Category Archives: Living energy

my eco-dilemna

I constantly live at the intersection of  mainstream or ‘alternative’ lifestyle. Living at WinSol,  there is no cost:  no energy bills, no garbage bills, no water bills, no sewer bills… nada!   Is that alternative? or just nice, even cool?  So when I go live in the mainstream for a few days, I quiet all my judgment, evaluations and comparisons. Over the years I have arrived at a state of equanimity: it just is. I used to just ‘let go’ but eventually found that letting go is the negative form of attraction and is as much of a trap as outright judgment is. So ’empty mind’ and ‘metta’ (as the buddhists say)  fills my mind and heart. But lately, something has come to the forefront of my mind, and I can’t let it go: crockpots!

Lately, I have circled around and focused on crockpots as being the poster child of our continued western decline.  A crockpot by its innocent self contains all the trademarks of our declining civilization going down the rabbit-hole.

At best a crockpot produces a beautiful savory food dish. At worse it could burn your house down. But it’s the space in-between where my judgmental mind can’t seem to let go. Maybe it’s this: in order for WinSol to have a working crockpot I would need to spend over $5,000 increasing my solar panels/controller/battery storage – just to accommodate a 1500watt constantly on electrical heating element. And maybe – just maybe – I am envious of mixing up a casserole, soup or other delicious dish, plugging it in,  walking away… and 5 hours later I can enjoy a savory dish. How convenient is that!!? But the ‘real’ price that I would pay for that is beyond my ‘alternative life style budget’ and WinSol’s philosophy.   Let me explain…

…First of all at WinSol, we live by the sun. We are immersed in the nuances and cycles of nature (real nature). One of our founding principles (WinSol’s manifesto) is that electricity cannot be used for heating and cooling. I’m about 95% there in reality – due to a small solar electric driven freezer.

On a technical basis:  WinSol’s current solar & wind electrical system cannot accommodate a microwave (high-surge induction load), or any electrical heating elements like a toaster, convection oven, space heater, or crockpot. I miss the convenience of a toaster more than anything, but have developed a work-around using a gas burner. I could probably develop an alternative to a crockpot using a pressure cooker or a double pot over a gas burner – but why?  I remember a past eco-dilemna that had to do with making bread….

Bread maker?   I think the easiest explanation for my behaviour change is an electric breadmaker. Before I moved to WinSol , I used an electric breadmaker twice a week to make beautifully home-baked, healthy bread without chemicals. But was it really ‘home’ made? I think it was closer to being ‘microprocessor’ made. A few years back, a friend and I decided to make bread the old fashioned way, and I reconnected with the passion of true artisan bread. There’s something
very cool and ‘right as rain’ about kneading, rising, kneading, rising and baking a loaf of bread from three ingredients… talk about being a purist!! And that’s really what an electric breadmaker and crockpot takes away – the artisan element.  (besides using a WHOLE bunch of electricity, high-embodied energy, shelf space, another convenience contraption, another appliance that’ll break and has designed obsolesce built in… geezh! tell me how you really feel :-)!

Artisans   What would our world be like without artists and artisans? As technology encroaches further and further into minimizing real artistry I will stubbornly cling to WinSol’s ‘alternative’ and artisan lifestyle and not enjoy the conveniences of crockpots.

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Sidebar….What’s ‘Alternative’ ?

Everywhere we hear ‘alt – right’, alternative news, alternative energy… I really dislike the word: ‘alternative’. Alternative to what? Is it a good or bad alternative? Does something really need an alternative? Isn’t it really just different rather than alternate?

Take alternative energy for instance. Most (all?) people know that alternative energy is that green stuff: solar, wind, geothermal. But oil, coal, natural gas are the REAL alternatives, because ALL our energy comes from our only energy source: the sun. One of my fun sound bites is: ‘Oil is renewable, you just have to wait a couple million years’.

So can we agree that ‘alternative’ is in the mind of the beholder?

WinSol & LeLc update

As of this post, the interior of the LeLc (Living Energy Learning Center) Dome has been painted white, the cupola is finished with 360deg screening.  The openness and acoustics are amazing.  From July 8-30th there will be continuous work parties pouring the 1200sq.ft. earthen plaster floor inside the dome.  This is the first announcement – so if y’all want to help out, please email us (see resource tab).

