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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Journey to the far north

Well, I returned late last night from my journey to the far north...
northern New York State that is. I managed to make it to the bio-diesel processor workshop hosted by Steve Spence of the BackHome NY Chapter.

A small group gathered in the mud and the snow (that's springtime in NY!) to learn about processing waste vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel. A lot of people have experimented with and done a lot of work with biodiesel fuels, and some of it has been compiled into a manual, which was the guide for the workshop.

The equipment used is an electric hot water heater; with assorted pipes, tubes, valves; and an electric pump to do the mixing. This workshop was the processor equipment introduction... a 2 day workshop would be required to get into the actual processing.... something which I would like to attend!
Watching the parts go together was amazing... seeing ordinary everyday objects turned into something new.. a pump.. a water heater.. the pipes and valves came pre-assembled... and the workings of it were explained all along, with quite a discussion afterwards. The guys whose project this was got to take an assembled biodiesel processor home with them... to help fuel their diesel trucks and tractors... and with diesel selling at $2.50 a gallon this was a financial business decision for them... in other words, it really makes sense!

I'd like to thank Steve and his family for hosting this workshop and for the hospitality everyone enjoyed at their home. It was well worth the journey to learn more about this and to meet others interested in it also. later! DaveH

Friday, March 18, 2005

Build a biodiesel processor!

Next Saturday at Noon, we will be building an Appleseed Biodiesel Processor here at Green-Trust. It will be a hands on workshop, so all are welcome, just bring a dish to share. (Directions)

The basic kit comes from the good folks at, plus a electric water heater from Sears. We will be putting together complete step by step instructions on the build and operation of the unit. It will be in next months ESSN, so stay tuned. March had an awesome section on biodiesel by Girl Mark, so check it out!

You can Learn more about biodiesel at our forum and our wiki.

Don't forget that ESSN back issues stay online, and all issues are always free.

Steve Spence, with the Appleseed Processor built for Teva.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Car pollution got you down?

So here's the dilemma. You compost, you recycle, maybe even bought a fuel efficient car, getting 30+ mpg. But every day as you fill up on $2+ / gallon gas, you wonder if there is something else you can do to offset your emissions. Not everyone is into diesels and vegetable oil. Along comes Tom Arnold of TerraPass.

I spoke to Tom this evening, and he described the system. For $80 a year or less, I can buy a TerraPass to offset the pollution my car emits, by funding development of grid-tied renewable energy production (Wind, Biogas, etc.), or the purchase of pollution rights, to be taken off the market, and never cashed in. This reduces the yearly emissions by the amount I pollute.

This project was started by a group of college students in PA, and has blossomed into a real solution that you and I can use to make a personal and meaningful impact. I, Steve Spence, pledge to offset my yearly emissions of my '97 Nissan Sentra by purchasing a Terra Pass. Won't you?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Clarkson University Visit

Thursday we had a wonderful opportunity. We were invited to Clarkson University to talk with the Environmental Leadership class about our local Freecycle Group, conservation, recycling, and the renewable energy projects here at Green Trust. There was good discussion with and among the students, and very insightful questions. We hope for continued dialogue with the group. Other projects currently being worked on include designing a renewable energy focused non-profit work/training program for disadvantaged urban youth. More details to follow.

Thanks to HomePower Magazine for listing ESSN's Eulogy to Al Rutan in their Issue 106.

Our Daryl Hannah interview is up, and it was good to see someone who is in the limelight having an interest and care for the environment. Read about her and Charris Ford at Off-Grid.Net.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

No news is sometimes good news .....

It's been too cold, and too much snow fall for many outdoor activities to happen. We have been doing minor indoor improvements, and I've been experimenting with a recumbent exercycle pedal generator. The exercycle I got off freecycle (for free), so I enthusiastically support and recommend using the service. Don't have one local? Start one as we did.

The most important thing happening this week on our calendar was the production of the latest issue of ESSN Magazine. The good stuff on Energy Self Sufficiency including Electricity Basics, Biodiesel, and Human Powered Vehicles just keeps coming. Check it out, it's also free.

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