Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Solar Water Heater Part 1 Motivation!

If you have plenty of disposable income available then there are a few positive things you can do immediately and on a grand scale:-

You could install your own top of the range ultra-efficient solar water heater. You could also have your roof(s) completely tiled with solar panels allowing you to maybe even sell electricity back to the grid - as well as having a wind turbine installed in an appropriate place and a hyrdoturbine (waterwheel) in the stream that runs through your property. In your backyard you could build a natural swimming pool with a living machine connected to it that cleans all your grey/black water (bathing water, waste, washing up suds etc), and you can make sure that your house is passive solar heated and cooled( so it makes the most of the sunlight and is insulated so it doesn't loose heat in winter and stays cool in summer. Being this conscientious already you would try and source all the materials for this overhaul as locally as possible. Maybe you even have fruit trees growing and a healthy harvest from them each year, and can grow all the vegatables you need. If you keep animals you might even try your hand at using a methane-digester to make fuel - you don't have to have animals for this, in London in the nineteenth century all the street lights were run on methane gas from the sewers! Then there's Biodiesal manufacture and /or the prospect of buying a hydrogen car, or hybrid vehicle(runs on dual fuels). These are some of your options if you have enough disposable income.

The wonderful thing is that behind these expensive installations and complicated looking technology is some deceptively simple thinking. I mean come on, how complicated is a wind-mill, or a water-wheel, or plants that; let's face it, pretty much know how to grow by themselves.

This means that what the rich folk can do so can everyone else as well. There's a bit of a process but it's nothing that a ten year old couldn't handle. Yesterday I read this story about a chinese man who made his own solar water heater using 66 green bottles (hanging on a wall - sorry couldn't resist it). Ma Yanjun, a farmer in China's Shaanxi province, According to Weird Asia News, water flowing through the bottles is heated by the sun and then used for showers. Apparently, ten other families in his village. Qiqiao, have since built similar systems. From Weird Asia News:
"I invented this for my mother. I wanted her to shower comfortably," says Ma Yanjun, of Qiqiao village, Shaanxi province...Ma says it provides enough hot water for all three members of his family to have a shower every day. Ma’s invention features 66 beer bottles attached to a board.
The bottles are connected to each other so that water flows through them. Sunlight heats the water as is passes slowly through the bottles before flowing into the bathroom as hot water, reports China Economy Network. Ma says it provides enough hot water for all three members of his family to have a shower every day. And more than 10 families in the village have already followed suit and installed their own versions of Ma’s invention.

The simplest solar water heater is your common garden hose left out in the sunlight, and we know how hot that can get. Then there's variations on a theme, like the green bottles one above or a man 'in the southern US who had a solar hot water heater made from an old Chevy, that was up on blocks, painted black and the proud owner had run 200 feet of garden hose through the interior. It provided enough heat for his family to shower he said'. You can get lost on the internet trying to find the right Solar Water Heater design. I want one that's so simple it hurts to think that we've had to pay for hot water all this time when all we needed to do was...

... and then it has to be one that is acceptable to my mum, i.e. it can hold it's own in Ikea.

So, today I went on a hunt for bits for the solar water heater and I was pretty surprised to find myself feeling very negative. My mum came along for this venture because I figure if my mum and I can do this, anyone can (that's not to belittle my mum in anyway as she is a very capable lady). It is to challenge the opinion that it's necessary to have a plumber, an electrician and a carpenter to do all this. I think I had a bit of trepidation even so and I think that's why I was feeling negative. I was annoyed that I even had to be doing this; to spend time rummaging around for nuts and bolts, panes of glass, bits of wood and rubber insulation and all the paraphenalia that goes into making a solar water heater, especially when I could have been out in the woods instead - all because we humans relish hot showers, hot baths and hot washing up water.
Well, once I got over my little tantrum I realised that what we were doing wasn't bringing me the same amount of joy as I had when I was, for example, cleaning my teeth while standing on the shore of a large glacial river in Iceland, and then putting my socks out to dry on the rocks. There is certainly something invigorating and stimulating about such washing facilities. There was something else - we already have hot water; what did we need a solar water heater for anyway?

That put me right. At the moment 59 nuclear plants produce 78 percent of the entire country of France's electricity, and France is the largest exporter of nuclear electricity in the European Union. There's one thing I don't like about nuclear energy besides the chance of a nuclear accident (be it terrorist or human error) and that's nuclear waste. The inevitable accumulation of something so dangerous it's being sold to the Chinese so that they can put it far away on the remote Tibetan Plateau.

Just for me to enjoy my hot shower today some very vigilant human beings are going to have to sit around on that Plateau for the next 5000years or more until it's reached the end of it's lethal shelf life. One - I don't trust humankind enough to be able to sustain that level of vigilance for that amount of time and two - Tibet is one of the most beautiful and inspiring places on the planet; whose people have chosen a difficult non-violent pathway that sets an example to all of us; and look how we are saying thank you - by using their homeland as our nuclear waste tip.

In our house our electricity comes from a nuclear power station. When I washed my socks in that glacial river, yes, I was joyful because it was a beautiful place, but it was also because I didn't have the subconscious responsibility for any possible nuclear fallout just for me to have a shower and do some laundry. Here was my motivation to build my solar water heater.

-Some good news that I heard today was that all of the hospitals in Wales have switched to green electricity - they have roof solar panels, steam generated boilers and have reached their 15%carbon reduction target for the year 2010. If we bear the responsibility for our childrens' futures then we will choose to switch to ecological sustainable technologies as soon as we can; then the nuclear question will remain just that, a question, because none of us will have need for it.

