• Future-Maps

    The geophysical landscape of planet Earth is about to change. If historic events are repeating themselves, then here are some representations of what those changes may look like.

  • Acceleration

    Find out what’s behind the conscious acceleration that everyone’s talking about. Watch the video that provides a detailed understanding of how and why this is happening.

  • Civil-Unrest

    Learn how over population, the depletion of natural resources, deterioration of global health, a coming economic depression, and worldwide famine is creating global chaos and eventual martial law.

  • Preperation

    Create a survival or sustainable shelter with help from a blueprint on community lifestyle and architectural design. Learn from those who have paved the way for the rest of us.

  • Safe Location

    Find out how to determine if your survival or sustainable location is safe for the coming events. Read about the considerations from fire, water, elevation, volcanoes, people, and much more.

  • Cosmic-Event

    Read about the various cosmic theories including: SuperWave, Plasma Ribbon, Sun’s heliosphere, PlanetX or Niburu, and the coming alignment between the celestial and galactic equators.v

  • Geophysical

    Review the science from past, present, and future geophysical events including: the next ice age, magnetic and geographic pole shifts, changes in the Earth’s crust, extreme heat from the Sun,


Videos Archives

Timeline To The Future

Through 20 years of research, Ivan Stein has created a detailed understanding of the timeline of events leading up to these these historic times. These events include: economic depression, world war III, food & water shortage, martial law, exponential conscious evolution, earth changes, geophysical and magnetic pole shift, passing galactic equator, and entering a new ice age.


Read More


Introduction: Timeline To The Future will attempt to collate, correlate, and summarize a variety of scientific, geological, and ancient data related to past geophysical events and the potential of future events. The overall picture created by this analysis may not be comforting, however, this is meant to promote contemplation and discussions about the possibility and probability of these events occurring. This is not meant to be absolute concrete proof these events will occur.

The below graph of ice core data from the Antarctic shows that ice ages occur approximately every 100,000 years like clockwork. At the present time (far left side of graph), Earth is at a point that suggests we may be entering a new ice age at any moment. Timeline To The Future asked “what controls this pattern?” and "why is no one talking about this pattern?".


Add to this data, tales from virtually every culture of great floods that destroyed entire civilizations. Once you become aware of the archeological and geological data in relationship to ancient cultures, you begin to question what many might simply ignore. You might ask:  Why are there submerged cities under every ocean on the planet? When did this happen? There are over 200 cities under the Mediterranean Sea alone. Then you have the repetitive patterns of land masses being submerged under the ocean only to have these same land masses re-emerge from that ocean at some other point in history.

Through science and observation, we’re now witnessing a new level of potential activity and real geophysical events across our planet. Scientists have proven that Earth’s “magnet” poles do flip 180 degrees in what’s called a pole shift. There are theories as to the frequency of such shifts which range anywhere from 23,000 years to almost 800,000 years. Since a flip in magnetic poles can only occur if Earth spins in the opposite direction, this means that Earth has reversed it’s rotation in the past. Add to this that ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and South American cultures describe multiple times in their history where the Sun did not rise or set for a period of 3 days, and when the Sun did rise again, it rose on the opposite horizon.

Ancient cultures describe a time when the astronomical constellation passed directly around Earth on the equator. From the below image, you can see these constellations currently cross Earth's equator at an angle of about 23 degrees. From this we can conclude that the geographic poles have shifted 23 degrees from when those ancient cultures recorded their observations.


Across the planet, we’re observing an increase in earthquakes (both large and small) even in locations where they are rarely experienced. These same earthquakes are causing a new wave of tsunamis that plague shoreline communities. Add to this that ocean tides and currents are becoming more extreme and unpredictable.

Volcanic activity is also increasing globally. In fact, many volcanoes that have been dormant for thousands of years are suddenly pouring out hot gases and ash into the atmosphere. We have new volcanoes emerging from several oceans, creating new islands and land masses. Some of these land masses are in locations where ancient cultures describe the prior existence of entire continents. Add to this that several volcanoes are past due for a major eruption on geological scales. The eco-systems around these volcanoes are rapidly dying off as the water and air are becoming hyper-toxic to all life.



Scientists have proven the Sun is going through changes today that they have never witnessed before. In October 2008, NASA scientists warned that the heliosphere, the protective shield of energy that surrounds our solar system, has weakened by 25 per cent over the past decade and is now at it lowest level since space exploration began in the 1940's.

Scientists are baffled at what could be causing this protective barrier to shrink in this way. If the heliosphere continues to weaken, scientists fear that the amount of cosmic radiation reaching the inner parts of our solar system, including Earth, will increase. This could result in growing levels of disruption to electrical equipment, damage satellites and potentially even harm life on Earth.

There is a very high energy galactic radiation that is dangerous to all living organisms. Around 90 per cent of the galactic cosmic radiation is deflected by our heliosphere, so the boundary protects us from this harsh galactic environment. Without the heliosphere the harmful intergalactic cosmic radiation would make life on Earth almost impossible by destroying DNA and making the climate uninhabitable.

