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What does thinking environmentally mean?

Posted by admin on Jul 4th, 2016
Jul 4

Normally I don’t walk around town much, but due to a change in life recently I’ve been doing a lot more walking over the past two weeks. The city where I live now is not where I’ve spent most of my life. I grew up in a big city where people still say “Thank-you” when you hold the door open for them, where others hold a door open for you, and you can say “Hello” to random strangers on the street and they will respond with similar greeting and a smile. What I’ve come to realize over these past two weeks is that I now live in an city where most people are seemingly threatened by a stranger who says hello to them – especially if there is eye contact (I test this theory on every person I come across on my walks), they will walk down the middle of the sidewalk and force others to move out of their way, they don’t give a second thought leaving their personal mark where ever they go (a mess for someone else to clean up), and that drivers usually feel that they always have the right-of-way. Not to disparage everyone here – I have come across some people that will say hi, motorists who will yield to pedestrians, and those who not only clean up after themselves – but will even make the effort to separate trash and recycling. From my experience though, those people are very much an anomaly here.

Why am I telling you this? It’s because I’ve been thinking about what causes people to think environmentally. The first reasons that may come to mind is to keep the planet healthy and to leave a future for our children. I believe it goes deeper than that – I believe it starts with caring about humanity. What does humanity mean to me? Consideration for those around you, feeling empathy, that the most important person is not oneself, and contributing to the community positively in whatever way we are best equipped to do so.

One point of self-reflection for me to mull over though, and somewhat of a disclaimer – I’ve come to realize that once an opinion is formed around a particular subject, sometimes we (I?) tend to discount and turn a blind eye to the positives around that subject and use the negatives to validate opinions. Taking that into consideration I feel compelled to state that the examples of my recent observations should be, mostly, taken with a grain of salt, and I in no way intended to offend anyone.

Motorcycle or public transportation

Posted by admin on Apr 16th, 2015
Apr 16

To get me back in the swing of updating my blog again, I thought I’d throw out a question for anyone who has an opinion about it – is it more eco to ride public transportation or a motorcycle?

I know that’s somewhat of a nebulous question since there are several types of motorcycles and several public transportation systems out there. Let me add a personal scenario to this to at least cover one aspect. I have a 2014 Harley Street Glide; it gets around 44 mpg and has a catalytic converter (typically unusual for a bike to have one normally). Seems efficient, at least in todays world. To take a bus for my 22 mile commute it would take about 90 minutes and I would have to transfer at least once, but i believe it’s twice iirc. Time aside, I’m curious if the energy consumption would be more efficient one way or the other.

Anyone have an objective viewpoint on this subject?

I’ll be back at my projects again soon

Posted by admin on Aug 14th, 2014
Aug 14

We’re moving from an apartment to a house next month, finally. The house will afford me the ability to start getting back into my eco-projects again, and I’ll be able to start posting updates and project details like I used to a few years ago. I’m really looking forward to it. I really want to focus on alternative energy, water conservation (serious drought here in Los Angeles!), and low power cooling techniques. Check back soon to see what’s new at!

Replace your computer with a Raspberry Pi – phase 2

Posted by admin on Dec 25th, 2013
Dec 25

As promised *here*, here is the comparison between running a desktop and a raspberry pi. My raspberry pi setup is as such:

  • 2x raspberry pi’s
  • 2x external usb hard drives – one ssd, one sata
  • 1x 8 port 3.0 usb hub

Network hub is not measured in this test… Here are the results for the pi’s:

  • Time measured: 236 hours
  • Total KWH consumed: 2.34
  • Amp draw (constant): 0.14
  • Volts (constant): 120.1
  • Watts (constant): 10

Compared to the desktop:

  • Time measured: 143 hours
  • Total KWH consumed: 12.34 KWH
  • Amp draw (constant): 0.78
  • Volts (constant): 118.5
  • Watts (constant): 88

If, and it’s a big if, if the raspberry pi had an ARM v7 processor instead of the v6 then it could truly replace a desktop since then it would be able to run flash (no flash available for the v6 ARM processor unfortunately). But, as we move more and more to HTML 5 then this dependency will be less and less. As you can see, it is far more economical to run a raspberry pi – at least for the non-gamer 😉

