Solar Power All the Way

Posted on June 1, 2017 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

For part of the year I live in Edinburgh, Scotland and I find that the folks there appear to be far ahead of us in Canada when it comes to household solar energy power. Most of the buildings in the area where we live have solar panels on the roofs whether it's an apartment building or a private home. All our hot water and heating needs are provided very efficiently by the solar panels on the roof of our building. However, in Ottawa, it's rare to see a home or building with any signs of solar energy panels except for a few solar powered path lights. Considering how little sunlight Edinburgh gets compared to Ottawa (it rains a lot there!!), it seems remiss of us not to consider switching over to this more environmentally efficient system. 

That said, I recently received a request from Deelat Industrial in Calgary to test out their Integrated Solar Motion Light. I had a number of friends test it out and they also were pleased, so much so, that they have not returned the units back to me!! Not to worry, right now I am located several floors up in an apartment building in downtown Ottawa and, except for the annoying pigeons who may have been seriously traumatized by this motion light when I tested it out on the balcony, this place has no need for such a light fixture so that my friends are welcome keep them.

Having solar powered motion lights as a security feature may be a small way of starting to add solar energy to your home because it does not involve any major reconstruction and hopefully, builders of new homes will see the light (ha, ha!) and start using solar energy as a viable and environmentally sound alternative to traditional heating and lighting systems. Think of the jobs this could create!!

Check out Deelat Industrial's outdoor solar lighting products here.



Earth Day Recycling Fun

Posted on April 21, 2017 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

If you think the whole of idea of recycling is too much work and no fun, you may want to think again. Take a lesson from kids, for example. Like most kids, when my daughter was little, she preferred the box that her gift came in to the gift inside. Something we should all consider because it's often the little things actually make the difference and each one of us can at least consider that one little thing we can do each day and even have a little fun in the process.

Here are a couple of green ideas for you:

Hanging Gardens

Kids really love this type of gardening - I think they like the idea of being able to move the plants around. Anyway, we did cheat a little here and used grocery store herbs instead of waiting for seeds to sprout. But it shows that anyone can have a garden no matter how small a place they've got.

Sprouting Eggs

You can start a garden in anything. These little sprouts can go directly into your garden or garden container. Just remember to crush the eggshell slightly so the roots can get out.

Hope your Earth Day is special and keep on recycling all year round.

Street Finds

Posted on October 8, 2016 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I needed to get food supplies today and on my way I noticed quite a few discarded couches and mattresses. I also spotted this metal bedframe and immediately pictured it back in use as a garden trellis.

Like this

The one pictured above is actually made of wood, but I think using an abandoned bedframe support would save you time and money should you stumble across one and need a trellis. You'd have to add chicken or concrete wire or even string to hold up your growing beans, peas, cukes, etc.

Now how about this against a garden wall.

An instant upgrade to a blank backyard or side of the house wall. Again, this one is made of wood and it's for sale at Foter's. The bedframe would be spectacular with climbing roses, or other climbing flowers. Hey, I'm just saying ...

If you have the skills and the time, tranform the bedframe into a work table.

My other find and one I did take home was this Stephen King encyclopedia. Who could resist? Not I, for one!

Because I'm holding a few private Halloween workshops, I can see a lot of possibilities for this book.

The graphics alone make it a huge find for me.

Street Finds

Posted on September 2, 2016 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Okay, it's the end of the month and people are moving away to new locations and as a result there are tons (yes, literally), tons of old furniture littering the sidewalks of Ottawa. In just a short 7 block walk, I spotted enough furniture to furnish a few rooms - dressers, chairs, sofas, tables, etc. And all bound for the landfill. What a waste, folks. 

Here are a couple of things I found that could easily be rehabilitated and reused:

This looks like an Ikea double dresser (see below) and, upon my inspection, was in very good nick. Just a bit of wipe and it's ready to go.

I think I'd have repainted it an eggshell white had I had the energy to lug it home. You'll find plenty of examples online for redoing dressers. 

This old sofa also looked in perfect condition. A good vaccuming would probably be needed and you'd have to check if there are any residents lurking somewhere inside. This sofa could be stripped completely and reupholstered and then would better than new. Look at some of these upholstery possibilities.

You could do this if you sew using bits of material you may already have on hand:

Or this if you're more conservative:

Or even this if you're creative:

If you don't have upholstering skills, check with your local community colleges or hire someone who can and you'll have a sofa that's worth more than you can buy but it won't cost you (clever you) so much.

IDEA: Picking up furniture off the streets and transforming them into something new and wonderful would be a great side business if you've got a truck and some muscles.