NASA, NOAA, and ESA are predicting that Solar Cycle 24, which just started, could be up to 50% stronger than its 'record breaking' predecessor Cycle 23 which produced the largest solar flare ever recorded. The Sun will reach its 'apex' (maximum potential of this solar cycle) in late 2011 into 2012.

Ancient civilizations often refer or represent the Sun as their supreme deity who provides sustenance and dispenses destruction. Is it possible that these are literal terms and not just figurative? Ancient records describe times of extreme heat on the planet Earth. They refer to periods when the Sun became so hot that virtually everything burned and the only people who survived where either in caves or stone temples.

There is geological proof that mountain ranges across the world have risen or fallen 3,000 to 8,000 meters in a single event some 11,500 years ago. The research and conclusions for this proof can be found in a book called "CATACLYSM!: Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C.", written by D.S. Allen & J.B. Delair. According to these authors, during this same event, virtually all life on Earth was irradiated in what can only be described as a cataclysmic event. Today, ancient references to such events are often written off as myth and legend by the scientific community, but when combined with prophecy and other scientific data, they draw completely new and plausible conclusions. Timeline To The Future has concluded that some, many, or all of the events listed at the top of this page could occur instantaneously at some point in the very near future.

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Back to Geophysical Preparation

Chemicals and VOC's in Mattresses

Health agencies deem exposure to some of the chemicals found in mattresses safe in small quantities.

Toxins can now be found in nearly all common household products; from carpets to microwaves, paints, couches, mattresses and baby cribs to children's clothing. Many of these toxins accumulate in the body and are never expelled. Reactions to chemical odors or mattress component offgassing is very real.

The body regenerates and recharges itself during sleep; prolonged exposure to VOC's and toxic chemicals when your body is in this vulnerable state should not be taken lightly.

Components Found in Mattresses

T = toxic chemical
N = non-toxic chemical
G = natural


(Solvent Based)











1,1,1, 2-Tetrachloroethane












Acrylate resins





Asbestos Fluorinated polymers









Beryllium and Compounds



Carbon tetrachloride



Cellulose nitrate plastic polymers









Chromium and compounds



Cobalt and compounds



Cone essence













Dioxins and furans



diphenyl diisocyanate






Emulsion of Hevea brasiliensis milk in water










Glycol ethers



Halogenated benzenes



Halogenated napthalenes



Halogenated triphenyls






Haologenated idphenyl ethers



Hevea brasiliensis milk







Hydrolyzed corn






Lead carbonate



Lead hydrocarbonate



Lead sulfate






metallic oxides




Methyl benzene (toluene)




Methylene dianiline







Organo-tin compounds



Perfluorocarbons Benzene



Phenol-melamine resins









Phenylcyclohexane Benzidine



Polychlorinated phenols



Polyvinyl acetate























Thallium and compounds



toluene diisocyanate







Vinilideine chloride




Vinyl acetate









Waxes styrene-butadiene copolymer





Diphenyl diisocyanate is an ingredient used in the production of natural latex foam. It allows a components of a formula to blend properly together. Our formula is a water based solution diphenyl diisocyanate polymerizes in the presence of water, its ecological risks are low. It has traditionally been used for the production of latex foam, some european urethane manufacturers have blended this component with Toluene diisocyanate in the attempt of reducing toluene content.

Phenol-melamine resins are used in the production of natural latex foam; this component is what creates the flexible properties to the foam. This component has more value in conventional latex, while a zero gravity pressure relieving foam requires less flexibility.

Waxes styrene-butadiene copolymer is used to add resistance and longevity to natural foams. This component has excellent abrasion resistance when properly blended. This component is most commonly used in blends of natural latex. This component is considered a thickening agent and gelling agent and contains vegetal based waxes.


About the Application of Glues in Standard Mattresses


Mattress manufacturers use glues to bond the inner layers of mattresses together as well as to bond the fabric cover to the core. Adhesives can be rolled to bond each layer or can be diluted in water and sprayed over each surface to be bonded. This second application method allows manufacturers to call their glue a "water based adhesive".

A water based adhesive is a simple process whereby water is mixed in with a solvent based adhesive to facilitate spraying the glue over each mattress surface. When the glue dries, all water molecules in the adhesive evaporate and only the adhesive which emit VOC's is left behind.

The long-term health effects that may occur after prolonged exposure to Volatile Organic Content (VOC) found in Adhesive/Glue solvents include cancers, damage to the heart, liver, central nervous system and kidneys.

Components used for the production of polyurethane memory foams

Components researched: isocynates; methylene chloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane; acetone; benzene; ethylene oxide; formaldehyde


Biological Monitoring - Is memory foam safe?


