask questions – get as much basic information as you can. Read more

    Health & safety | Info Article

    Before commencing any practical work, it is of the utmost importance to understand the risks involved with making biodiesel. Read more

    Costs, savings & incentives | Info Article

    An average price for an installed system (including a new cylinder) for a family of 4 is around £4-5000, but there will be geographical variations, as labour can be cheaper in some parts of the country. Read more

    Beginners’ guide to wild swimming | Info Article

    Thinking about dipping your toes into the world of wild swimming but don’t know how to start?  We often get asked about how you can get into wild swimming if you are new to it.  So, we have put together this handy little guide with all the points you should consider when taking the plunge… Continue reading Beginners’ guide to wild swimming Read more

    How to make simple biodiesel | Info Article

    In this section we will go through the process of making biodiesel using a simple one-stage base-catalysed transesterification. Read more

    Installation | Info Article

    We are building a list of recommended installers, depending on what part of the country you live in. Read more

    Things to think about when considering an air source heat pump | Info Article

    Heat pumps are very much in the news these days, as they’re set to replace gas boilers, helped by government incentives. There has been criticism of heat pump technology, but what it really boils down to is that they won’t work as well in badly-insulated homes. The priority for home owners should be to make… Continue reading Things to think about when considering an air source heat pump Read more

    How to make biodiesel in a 100-litre batch reactor | Info Article

    In order to look in more detail at the issues involved in practical biodiesel production we will take the example of a small-scale batch system making 100-litre batches. Read more

    Decide what you want to use the stove for | Info Article

    How will you use it – do you want it to heat just one room, will you try and move heat around the house from that one room, or do you want it to heat the whole house, provide hot water – everything? Read more

    Masonry Heaters: Planning Guide for Architects, Home Designers and Builders. | Info Article

    By Alex Chernov, a Certified Heater Builder. www.stovemaster.com. (North American weights and measures). Read more

    What to do with the glycerine | Info Article

    When you make larger amounts of biodiesel you will inevitably end up with quite a large store of glycerine. Read more

    Decide what kind of fuel you will use | Info Article

    We recommend biomass rather than fossil fuels, because it’s more-or-less carbon-neutral Read more

    What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in January | Info Article

    January can be the beginning of your creative gardening year in your greenhouse or polytunnel. It’s the first awakening of the year. You can start off new seedlings on your propagator and sow and plant the first vegetables into the ground. I always think that the first sowings and plantings are the most special and… Continue reading What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in January Read more

    Off-the-shelf toilets: which model? | Info Article

    Some models, for example Envirolet, Sun-Mar and Biolet, collect all the solid matter and urine together, then attempt to evaporate the liquids, either with a fan or a heating element, and then excess urine is drained off later. Read more

    What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in February | Info Article

    In your greenhouse or tunnel you may now be fooled that spring has arrived. Your tunnel or greenhouse can easily warm up to 20˚C during sunny spells. You also notice that the days are getting longer and your gardening itch is starting up again. Read more

    Make sure you’re safe | Info Article

    Make sure your stove or flue isn’t next to combustible materials. If the stove backs on to a wooden wall, fit a heat shield to protect it. Read more

    What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in March | Info Article

    You will really feel the warmth in your greenhouse or polytunnel now and so do your plants. They start to grow quite rapidly now but be aware that the nights are still quite cold and there is still a high risk of frost. Many garden centres will try and sell you tomato plants from the… Continue reading What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in March Read more

    What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in April | Info Article

    April is one of the busiest months and one filled with immense responsibility. All your crops are now sown and you care for them as if they are your little babies. You certainly can’t book a holiday during April because your seedlings in trays need to be watered every day and possibly twice if it’s… Continue reading What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in April Read more

    Step-by-step guide to building and erecting a geodesic dome using coppiced poles with plastic end connectors | Info Article

    Materials list, including sourcing and cutting coppiced poles, fitting plastic end connectors, assembling, erecting and covering dome.  Read more

    What to sow, plant and harvest in your polytunnel or greenhouse in May | Info Article

    May is the most exciting month in your tunnel or greenhouse. This is the time to plant out your summer crops – your tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers and basil. Read more

