Thursday, June 17, 2010

Combining Powerful Ideas

There are some amazingly powerful ideas floating around out there, getting traction in different places solving problems and doing good. Not all ideas work in all places since there are legal and cultural barriers but that's okay, there are plenty of good solutions to most of the problems out there.

The problem is that often only one or two ideas get implemented in a particular place, when getting all these ideas together would make an order of magnitude difference or more.

Many of these ideas don't scale well, but that might be an advantage sometimes. You can't economically run an aluminum smelter on solar, it needs the density of coal or nuclear power, but then we don't need a lot of aluminum smelters.

Passive solar homes, maximize the use of sun, shade and wind to minimize the amount of heating and cooling a home needs during the year. The building materials can be pretty flexible too, from sod to straw-bale to adobe to insulated concrete panels.

Alternative power from solar, wind, and microhydro allows you to generate electricity.

Biodiesel for automotive fuel.

Biogas for cooking fuel and fertilizer.

Squarefoot gardening for high density home gardening, it gets a power boost when combined with succession planting.

Permaculture gardening strives for a permanent agricultural solution by maximizing the harvest of rainwater, and extensive use of native and zone compatible perennial edible plants in a layered approach.

Many of these ideas can be combined to create a sustainable lifestyle to keep you and your family alive and healthy during really tough times. Tough times come to everyone in one way or another being prepared will give you peace of mind.