Clinical evaluations conducted by Duke University; Source ATSDR - Public health advisory Public Health Implications: The exact amount of TDI required to cause adverse health effects is unknown. People have become sensitized after being exposed to as little as 20 parts per billion (ppb). After sensitization there is no amount of TDI that one may be exposed to safely. Studies have shown that in sensitized individuals, asthmatic attacks can occur after exposed to TDI air concentrations as low as 0.1 ppb.

Testing Results: Of 113 participants tested, 10 participant (9%) developed antibodies.

Perfumes and Deodorizers

Certain imported polyurethane memory foam products have industrial perfumes to mask the chemical odour that exists in their products.


Chemicals Found in Air Fresheners:


o Tributyltin maleate (carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity etc)
o Bonded quatermary ammonium chloride compounds
o Decamethcyclopentasiloxane
o Phenolics (
o Ozone
o Paradichlorobenzene (anticipated to be a carcinogen)
o Fragrances

Super 6.25 Essentia Material

All our mattresses and their components are manufactured in Canada by Essentia Groupe Inc.







Conditioning Loss (mm)






Height Loss (mm)






Firmness Rating Change






Hardness Change (%)






n/a = Does not pass minimum criteria for Standards



Comparative Testing Results - Mobel Pruf Institute / Supplied through LTXCO - EN1957

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Should You Ditch Your Chemical Mattress?



Susan Greenfield and her girlfriend Llina Kempner couldn't wait for their new memory-foam mattress top to arrive. For months, they'd heard friends rave about how the high-tech material molds itself to your body. But when they unwrapped the three-inch-thick pad in their Manhattan apartment, they noticed a strong, acrid odor. "My nose and my lungs were miserable," recalls Greenfield. For the two nights Kempner slept on the mattress top, she felt nauseated. After Greenfield, who is chemically sensitive, had an asthma attack in the middle of the night, the couple returned the mattress pad. But its stench lingered in the apartment for weeks.


Reactions like Greenfield's are relatively rare, but you, too, might lose some sleep when you find out what's really inside your mattress-memory foam or not. The place where you spend one-third of your life is chock-full of synthetic materials, some potentially toxic. Since the mid- to late '60s, most mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a petroleum-based material that emits volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. Formaldehyde, which is used to make one of the adhesives that hold mattresses together, has been linked to asthma, allergies, and lung, nose, and throat cancers. And then there are cotton pesticides and flame-retardant chemicals, which can cause cancer and nervous-system disorders. In 2005, Walter Bader, owner of the "green mattress" company Lifekind and author of the book Toxic Bedrooms, sent several mattresses to an Atlanta-based lab. A memory-foam model was found to emit 61 chemicals, including the carcinogens benzene and naphthalene.

There is no proven health risk from the substances in mattresses, however, mostly because tracking their long-term effects is virtually impossible. Heather Stapleton, an environmental chemist at Duke University, says there's simply not enough data to determine whether low levels of these chemicals will eventually make people sick. "It's the dose that makes the poison," she says. "If they're not getting out, maybe it's not a problem-but we don't know. There are plenty of lab studies that show that these compounds are harmful. It's just a question of what levels people are exposed to."

Still, more and more consumers are seeking out mattresses made of natural latex, organic cotton batting, and organic wool. Sales of California-based Vivètique's latex mattresses have increased by 40 percent annually for the past five years-they now comprise 45 percent of the company's total sales. And they are even sold by discounter 1-800-Mattress.

It's hard to say whether you should ditch your conventional bed in favor of a green one, since you'll likely have a tough time figuring out exactly which toxins are lurking under your covers. Take, for example, fireproofing chemicals: Pentabde, a member of the polybrominated diphenyl ether (pbde) family of flame retardants, was used in some mattresses before 2004, when it was phased out. (Pentabde is now known to be toxic to the liver, thyroid, and nervous system.) So let's say that just to be on the safe side you toss your pre-2004 mattress and buy a new one. Problem solved? Maybe not. Last July, the Consumer Product Safety Commission began to require that all mattresses sold in the United States be able to withstand 30 minutes of exposure to an open flame.

Mattress makers aren't using Pentabde anymore-but it's not clear exactly what they are using to meet the new standard. Major manufacturers such as Simmons, Sealy, and Tempur-Pedic won't divulge their flame-retardant formulas, which are considered trade secrets. A Simmons press release touts a "proprietary blend of char-forming, intumescing, flame-resistant components." Tempur-Pedic vaguely states that its products "consistently meet all safety standards." A best guess at what's in today's mattresses comes from Ryan Trainer, executive vice president of the International Sleep Products Association, an industry group. He says most companies use "various types of barrier fabrics" such as cotton treated with boric acid or rayon treated with silica-both relatively benign chemicals-as well as fire-resistant materials such as modacrylic fiber (which contains antimony oxide, a carcinogen) and melamine resin (which contains formaldehyde).

With a doctor's prescription, people who are chemically sensitive and have allergies can order a mattress that doesn't pass a flammability test. But organic-mattress companies have found a simple way to fireproof: wrapping their bedding in a layer of wool. Their prices aren't so warm and cozy-a queen-size latex model from Virginia-based Savvy Rest starts at $1,599. But if you're having nightmares about your mattress, and it's time to trade in your well-worn Posturepedic anyway, it might be worth it.

