ENCOURAGING THE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE
HOW DOES IT WORK? PiCosm allows you to log anything you acquire, from a refrigerator to a solar panel. If any of the items have been assigned a Pi Product profile, then the energy used or generated by your acquisitions is displayed at the top right of your PiCosm dashboard, as shown below.
The percentage readout top right indicates how much of your energy usage is sustainable, or to be idealistic, how far you are from existing ‘off grid’. For example, generating 300 watts of energy (on a good day), but using 1400 watts? Then you’re (very) approximately 20% off grid.
(Calculations do not take into account the life cycle of products. That is, the energy used to mine, manufacturer and even dispose of an item.)
BABY STEPS TO BEING OFF GRID & POLLUTION FREE
- Accept that today, we are spoiled, living inefficient fairly unnatural lifestyles that take a lot of energy intensive conveniences for granted and mean we inhale and gradually digest a lot of toxins.
- Why not build your own home – from scratch? Today’s (UK) new build homes are awful, small with no space for kids to run around inside or outside, the windows are tiny, so limiting the amount of sunlight that would otherwise mean less reliance on artificial lighting, a more uplifting less depressing atmosphere and some extra vitamin D, oh, and a better view. By building your own home, you will not only save a fortune (more than enough to buy a swanky electric vehicle), but have fun and create an abode that is environmentally friendly, brighter inside, naturally temperature regulated and something you will be proud of. The owners of LIFEMACHINE will soon be making available well researched and thought out blueprints for modular eco homes. In the mean time, research Earthships for examples of how others do it.
- During colder times, turn down the heating and do as your grandparents did (doing them no harm) and wear warmer clothes indoors, such as a t-shirt + a warm long sleeved cotton top and finally a woollen pullover. (LIFEMACHINE encourages wearing of all natural clothing free of plastic byproducts such as Polyester.)
- As and when you can afford it, start to collect 150 watt or larger solar panels, 500 watt wind turbines and associated regulators, batteries and inverters. Seek advice from educated human staffed suppliers such as Photonic Universe (UK). Connect the regulator to an inverter and that in turn to power strips to power or charge items you wish to run off grid, perhaps starting by charging your laptop(s), tablets(s), mobile phones, LED table lamps and other lower energy devices. If your battery is large enough and your solar/wind etc generators are capable, then look into powering more energy intensive devices such as the TV and home audio system. Whilst this will be a drop in the ocean to taking your white goods (fridge, dish washer etc) off grid, it is a start and if there is a grid power failure, you now have a backup energy source! (Raise a small finger to big oil/gas/nuclear too.)
- Consider leasing an EV (Electric Vehicle). The greatest benefits are: No localised pollution. Silent running, so you don’t disturb the neighbours at night and can listen to your in car audio system at a lower volume level. Require less maintenance so cheaper. Reduced or zero rated road tax and in the UK, no London Congestion Charge.
- Only acquire wooden furniture and toys. Neither emit harmful chemicals, are long lasting and being biodegradable, can be disposed of naturally. Oh, and if the kids chew on them – wood is non toxic!