If like me, you might be a little lazy and find green stuff uninspiring, that's ok. But if maybe you have already stretched your brain enough to know how to rewire a plug, or change a fuse; then your brain is stretchy enough to understand the simple technologies behind solar energy systems and other sustainable/ecological designs and make them part of your life in the same way cars, vacuum cleaners and mobile phones have done.This is the motivationary part of the Solar Water Heater D.I.Y Project. If your raring to go right now then I suggest you do this instead; as we have today. We have hooked all our gutters up to big barrels to harvest the rain water. It's very simple to do and you can use it (before purifying) to water the garden, flush your toilet and do your washing if you wish. Just a thought

Next comes a little theory, then the practical bits and bobs and then the free hot water.

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Monday, 25 June 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award!

Well, I have been honoured by being tagged for the Thinking Blogger Award, which is a great incentive to keep doing what I'm doing and do it better where possible. So, the participation rules state:-

- I have to link to five blogs that make me think
- Link back to the The Thinking Blogger Awards page
- And proudly display my Thinking Blog Award

As I'm very fond of ceremony that's exactly what I'm going to do:
Five Blogs that make me think:-
This is a list of personal experiences that's updated at intervals which I find very moving and inspirational. They often make me think.
Mātā Amritanandamayī Devi also known by her followers as 'Amma', 'Ammachi' or 'Mother' is an Indian spiritual leader revered by her followers as a saint. She is a widely respected humanitarian and called by some 'the hugging saint'. Her devotees claim that she had many mystical experiences as a child. Since 1981, she has been teaching spiritual aspirants all over the world. She founded a worldwide organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust, which is engaged in many spiritual and charitable activities. From humble beginnings she undertook a journey to attain "universal motherhood". She addressed the United Nations General Assembly

I have personally met Amma four times and received a hug, she makes me step off the edge of the planet in terms of how I think and feel about myself and what I'm here for.
Bear spent three years with the British Special Forces. During this time he had a horrendous parachuting accident whilst in southern Africa and broke his back in three places. Yet two years later, after severe rehabilitation, he overcame the odds to become the youngest British climber ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest and return alive. His book on this extraordinary story soared into the Top 10 of the Bestseller list. He has since written two further best selling books and lead numerous other record breaking expeditions. Bear has also hosted several hit TV series both in the UK and USA.
Bear is one of the youngest and most successful motivational speakers in the world. In the words of one newspaper, Bear is "the ultimate modern day adventurer - the real deal!"
Dame Ellen Patricia MacArthur, DBE is an English Sailor . She is best known as a solo long-distance yachtswoman who, on Feb 7th 'o5, broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe blog is posted by skilled primitive skills practitioners. It is an informative blog, where you can pick up skills and read about hands on experiences with primitive skills. He's going out there and doing it and helping us as well, wonderful, simple - that's the lesson.

Torjus Robert
"Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men"
Dedicated to promoting the Gandhian ideals of Truth, Non Violence, Peace, Universal Brotherhood and Humanitarian Service. Sarvodaya is a concept of Gandhis outlined here.

I greatly admire the work of the Sarvodaya Organisation set up in Sri Lanka by Doctor Ariyatne
but their website is in a pickle at the moment That was the blog I wanted to put up here.

I hope these inspire you to greater and greater things or to simply doing the little things really well. These people thought of something then they did it; they did it exceptionally well and they did it for they greater good. Thank you to them for such beautiful inspiration, and thank you to the reader who tagged me for the Thinking Blogger Award - I have added you to my Links.

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Find your way out of Trauma:- The Survivor Warrior Workbook
This powerful workbook is used as a teaching tool with therapists, support groups and community education programs. It was inspired by Angela's Removing the Sword of Trauma events. It is for survivors, warriors, advocates, loved ones and supporters ready to move past pain and suffering and reclaim joy and happiness. You can use the workbook in a group, on your own or with your therapist.

This workbook is 117 pages long and is a DOWNLOAD. Thank you for your commitment to healing BUY NOW $9.99

'Prepare to be Raw' by Matthew Warner

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Please check out and have an amazing life. Thanks.

Copyright 2010 Louise Brookes

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Making money online

Text Link Ads are an excellent way to make money from your blog, if you aren't already you could be - just by copying and pasting a simple code into your layout and because a blog is free and simple to set up, it's a win-win situation.

Text Link Ads

By monetising your website, you allow yourself to earn income passively day or night - Easy Money! Finally there's a way! If you want to reach a wider audience the cyber gurus say:- have useful content, use keywords that would reflect the words people use in search engines and what the bots read, join search engines and blog carnivals like and I'm not a cyber guru but I didn't want to disapoint by this article not having the goods it says it does.

There is a keyword selector tool at that allows you to see how many hits certain words and word combinations get, so that you can adjust your titles accordingly.

Text Link Ads offer an affiliate program, and a publishing and advertsing program. You can also become an affiliate with people like Auction Ads,, and Chitika eMiniMalls if you have enough traffic (over 10000hits/pcm). These are simple ways, but worth doing because they cost you nothing up front.

AuctionAds: Increase the bid on your site's income!

Operating a business over the internet has none of the overheads that a land based business is plagued by, and now it's possible to use an intermediary delivery service shop host like Cafe Press to create and sell your merchandise again with no money up front. The fact that you are creating a network with your site, that is self-revolving, enables you to put much more energy into what you really want to be doing.

You can produce your own e-book for free with

I have also joined because they allow me to see where readers come from and what they read and this gives me the ability to share their experience; so that if they have come from a google search, I can see what for and whether or not they were able to easily find what they were looking for on my site. Then I can change my site so that they are able to get to the things they are looking for and everyone is happy! You can join MyBlogLog for free initially and after that the up to date privileges are $3pcm.

Just trying out which claims to up my traffic, I'll let you know here how that goes Submit a Site

I will be adding to this page as I come across new cost-free ways of making money on the internet, please contact me if you know of something and don't see it included here.

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