Susan Greenfield was a fan of organic mattresses even before the smelly memory-foam pad showed up-she's slept on one for 15 years, says she "loves" it, and describes it as "very comfortable but very hard." Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.

It is recommended for optimal health to live a life free from chemicals. Buying an organic mattresses and pillows is saying no to these destructive chemicals that are harmful for the brain and lungs. These chemicals are so harsh that they can not be cleansed or removed out of the brain tissues and lungs very easily. Real organic material is the only option for those who choose the path of health.


1. Tinnerberg H, Dalene M, Scarping G, Air and biological monitoring of toluene diisocyanate in a flexible
foam plant. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 58:229-235 (1997)
2. Bernstein JA. Overview of diisocyanate occupational asthma. Toxicoligy 111:181-189 (1996)
3. Wegman D, Pagnatto L, Fine L, Peters J, A dose - responsive relationship in TDI workers. J Occup
Med 16:258-260 (1974)
4. Bauer X, Merek W, Ammon J, Czuppon A, Marczynski B, Raulf-Heimsoth M, Roemmelt H, Fruhmann
G. Respiratory and other hazards of isocynates. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 66:141:152 (1994)
5. California Environmental Protection Agency. Determination of Formaldehyde and Toluene Diisocyanate
Emissions from Indoor Residential Sources. Contract no. 93-315 Columbus, OH:Battelle, 1996.
6. ACGIH. Documentation of the Threshold limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices, 5th ed.
Cincinati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 1986.

Back to the Health Resources

By Phil Livingston

Getting Started


The bulk of our energy comes from coal, oil, and natural gas—exhaustible resources that create pollution when burned. Renewable energy (RE) is non-polluting energy that comes from inexhaustible resources, such as wind, sunshine, and falling water. Using more RE and less nonrenewable energy means less pollution produced. Plus, RE can provide personal and national energy security freeing you from a lifetime of utility bills and reducing the United States´ reliance on imported fuels.



Conservation & Efficiency


Many people get entranced by RE technologies—solar-electric (photovoltaic; PV) modules, and microhydro and wind turbines. But the first focus of anyone wanting to invest in RE should be conservation and efficiency.

Conservation involves changing your energy use behaviors from wasteful, inefficient habits (such as leaving on the lights when you leave a room) to energy-saving ones (turning off the lights every time you leave a room). This is a conscious choice—although you are using the same fixtures, you´re making an effort to minimize your energy consumption.

Efficiency, on the other hand, is reducing energy consumption—without changing your lifestyle—by using efficient appliances. As energy efficiency expert Amory Lovins once said, energy efficiency is a "technical fix." Using the previous examples, the efficiency solution would be to swap out incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFs), which only use about a quarter of the energy.

Both conservation and efficiency work hand in hand. Apply the basic principles of conservation and efficiency to all of your energy choices, before looking at harnessing renewable energy. It makes very little sense to put PVs on your roof before you have LED's in your light fixtures.

Conservation and energy efficiency are low-hanging fruit, to be picked before moving forward with solar electricity or hot water systems. By reducing your energy demand, you will greatly reduce the cost of your RE systems when you´re ready to have them installed. Every dollar you spend on efficiency measures will save you roughly $3 to $5 on your renewable energy system costs.

Energy Efficient Appliances


Using efficient appliances can make a world of difference in the amount of energy we consume. Huge advances have been made in a variety of appliances. Here are a few examples:


    • Incandescent bulbs produce 95 percent heat and 5 percent light—little has changed since the days of Edison. Welcome to the 21st century-let´s try something new. When you think of compact fluorescent lights, try not to picture the flickering harsh light of years gone by. Modern CFs may provide superior light quality and operational lifetimes over incandescent bulbs, but they contain mercury and are very dangerous when broken. Check out some of the new LED Bulbs on the market—you will be pleasantly surprised. Modern LED Bulbs are far less dangerous for your health.

    • In the 1970s, the average refrigerator consumed about 1,500 KWH per year. Today, this number has dropped to about 500 KWH for efficient models. If your refrigerator is more than five years old, replacing it with a more energy efficient unit is a good place to start. Energy Star-qualified refrigerators use 40 percent less energy than conventional models sold in 2001.

  • In the past decade, improvements have been made in clothes washer and dryer technologies. New, energy efficient washers agitate on a horizontal axis rather than a vertical one, decreasing the amount of water needed in the washer. Less water used means reduced water-heating bills. The new breed of washers also spins out more water than previous machines, so clothes require less time in the dryer, reducing electricity or gas use. Improvements have been made in dryer technology as well. Dryers now have temperature and moisture sensors, which automatically shut them off when your clothes are dry.


