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kyle saunders

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since Dec 19, 2014
Sackville/Graywood, Nova Scotia
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Recent posts by kyle saunders

I can confirm in the very least that they do indeed taste like salt.
2 years ago
this infographic is especially inspiring! i mean i feel like a real ecoguy most of the time but it is humbling to remember that i fit somewhere between 2-4. i'm not even halfway to where i'd like to be! it's kinda nice to know the road is much much longer, as the road up to this point has been really an amazing ride.

i think i actually went down a point this year, as we lost all our seedlings to chance and i abandoned the garden for a season. it's amazing to know how much i relied on that garden. (not just for food, i am so out of shape this year!)

but a simple request from this olaf ! that level 10 graphic, can you make that separate from the rest of the image, and without the info? i would love this graphic on a tshirt/poster, just sepp holzer in front of his downhill paradise sitting on a hoooogel. the whole infographic is awesome on the computer, but for my own personal motivation i just need to remember to let sepp guide it. annd i just noticed the lemon tree. so nice

cool. thanks for starting my monday with some inspirations!

Nancy Troutman wrote:
I use vinegar in my bath & hair rinse water during tick season.

side note, is the vinegar to prevent new ticks or help get rid of ones already cozy?

and to keep this reply on topic, i will note something that someone said "i shower with less water than a sit down bath". i have started showering with the stopper in, one because it keeps the warmth in the room, and two because i use the depth of water as my guide when to get out of the shower. i almost never see the water level get at high as a sit down shower. but it got me thinking, is my showerhead lowflow, or are my pipes leaking the difference in water behind the walls and i can't see them? solid pipe connections are a must for water conservation, and any of us living in an old house would do well to inspect the plumbing.
2 years ago
At our land we have a leaf and bucket system.

It's in the middle of a forest so there is never any shortage of leaves. We tend to use about a 1/4 of a bucket of leaves after each visit it seems, so every 4-5 poops it should be emptied. But the compost pile is literally behind the outhouse, about 10 feet of walking. Once dumped I throw some more leaves on top to hide any loose TP.

With our excess of leaves and under normal use I've never noticed a smell. However, we have had parties, say with half a dozen women that felt uncomfortable peeing outside and we said go ahead with using the bucket. And since it was a party no one thought to take care of things as we went. Even under that extra pressure the only additional onerous-ness was the weight of the bucket, and the extra splashyness during emptying. I did notice that the extra pee seemed to line the bucket with pee-soaked leaf matter, which would smell if not cleaned out. But I was hungover from the night of party so I wasn't doing pee cleaning, I just walked to the fire pit (10 feet in the other direction) and scooped some ash in the bucket, shook it around to coat the whole thing.

Even more exceptional are the times we forget to empty the bucket and find out only after running to the outhouse after a long drive. Even here with like 3 weeks of composting in the bucket, the composing leaves tend to conquer the smellscape (with a strong hint of ammonia)

I should note that this is more of a weekend system and if I were to be using it more often I would tend to use more wood ash along with the leaves to soak up moisture.

And since this is permies and you are all into nerd-level detail, it's mostly oak leaves but I think maple or birch would better. Them oak leaves are too big and stiff for a good poop covering.
3 years ago
I use yellow birch, especially now in the spring with all those big buds. free toothbrush AND minty fresh flavours!
3 years ago
Congrats! I am proud of you for calling out for the type of people that are usually left out. Really beautiful to see the emphasis on rebuilding the land and the people working it.

I like when I see Maine on the forums, only a 6 hour drive from Nova Scotia, so I feel more like you're my neighbour than anyone in Ontario or even Quebec!

So, good luck to you neighbour, here's a virtual basket of cookies from my house to yours!
3 years ago

A whole planet driving Teslas charged with solar and wind would probably be a complete ecological catastrophe.

(full disclosure, I am ignorant to the answers of my next questions, and actually wondering, hoping someone can chime in)

I wonder how much difference it would be really. I don't know how different digging up vast mountains for coal, oil and iron will be different than digging up mountains for these rarer materials? Obviously there will be less return per dig, but how much more can the impact be per dig?

