Building a sun-tracking solar cooker

sun tracking solar cookerNot for the faint-of-heart DIY-er, but perfectly possible for those of us blessed with more experience – TreeHugger has a look at the who and the how of doing this.

To quote: “[Instructable user Keith] created an insulated box (including two panels for mirrors, and removable back doors), mounted it to allow it to tilt and rotate (plopping it on a big Lazy Susan dealt with the rotation part), added a motor so it could move itself, and of course devised a simple but great solar panel system so that the unit could detect and track the sun.”

The page has a fine video of the cooker too, and more detail and instructions can be found on the Instructables site.

Super-recycling design goodness

Mrs Green discovered the wonderful people at Supercyclers.natural grain kite stool

Reading about design innovation from the Natural Grain Kite stool (pictured here), to newspaper wood, and polystyrene works with glazes like melted computer keyboard, has had Mrs Green spending far too much time today exploring the site and pondering the items in her recycling bins.

An attempt to make those water-proof containers from plastic bags is on the to-do list …

Making and disposing of packaging the EcoCradle™ way

Growing packaging?  Ecovative Design does just that by growing bio-material in custom shapes. EcoCradle™ parts take about a week to grow.

grow custom packaging

This remarkable material is totally biodegradable and renewable and will easily break down in a compost heap.

The EcoCradle™ Mushroom Packaging website tells us that the packaging is  grown by: “… using mycelium, a fungal network of threadlike cells. This mycelium grows around agricultural by-products like buckwheat husks, oat hulls, or cotton burrs to any shape we make. In 5 – 7 days, in the dark, with no watering, and no petrochemical inputs, the mycelium envelops the by-products, binding them into a strong and beautiful packaging part. Inside every cubic inch of EcoCradle™, there’s a matrix of 8 miles of tiny mycelial fibers! At the end of the process, we treat EcoCradle™ with heat to stop the growth so there will never be any spores.”

Read more at Envirogadget.com and igreenspot. com.

A very small footprint indeed

Whilst on the subject of summer and feet and the covering thereof, Mrs Green today continues the theme and segues into a story about a remarkably small motor-home/camping carbon footprint. Via Treehugger, who also wrote about an 80 cm x 120 cm box that hides furnishings enough for an entire room, we are introduced to a portable modular living system that fits into a car.

swiss room box in carUnfortunately, in latest news,  the SwissRoomBox needs to make it to industrial production to give you a multi-functional home in your car. Cook, eat, take a shower and sleep. By sliding the box-shaped units over each other, holiday makers can access a sink, hob, dining table, picnic table and chairs, a shower, and a double bed. Oh – a hot water boiler too.

Mrs Green learned, amongst other things, at springwise.com that  “Once connected, electrical devices such as the pump and water boiler, as well as optional add-ons such as the fridge, and iPod and computer chargers, will all power themselves off the car battery, which will cut out once the battery only has 11 volts remaining — the minimum required for starting an engine. The battery will then recharge as the car is driven.”

Camping, anyone?

Paperflops for summer

Mentioned at  Green Diary, these earth-friendly flip-flops are made from paper flops shoesrecycled newspapers with the addition of re-purposed coconut shells, palm tree roots and recycled rubber.

The newspaper  supports the feet and the straps, base and sole are made of the sustainable re-purposed materials.

The re-purposed materials give durability, water resistance and a good grip, 1 kg of newspaper is recycled for each pair, and for an even happier result a project is afoot (Mrs Green did not initially intend that pun) to create employment opportunities by making Paperflops for disabled and underprivileged people in Yogjakarta, Indonesia.