Heating & Cooling


As shown on the pie chart, heating and cooling account for almost 50 percent of the typical American home´s annual energy consumption. Because heating and cooling take such a big bite out of the energy pie, if you´re serious about conservation and efficiency, you´ll start by improving your home´s insulation and reducing air infiltration.

Wall, roof, and floor structures separate the inside of your house from outside, and are referred to as a building´s envelope. How this envelope is designed and constructed is the deciding factor in how good the thermal boundary is between you and the outdoors. Many of us use a thermos to transport liquids because its thermal boundary affords us the luxury of cold lemonade on hot days and hot chocolate on cold days. We want our home to be a thermos of sorts. By designing a building with a tight, well-insulated envelope, you will minimize the energy consumed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

Sealing draft-prone areas, the points at which dissimilar building materials converge or the building envelope is penetrated, reduces uncontrolled air infiltration. Combine this with increased insulation and you can reduce the amount of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning needed to sustain a comfortable household temperature throughout the year. This translates directly into greatly reduced heating and cooling costs, and less environmental pollution.

Passive Plans


If you´re building a new home, seriously consider a passive solar building design-it´s an inherently superior way to both heat and cool your home. Passive solar houses balance a carefully calculated amount of glazing (windows) with heat absorbing thermal mass (concrete slabs or other masonry material) located on walls and floors in the direct vicinity of the southern exposed windows. Properly sized window overhangs block the high summer sun and prevent the building from overheating, while allowing the low winter sun to enter and warm the space. Another key to passive solar design is to have minimal window area on the north, east, and west sides of the house, to minimize heat loss during cold months and heat gain during the hot months.

Renewable Energy Options


There is no cookie-cutter solution for what type of renewable energy system will be most effective and economical in any given application. Many factors must be balanced to develop a good design, including proper siting, environmental resources, financial incentives, social considerations, and environmental effects. Here is some real-world advice concerning each of the major technologies.

Solar Hot Water


Solar thermal systems include a rather large category of energy collection and distribution devices for pool heating, domestic water heating, and space heating via radiant floor heating or water-to-air heat exchangers. You should consider all these options during the design phase of your project.

Installing a solar domestic hot water (SDHW) system is one of the best investments homeowners can make to reduce their electric or natural gas water heating bills, with typical financial paybacks at less than eight years. Depending on the size of the system you install, your local climate, and your hot water use, SDHW systems can cut your water heating bills by 40 to 80 percent. Systems have been designed for all types of applications. Whether you live in the farthest reaches of Alaska, in cloudy Seattle, or by the beach in Jamaica—an SDHW system can work for you.

Solar Electricity


The use of residential solar-electric systems began decades ago in rural locations where utility electricity was not available. While the number of off-grid PV systems continues to grow, grid-tied PV systems are an increasingly popular urban and suburban option for generating clean, sustainable electricity. Not to be confused with solar heating (which uses the sun´s heat to warm air or water), PV modules use photons in sunlight to excite electrons and generate electricity. PVs have no moving parts, are virtually indestructible, and typically carry a 25-year warranty.

You´ll face a major choice when planning a grid-tied PV system (and increasingly with wind and microhydro systems)—will you have batteries or not? If your primary motivation is environmental, a batteryless grid-tied system is probably the best choice. Batteryless systems are simple, economical, maintenance free, and highly efficient. If your home experiences frequent or extended utility outages that are an inconvenience to you and your family, then you may want to consider a system with battery backup.

Wind Electricity


Wind energy can be quite economical if your site has an adequate wind resource. Optimal, consistent wind resources are not located near buildings or down among the trees. Rather, they are found at least 30 feet above all nearby obstructions. Tapping wind energy involves tall towers, which need to be engineered specifically for the turbine you are installing. Wind turbines come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with many different specifications.

Microhydro Electricity


If you have a stream running through your property that drops along its course, tapping its energy potential may be economical. With microhydro, as with all renewable energy technologies, you must weigh the economics at each site based on the resources at hand. Opportunities for installing a microhydro system are often few and far between, but if your stream has significant water flow or a large vertical drop (head), you´re in luck. Even streams that only flow seasonally can be good candidates for generating electricity. Unlike PV or wind systems, hydro systems generate electricity continuously, as long as the water is flowing, and will typically be the most cost-effective renewable energy approach.

The Big Picture


Energy efficiency is always the most affordable and environmentally sound place to start when approaching renewable energy. By doing something as simple as swapping out incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, you can decrease the number of PV modules needed to power your lighting by up to 75 percent. This principle applies to all choices you make as you use energy. Focusing on the demand side first will always be your best bet.

Think through your renewable energy choices carefully, evaluating where best to spend your money. Look at your energy appetite and needs, your site, and the resources available to you. As you move towards less and less reliance on nonrenewable energy, you´ll be gaining some independence from the utility companies, reducing your monthly bills, and minimizing the impact our energy use has on the environment

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Getting Off-The-Grid


Explore alternative energy options for your home.