    The natural house | Info Article

    By natural house we mean one that uses natural materials that don’t damage the environment in their manufacture or use, and that is good for the health of its inhabitants. These qualities typified houses built before the introduction of cement and other impermeable / inflexible building materials. Typical differences between traditional / natural buildings and… Continue reading The natural house Read more

    Key permaculture principles | Info Article

    The principles of Permaculture design are largely based on the study of natural ecosystems and their ecology. Read more

    Limecrete | Info Article

    Lime concrete, or limecrete, has been used since Roman times for massive structures such as bridges, docks, and even the dome of the pantheon in Rome. Read more

    How to grow button mushrooms | Info Article

    Agaricus is unlike other mushroom spawn in that it is a secondary decomposer; this means that it needs to work with bacteria which carry out the primary decomposition of cellulose material into a form accessible by Agaricus. Read more

    Domestic energy saving tips | Info Article

    Here are lots of ideas about how to save energy. Also, there are hundreds of sites out there with energy saving tips. See our links page for a selection. Read more

    How to grow oyster mushrooms in logs | Info Article

    This instruction relates to growing Oyster Mushrooms from dowels; these are intended for inoculation into hardwood logs. Read more

    What is biodiesel? | Info Article

    Biodiesel is a fuel for conventional Diesel engines made from plant or animal oils or fats that have been chemically transformed into alkyl esters. Read more

    The first two-storey, load-bearing straw-bale house in the UK | Blog article

    Almost twenty years ago I left the life I knew to live on an acre of terraced woodland in Pembrokeshire. A friend helped me to build an 8x12ft shed and I had the beginnings of my own home. In all naivety, I thought I could live on my own land Read more

    How about a yurt, dome or tipi as a spare room? | Blog article

    Here’s an interview with David Field of World Tents about how a tipi, yurt or dome could be used as a spare room in the garden.  Read more

    Two more community-owned renewables schemes that you can get involved with | Blog article

    If you would like to see more community-owned co-operative renewable energy projects in the UK, there are practical ways that you can help. Over to Jon for some schemes you can invest in Read more

    Three-bedroom, earth-sheltered house with a living roof, cob internal walls & sea view; cost: £18,000 | Blog article

    Seven years ago, a handsome builder came on a Lowimpact.org ‘how to make biodiesel’ course at Redfield and stole one of our staff. They now live with three children in Cornwall, in an earth-sheltered house that he built himself on his own land. Read more

    Here’s how you can visit ‘superhomes’ – old houses that have been refurbished for energy efficiency | Blog article

    ‘Superhomes’ is a project run by our old friends at the National Energy Foundation. In September there are open houses all over the country that you can visit to see what kinds of improvements the owners have made Read more

    Size matters: why a big house can’t be a green house | Blog article

    The wonderful Art Ludwig of Oasis Design in the US was asked to design and build an ‘eco-home’ for a client. He wrote a letter to the client to explain that he couldn’t take on the project because green ‘add-ons’ aren’t green at all when tacked on to a house that is too big Read more

    How I built a rocket mass heater in our timber-frame classroom | Blog article

    When I built our timber framed classroom last year, one of the concerns was how best to heat it. We are entirely reliant on woodfuel here, and a regular woodburner was going to make a big dent in our precious wood pile. Read more

    Flow Hive honey tap set to revolutionise beekeeping worldwide…. what’s wrong with that? | Blog article

    Stu Anderson lives at the end of a steep and stony track not far from Byron Bay in Northern New South Wales. His beautiful, hand-made home stands amongst others, surrounded by lush rainforest. Stu is one half of the father son team behind the Flow™Hive. Read more

    New, cheap tap fitting that does seem to save water without causing flow problems | Blog article

    I was sent a ‘Waterblade’ by Nigel – it fitted onto our bathroom tap easily, and the reason it causes no problems is that it spreads the water out into a thin sheet that actually makes it easier to wash your hands, for example, rather than more difficult. Read more

    Incentives for heat pumps, and how they can help reduce carbon emissions | Blog article

    The Government and many of the rest of us interested in green issues know that we have to meet certain obligations when it comes to reducing the country’s carbon footprint. While those in the solar and wind industry might be complaining about loss of subsidies, Read more

    The pros and cons of fracking in the UK and why you need to know about them | Blog article