Replace your computer with a Raspberry Pi – Phase 1

Posted by admin on Nov 11th, 2013
Nov 11

Back in February (only a few short months ago….) I stated I wanted to find out if it was possible to Replace your computer with a Raspberry Pi. I’ve been using my two raspberry pi’s since last February and replaced my former desktop, but never set about to measure the difference in power consumption – until now. I hooked up a kill-a-watt to my desktop at work, relatively comparable to the system I was using at home, and here are some of the consumption stats:


  • Time measured: 143 hours
  • Total KWH consumed: 12.34 KWH
  • Amp draw (constant): 0.78
  • Volts (constant): 118.5
  • Watts (constant): 88


Next week I’ll measure the same data on the raspberry pi’s as a full unit (i.e. both RasPi’s, usb hub, and external hardware plugged in) and update.


Site moves

Posted by admin on Aug 30th, 2013
Aug 30

I’ve had to move my blog a few times recently for various reasons. The last location was an AWS micro instance that just couldn’t keep up with running several blogs and a mysql server (yeah, well duh….). It limped along as valiantly as it could but I’ve finally found a new home for my blogs that will hopefully remain home for the indefinite future. It should also be running a lot better, and I hope to start updating more frequently as well.

Is it ignorance or commerce?

Posted by admin on Apr 18th, 2011
Apr 18

Last week at work, someone had put fliers on all of the cars in the parking lot. The fliers were for the 2011 L.A. Earth Fest! After reviewing the card fully, I didn’t see anything about the card being printed on recycled paper, and worst of all it was laminated so it couldn’t be recycled. I will NOT be going to Earth Fest and I would recommend people give them hell over being more about commerce rather than eco. How can an event be “Eco” with eco events when they do things like this:

Laminated Earthfest flier put on cars

No reference to even being printed on recycled paper

How environmentally irresponsible. Contact their sponsors and complain –


Posted by admin on May 16th, 2010
May 16

The family and I went to the Los Angeles Worldfest today in Van Nuys. There was a lot of vegan food, animal rescues, clothing, music, and spiritual enlightenment information available. I’m not hardcore into all of that stuff but it was good to get some information on it. I’ve been preparing myself to go vegetarian for some time now but haven’t quite been able to make a full transition yet. I’ve been eating more and more meat free meals, but there are just some things I’m not quite mentally ready to let go. I would consider myself to be spiritual in a nature sense, but not in an organized-go-somewhere-to-practice-and-learn sense. There was a huge solar array there that was powering the stage and bands that were playing.

The one thing I was surprised about though, is that we left with a bunch of pamphlets, stickers, and general paper stuff. Makes me wonder if there’s a better way to give out take-home information. One place I ate at – A Taste Of Life – had coupons available but they made them about twice the size of a fortune cookie fortune. At least they were trying to be conscious of waste.

I wish there was a Worldfest every weekend – I’d love to go more often. It was a lot of fun and pretty educational.

Back to my eco-projects again

Posted by admin on Feb 14th, 2010
Feb 14

Even though I haven’t posted anything in a really, REALLY long time, it doesn’t mean that my eco-projects haven’t been poking me in the brain to give them some attention. Things that I have on my list: solar oven, micro turbines, a second effort towards my insulation project, and building my own solar panels.

For now, here are a couple of links to some cool products that go hand-in-hand. The first is called T.E.D. – a.k.a The Energy Detective. It’s a device that you can hook up to your breaker box and it reports on the whole house energy consumption. If you get the upgrade from the base package, you can use Google’s PowerMeter software with it. Being a techno-geek, I want this really bad.

Apr 8

We’ve all been told, for years now, that CFLs are the best way to start in out quest to save the environment. I’ve probably changed out about 50-60% of my bulbs at home, and that’s only because it doesn’t seem right to me to throw away a pe
rfectly good lightbulb to replace it with a CFL.

Apparently now we find out that CFLs are not quite as efficient as we once thought due to the load they put on the power grid. There’s a link on that page that gives a much more technical description to the issue.

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