One of the major themes of this site will be on how to reduce one's dependence on the "grid" by substituting alternative renewable sources of energy. Some people have even managed to become net energy producers who sell energy back to their local utility company.

Alt Energy Tax Credits

Tax Credits For Energy-Efficiency Home Improvements, Hybrid Vehicles.

A new site operated by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Alliance to Save Energy will help consumers reduce their federal income taxes in 2006 and 2007 by making their homes more energy efficient and purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles. The site covers provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and is provided as part of the DOE/Alliance Powerful $avings campaign to help consumers reduce their energy bills and the nation lower its overall energy use.

The Internal Revenue Service has not yet issued specific guidance for consumers on how to claim the income tax credits, but in the meantime the web pages offer comprehensive information, based on the new energy law, to help consumers save money on their energy bills and their federal income taxes. The web pages will be updated on a continuing basis as the IRS makes new details available.

Under the new energy law, consumers can save up to $500 in taxes in 2006 and 2007 for specific energy-efficiency upgrades to existing homes. In addition, consumers – and businesses – can save up to $3,400 on energy-efficient hybrid-electric or diesel vehicles purchased.

The Powerful savings campaign provides tips for lowering energy bills at home and on the road. Consumers also can find a wealth of energy- and money-saving tips in DOE’s free Energy Savers booklet , which is available in both English and Spanish versions.

Solar Modules for Small Electronics


These devices are designed to recharge laptop computers and small gadgets such cell phones, GPSs, camp lights and other modest-power gear in remote sites

Portable Solar Products


For less money than you think, you can have dependable solar power at your remote cabin or vacation camp. Our kits provide everything you need to produce, regulate and store DC power safely. Real Goods has over 26 years of experience designing solar systems, so we've done the hard work for you.



Windpower: Will it work in your location?


We generally advise that a good, year-round wind turbine site isn't a place that you'd want to live. It takes average wind speeds of 8 to 9 mph and up, to make a really good site. That's honestly more wind than most folks are comfortable living with. But this is where the beauty of hybrid systems comes in. Many, very happily livable sites do produce 8 mph and over during certain times of the year, or when storms are passing through.

Tower height and location also make a big difference. Wind speeds average 50% to 60% higher at 100 feet compared to ground level (see chart in the wind section). Wind systems these days are almost always designed as wind/solar hybrids for year-round reliability.

The only common exceptions are systems designed for utility intertie; they feed excess power back into the utility, and turn the meter backwards.

Wind maps can provide a glimpse into the wind patterns in your region. However, before investing in a wind turbine it's best to take actual measurement at your site.

USA Wind Maps

Wind Meters


First, find out if your location has sufficient wind.

Considering the substantial nature of a windpower turbine it makes sense to first confirm that sufficient wind is present throughout most the year.

NRG WindWatcher. The next generation of wind loggers. Collects and records wind speed and power; calculates average speed and average power density for accurate power predictions; delivers monthly averages from constant 2-second data samples; and saves data at the end of each month. Runs one-year on a single D-cell battery. Includes anemometer with weather boot, stub mast, 100' of sensor wire, ground wire, battery and WindWatcher with surface mounting box. 4.7' square. Designed for indoor or weather-protected mounting.

Will track wind direction and deliver monthly average with optional direction vane. Includes small separate mounting mast and 100' sensor wire.

Wind Turbines


Affordable wind power turbines for the home and cabin.

Please note that all of these turbines require a mounting system. The higher the turbine is positioned the better it will perform. However, please check with your local county or city government regarding any maximum height restrictions for these towers before purchasing. Towers are sold separately.

But this is where the beauty of hybrid systems comes in. Many, very happily livable sites do produce 8 mph and over during certain times of the year, or when storms are passing through. Tower height and location also make a big difference. Wind speeds average 50% to 60% higher at 100 feet compared to ground level (see chart in the wind section). Wind systems these days are almost always designed as wind/solar hybrids for year-round reliability. The only common exceptions are systems designed for utility inter-tie; they feed excess power back into the utility, and turn the meter backwards.

The third generation of North America's most popular turbine Southwest Windpower has introduced their third generation of the Air turbine series, and things just keep getting better for this simple attractive wind generator. Proven features from previous models include a sleek non-corrosive cast aluminum alloy body, three flexible carbon-reinforced blades, a neodymium permanent magnet alternator, and built-in regulation. What's improved is noise control and charge control. The sophisticated new microprocessor-based speed and charge control delivers better battery charging by optimizing the alternator output at all points of the power curve, it won't overcharge smaller battery packs as the previous generation tended to, and it eliminates the blade "flutter" that was a noise problem at high wind speeds by actually controlling and limiting the blade speed. USA



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You've been trying to eat more organic foods, both to decrease the amount of pesticides you and your family consume, and to help protect the environment from overloading with toxic chemicals. But organics can get a bit expensive, we know. Luckily, there's a way to grow your own delicious, fresh produce, while having fun and learning at the same time: organic gardening!