    It’s time for all those interested in how society will achieve a sustainable level of impact on the environment to brush up their own thoughts and opinions on the pros and cons of fracking in the UK. Read more

    Come and join us on our organic, off-grid smallholding in 2017 | Blog article

    We are James and Sukamala, tenants at Wild Geese Acres, Greenham Reach, which is an off-grid, low-impact farming project established in north Devon by the Ecological Land Coop  (ELC) – see website. http://ecologicalland.coop. Read more

    Why self-reliance is so important as part of a secure, low-impact life | Blog article

    I am Andy Reynolds, a long-term practitioner of low-impact living, smallholder, author, forester, teacher, carpenter, builder. I’ve been working with Lowimpact.org since the early noughties, and I’d like to share my philosophy on self-reliance with you. Read more

    How we go about not wasting our waste – Compost Toilets and Watson Wicks | Blog article

    Hear about the building of, and ongoing use of, a compost toilet in Brazil. Read more

    A tale of two greenhouses: in praise of the solar greenhouse | Blog article

    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… Continue reading A tale of two greenhouses: in praise of the solar greenhouse Read more

    How we designed and built our own off-grid home in the woods | Blog article

    Two years ago, we blogged about Anna and Pete’s experience in obtaining planning permission for a self-built, off-grid home in the woods in Devon. Here’s the story of what they built and how they power and heat it. Read more

    How to use solar power in woodlands and on woodland smallholdings | Blog article

    I have been running our home for the last decade or so using wind and solar electricity. The experiences of building this system have been distilled into a book, of which we are now in the third edition. Read more

    How we escaped suburbia by embracing exchange and life on the road | Blog article

    Visual artist Emma Moody-Smith shares the story of how she and her partner Shawn have spent the past 9 years downshifting, swapping suburban England for life in a motorhome and, crucially, embracing exchange. Here she offers insight and advice to others looking to do the same. Read more

    12 reasons why people refuse to address the idea that we’re headed for near-term societal collapse | Blog article

    The starting point for a generative discussion of the deep adaptation agenda is a difficult one. Because to begin to rigorously and imaginatively discuss this topic first requires us to accept the likelihood of near term societal collapse. Read more

    Cooking with stored energy: how to build an off-grid solar slow cooker | Blog article

    We learn from our resident retained heat cooking specialists Jane and Seggy Segaran about how to build an off-grid solar slow cooker. Read more

    Becoming a woodland owner: an alternative view | Blog article

    There are many and various drivers behind the desire to become a woodland owner, varying from wishing to impose one’s self on the landscape and latterly build a house on a green field site; to the other end of the spectrum to benignly caring for an increasingly rare habitat. Read more

    How to make your own sustainable cleaning products | Blog article

    Wondering how to make your own sustainable cleaning products? Our friends at Ethical.net are here to help, with useful tips galore and a recipe for homemade apple cider vinegar. Read more

    Building the new economy with mutual credit in Costa Rica | Blog article

    Here’s a conversation with Emmanuel Savard, co-founder of a group in Costa Rica that’s looking at providing all the essentials of life – food production, housing and energy – for their town via regenerative, non-extractive, sustainable, community-based exchange and investment models. Read more

    Stop greenwashing of aviation: 3. hydrogen flight | Blog article

    Over five weeks we’re publishing a range of Stay Grounded factsheets about various kinds of techno-greenwashing provided by the aviation industry. Here we look at the promise of hydrogen-powered flight. Read more

    How To make cider vinegar | Blog article

    To make cider vinegar we need to start with a fully fermented dry cider with a minimum 5% alcohol content. Sulphur dioxide should not have been added for storage, because this will inhibit the conversion to acetic acid. Read more

    Badly performing heat pumps? | Blog article

    John Cantor from HeatPumps.co.uk asks the question: Are some heat pumps performing as badly as various recent stories have been reporting? Read more

    Decentralising power: the why, what, how and who of growing the commons economy | Blog article

    Why we need to replace capitalism with a commons economy; who will do it and how. Read more

    There’s a crash coming – a slap from Mother Nature. This isn’t pessimistic; it’s realistic.

    The human impact on nature and on each other is accelerating and needs systemic change to reverse.

    We’re not advocating poverty, or a hair-shirt existence. We advocate changes that will mean better lives for almost everyone.

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