I know that refinery processes are different for each material, such that oil is split up into many different products, metals are melted out of their ore. But what is different for these rarer materials that is not currently being done to traditional materials?

What materials are being used to create windmills that don't exist in fossil energy plants?

I really don't know what new environmental factors we'll face by switching energy materials.

One thing I can think of is that there is a good chance that since these materials were not commonly mined for in the past is that we'll need new mines in more virgin lands to find them. But this is the same for all mined materials, whether it's a new material being sought after or an old mine where the old material ran out.

Hmm. Open to being schooled!
3 years ago

Alex Apfelbaum wrote:Ok let's say that all our wind turbines are in the perfect spot and return the energy invested in a couple of years. Sounds dandy right ?

But still, the raw materials needed for their manufacturing are extracted in distant (often un-democratic) countries using extremely polluting methods (see here and here), especialy the rare earths (take a look at Baotou in inner Mongolia). The global rush to open new rare earth mines all over the world is inevitably going to come with all the side effects of the extractive industry. Then of course there's shipping, which is done by ocean-going ships and trucks, also very polluting and using vast amounts of fossil fuels.

How are these issues factored in when we say that windmills are "green" ?

Alex, the point is not that saying these things makes windmills more or less green. Green is a totally subjective term that has little merit in a technical conversation.

Now comparisons are another thing. (a good thing)

All of the things you say are needed to build generating windmill are needed to build any kind of generator. Whether it's coal, diesel, wind, nuclear, or solar, rare materials will be needed. This is a fact that no electricity generator can hide from (even the turbines in hydrodams are built with modern methods, which include computer controls and high tech sensors)

If you want to do a solid comparison I'd model it something like this:
Development costs (resource cost more than monetary cost) for getting each system to the point where it can be turned on.
Cost/Unit of energy or Cost/year (good chance there isn't a single cost associated to a unit of energy or time but instead a whole range of costs based on conditions, but using all three of min/avg/max numbers paints a pretty picture).
Pollution/waste controls/year (like removing ash, soot, chemicals from stockpiles or waterways)
Lifetime costs (resource inputs/lifetime, pollution/lifetime, human hours input/lifetime)

As you can see there are many ways to look at and compare technologies. A single comparison of numbers without context is not enough to effectively determine anything at all.

And most of all of the things we use electricity for are filled with rare earth metals sourced unethically. This computer I am typing on for example.
3 years ago
so i finally unloaded the image from my partner's phone. only like 8 months later.

i am pretty sure the article ben linked to nailed it on the head, a squirrel lopping it up for nesting. but here are the photos, they give some context.

i said:
This happened last year, and we assumed that one of us clipped them and forgot. But no one was there for the last month, and when I had a quick visit two days ago two cherry trees and two pears (same trees as last year) were trimmed, with the broken branches at the foot of the tree. The trees did fine in the spring, but I don't want to start over every year.

If deer were the culprit I would expect that the buds and branch tips would be missing, but these are like 2-3 foot whips trimmed off and laying on the ground. The cuts do connect, so I don't think anything took a bite out of them, but the cuts are not so clean to be a smooth machete or hatchet cut (branches are still less than a centimetre diameter) but the cuts are cleaner than if it was just snapped off.

So, 4 trees, two years in a row, shedding whole branches?

spring is here, time to see if all the trees survived. pretty mild winter, should be a good chance

3 years ago
the same reason few vermin or poisonous creatures don't live here is the same reason few people do: LONG WINTER. amazing summers, formidable winter.

i do know about the predictable routes from a pet rat turned house rat. every night he would stalk our apartment for mice, the exact same route over and over. his path included over the top of the couch we used for guests, always a hard thing to explain. SO LONG AS THE RAT IS BLACK IT'S SASHA. IF IT'S NOT BLACK I'M SORRY.
3 years ago