Don't know where to start? It is possible to hire someone to install and maintain a beautiful organic garden for you. But most of us can roll up our sleeves with a surprisingly small amount of effort. Remember, you can start small, even with just a single plant or two. Don't worry if things aren't perfect right away.

Organic gardening means you won't be using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, but that doesn't mean your plants are left to fend for themselves. There are an array of tools you can use to bolster plant health and ward off pests. Organic gardening also isn't just about what you don't do, it's about trying to foster a more holistic, natural ecosystem. Read on for specific tips, taken from The Daily Green's expert garden blogger, Leslie Land, her New York Times book 1000 Gardening Questions & Answers and other sources.

STEP 1: Preparing the Soil


In order to get the best results with your new organic garden, you'll want to make sure the soil is properly conditioned. You have to eat, and so do plants, so make sure your veggies get lots of fresh nutrients. Good healthy soil helps build up strong, productive plants. Chemical soil treatments can not only seep into your food, but they can also harm the beneficial bacteria, worms and other microbes in the soil.

The best way to gauge the quality of your soil is to get it tested. You can get a home testing kit, or better, send a sample to your local agricultural extension office. For a modest fee you'll get a complete breakdown of pH and nutrient levels, as well as treatment recommendations (be sure to tell them you're going organic). That way you can tailor your gardening program. Typically, it's best to test in the fall, and apply any organic nutrients before winter.

Even if you don't have time for testing, you'll want to make sure your soil has plenty of humus -- the organic matter, not the similarly named Mediterranean spread. According to 1000 Gardening Questions & Answers, you'll want to mix in compost, leaf and grass clippings and manure. Manure should be composted, unless you aren't going to harvest or plant anything for two months after application. Preferably, get your manure from local livestock that have been organically and humanely raised -- and never use manure from animals that eat meat.

STEP 2: How to Make Good Compost


All gardens benefit from compost -- and preferably you can make your own on site. Hey, it's free! Compost feeds plants, helps conserve water, cuts down on weeds, and keeps food and yard waste out of landfills (where it produces methane), instead turning garbage into "black gold." Spread compost around plants, mix with potting soil, use to bolster struggling plants…it's hard to use too much!

According to Country Living, the best compost forms from the right ratio of nitrogen- and carbon-rich organic waste, mixed with soil, water and air. It might sound like complicated chemistry, but don't worry too much if you don't have time to make perfect compost. Even a minimally tended pile will still yield decent results.

    • To get started, measure out a space at least three feet square. Your compost heap can be a simple pile or contained within a custom pen or bin (some can be rotated, to improve results).

    • Add alternating layers of carbon (or brown) material -- leaves and garden trimmings -- and nitrogen (or green) material -- such as kitchen scraps and manure, with a thin layer of soil in between.

    • Top off the pile with four to six inches of soil. Turn the pile as new layers are added and water to keep (barely) moist, in order to foster microbe action. You should get good compost in as little as two months (longer if it's cold).

    • A properly maintained compost pile shouldn't smell. But if it does add more dry carbon material (leaves, straw, or sawdust) and turn it more frequently.

  • Even if you live in a city, you can do some composting under your counter with a tidy worm kit, or partner with a community garden.

STEP 3: Choose the Right Plants


It really pays to select plants that will thrive in your specific micro-conditions. As a general guide don't forget to check the USDA's Hardiness Zones (which have recently been updated by the National Arbor Day Foundation due to climate change). Choose plants that will be well adjusted to each spot, in terms of light, moisture, drainage and soil quality. Most gardens have gradations in these variables. The happier your plants are, the more resistant they'll be to attackers.

If you're buying seedlings, look for plants raised without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. A great place to look is at your local farmers' market, which may also have native plants and varieties well suited to your area. It's better to buy stocky seedlings with few, if any blooms yet, and with roots that don't look overcrowded.

Many things are best grown from seed, including sunflowers, annual poppies, evening-scented stock (Matthiola bicornis), coriander, dill, annual phlox (Phlox drummondii), larkspur, annual lupine, morning glories, sweet peas, squash and cucumbers.

STEP 4: Plant Crops in Wide Beds


Plants that you will be harvesting, such as vegetables or cutting flowers, should be grouped tightly in beds that you don't walk on (raised beds work great). Grouping reduces weeding and water waste, and helps you target compost and nutrients. Easier path maintenance helps lead to healthy soil. Ample space between rows helps promote air circulation, which repels fungal attacks.

Remember that seedlings won't always stay diminutive, and you do want to try to limit over shadowing. It's a good idea to thin crops based on nursery suggestions.

According to Leslie Land, if you have limited space and time, and want the highest returns of fresh organic produce, these plants are typically winners:

    • Indeterminate Tomatoes. So named because the vines keep getting bigger and producing new fruit until they are felled by frost.

    • Non-Hybrid (Old-Fashioned) Pole Beans. They keep growing and producing 'til frost -- assuming you keep them picked.