Here’s a view from the outside of the entire LeLc and interior cupola:

LeLc ext SideView1
LeLc ext SideView1
Dome cupola
Dome cupola

 

 

 

 

Oscillating between the Bay Area, Lost Valley ecoVillage and the hi-Sierra it is all too evident that we are at a great turning point (WTR).   I wonder if this is our last golden age.  If this is our peak – as far as reaping the spoils of Gaia with minimal consequences, and if we are pivot point – either a great unraveling, or a great awakening.  It’s good to be optimistic about the latter, but is it reality?  How can we tell?  Knowledge and science go only so far – in both this unraveling or it’s turning for the good.  It’s really up to each and every single one of us.  And education is the great mediator.  But our universities and K-12 have utterly failed us.  The web provides little alternative.

I don’t know or propose solutions here – just an observation and a call to wake up.  To let go of the numbness, embrace the pain of Gaia.  We are her children and she’s about to get pissed!

Shower water – wow!

This is an excerpt from a friend and Schauberger activist who focuses on water.   I find it truly amazing that we are not made more aware of the impact of chlorine + flouride ++ chemicals on our open pores while we are innocently taking a shower.  Thanks so much, Nevin.

I can hardly imagine what similar effects on our bodies are done in over chlorinated swimming pools and hot tubs!

https://truespring.wordpress.com/

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Clean shower water is much more important than you may think.  Each day a person drinks about 1-2 gallons of water… but exposes one’s self to 25 gallons of water when showering.  The American Journal of Public Health determined that up to two-thirds of harmful chlorine exposure can be due to skin absorption and inhalation while showering.  The Journal also links chlorine to “significant increases in certain types of cancer, asthma and skin irritations…” and stated that “up to two-thirds of the harmful exposure was due to skin absorption and inhalation of chlorine in shower water”. The steam inhaled during a shower can contain up to 20 times the concentration of chlorine (and other synthetic chemicals) as tap water.  One can absorb as many toxins in 1 shower as you would drinking tap water for an entire week.  Studies show that after a 10-minute shower in chlorinated water, your blood levels of THMs (common disinfection byproduct – DBP) can potentially increase by as much as  700%.

How can your exposure to chlorine and its associated DBPs be higher when you shower.  Why doesn’t the chlorinated water just bounce off your body?

Simply a hot shower causes the pores of your skin to open, which in turn elevates the absorption rate of chlorine and other chemicals directly into your system and causes the body to directly absorb foreign chemicals into your body tissues and bloodstream.  Not to mention the fact that chlorine strips the natural protective oils from skin, causing excessive drying.    Different from drinking unpurfied water where your digestive system has the ability to filter out some of the harmful contaminants, in the shower, these contaminates are directly absorbed into the bloodstream..

Absorbing and inhaling chlorine and associated DBPs are not healthy for you or your family. Long-term health risks certainly can spike due to chlorine effects on your bodily functions.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – When chlorine vaporizes in steam in your shower, it converts to chloroform gas. Chloroform can be a strong respiratory irritant and cause fatigue.
The bottom line – When absorbed or inhaled into your body, chlorine DBPs can potentially cause a weakening of your immune system… disruptions to your central nervous system… damaging effects to your cardio system… unhealthy functioning of your renal system… and harmful impacts to your respiratory system.

Shower filtration is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce our harmful exposure to chlorine and other tap water contaminants.  The bottom line is is your not already filtering your shower water, you should be.  Its very important to one’s health to have a high quality filter and to be changing the cartridges on a regular basis.

After trying many different filters I have decited to offer two different systems.

First the Aquasana, by far the very best basic filter available.  A two-stage shower filter that uses a combination oShowerFilterf copper-zinc oxidation media and coconut shell carbon to reduce 91% of the chlorine in your water, and also reduces synthetic chemicals and enhances pH balance. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy the health and cosmetic benefits of showering in clean water,  significant reduction of exposure to toxic chemicals while benefiting from softer skin and healthier hair.   The Aquasana filter cartridges last 6 months or 10,000 gallons, this filter allows you to shower in the healthiest water for the best value.

shower_filters_1.jpgSecond is a shower filter with the ability to remove Fluoride.  this filter utilizes a aluminum resin to remove Fluoride, Arsenic, Heavy Metals and Chlorine.  Fluoridation has become common place in most city municipal water treatment.

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For those who wish to go beyond just filtering their shower water to enhancing their  Shower water.  This filter first filter contaminates from your shower water, than enhances the water with rare volcanic minerals, far-infared ceramic beads and magnetic rings.  These enhancement medias soften and ionize your water and infuse your water with anti-bacterial qualities that help lessen the effects of atopic dermatitis.

 

For more information email: info@truestspring.com