    • Zucchini. Everything they say about avalanches of zucchini is true, especially of hybrid varieties.

    • Swiss Chard. You can keep breaking off outer leaves for months, and every picking will be tender as long as plants get enough water.

  • Tall Snow Peas and Sugarsnaps. They grow readily and produce delicious rewards.

STEP 5: Proper Watering


The best time to water plants is usually in the morning. Why? Mornings tend to be cool and without strong winds, so the amount of water lost to evaporation is reduced. If you water in the evening plants stay damp over night, making them more likely to be damaged by fungal and bacterial diseases.

Ideally, you want to water the roots, not the greenery, which is easily damaged. A drip or soak system can work great, or just carefully water the bases of plants by hand.

Most experts recommend substantial, infrequent watering for established plants, typically a total of about one inch of water per week (including rain). One or two applications a week encourages deeper rooting, which promotes stronger plants. To avoid shocking tender greenery, try to use water at or near air temperature (collected rainwater is best).

With population growth and climate change putting increasing pressure on our precious freshwater supplies, it is becoming more important than ever to save water.

STEP 6: Weeding


Ah weeding. Even if you live in the Biosphere, you'll still get weeds, since their tiny seeds are pervasive. Pulling weeds by hand may sound like hard work -- and it can be -- but it also can be good exercise, and gets you outside in the fresh air. You don't want to pour toxic chemicals on your food, or where your children and pets play, right?

Reduce the number of weeds you have to contend with by applying mulch (which also helps protect the soil). According to Leslie Land, organic mulch that will rot down into the soil is almost always preferable to landscape fabric, although burlap and other materials can work in a pinch. Straw is cheap but doesn't last long. Wood chips are nice, but can get pricey. Many people opt to use lawn clippings, although it should be noted that because they are high in nitrogen, clippings should only be used on plants that need a lot of the nutrient, such as squash and lettuce.

If you get tired of weeding or aren't able to bend over, consider hiring some neighborhood kids. It's a good way to get to know others in your community. Remember too that raised beds can be made wheelchair accessible, and others can take advantage of wheeled stools, arthritis-friendly gardening tools and other equipment.

STEP 7: Protect Plants WITHOUT Toxic Pesticides


If your plants are being assaulted by pests, it may be a sign of other problems, so the first thing you should do is make sure they are getting enough light, nutrients and moisture. Also remember that a diverse garden helps prevent pests, by limiting the amount of one type of plant offered up to enemies, and boosting biodiversity.

It's a good thing to foster natural predators in your garden, such as frogs, toads, lizards, birds, and even bats. Beneficial insects can be your best friends, especially lady bugs (many nurseries even sell cans of them, though it's true there's a high probability they won't stick around). Leave a small source of water out to attract friendly predators. It's also a good idea to grow plants with small blossoms, such as sweet alyssum and dill, which attract predatory insects. Nets and row covers can also work.

It may sound surprising, but homeowners use more pesticides on their lawns and gardens than farmers do, acre for acre, according to EPA data. But there are organic alternatives that are much safer for you and our environment. Find out what problem you have (an agricultural extension service can help), then look for alternatives.

Organic weapons include Bacillus thuringiensis, a naturally occurring bacteria that disrupts the digestion of caterpillars and other leaf-eaters. You can also use horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps and garlic and/or hot pepper sprays.

STEP 8: Harvesting


Don't forget to harvest the fruits of your labor! Fresh organic produce also makes great gifts, educating your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Generally, the more you harvest, the more your plants will produce for you.

During peak harvest season, you'll likely find that it's best to check your garden every day. Got herbs? If you use them fresh pick them right before you need them. But if you'll be drying and storing them, it's best to wait until just before they flower, since they'll have the most flavor. Gather all herbs except basil in mid morning, shortly after dew has dried. Harvest basil in the late afternoon, since it will last longer after some time in the sun. It's best not to wash herbs before you dry or use them, since that can leach flaor (extra incentive for growing organic!).

When harvesting leafy greens pick sporadically from the entire crop, a little from each plant. For broccoli, wait until the central head is as large as it will get, before sending off buds for flowering. Cut it off right above the leaf node, and you'll likely get better production from the rest of the plant. In general, it's best to cut produce off with a sharp knife or scissors, versus ripping with your fingers, which can cause more damage to plant tissue.

If you get too much bounty, remember you can also freeze, store some types of produce in a root cellar, or take up canning. Enjoy!

STEP 9: Clean Up


If you have sick plants to remove, either during the season or at the end of the year, make sure you pull up the entire organism. Don't forget to rake up underneath, since diseased leaves can harbor problems for a long time. Put all infected material deep in the woods, in the ground at least a foot deep, or on the bonfire.

Most healthy or expired plants can actually be left in place over winter. You'll provide some food and habitat for birds and other wildlife, and plant cover can help protect your soil from eroding. It's better to chop off annuals then yank them out, because that way you'll leave soil intact, and help prevent weeds from gaining a foothold.

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