Permacarn’s Weblog

A Permanent Blog Carnival

Wooden Computers

There are all kinds of ways to go green these days and with the advent of energy efficient monitors, power supplies, and energy star rated PC’s, computer lovers are able to heed Al Gore’s warnings of global
warming and the ruthless bloodlust of the Manbearpig. OK, you won’t be able to thwart a Manbearpig attack, but the options that are now available in the fast paced world of computers provide innovative ways
to create a smaller carbon footprint.


One way to reduce environmental impact would be to build a computer with sustainable resources.



Eureka! There are all kind of modders out there filling this niche and seamlessly integrating technology with nature to mesh in ways reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. While there is a slight risk of fire due to the fact that its made of wood that is known to show poor fire resistant properties, they’re up to code. Making sure you’ve got the proper ventilation and power supply will significantly reduce the chances of your PC emitting the scent of hickory smoke (mmmm, bacon).

antique pcThe perfect high tech gift for grandmothers everywhere would look just like the old antique furniture she’s got collecting dust all over the place (she’d have that PC smellin’ like moth balls in no time). And thats exactly what some people have done to their computers. Its ironic that while the hardware and software industries are making huge leaps forward, the cases some people are putting their components in are taking a giant technological leap backwards. But all the better.

You can also get wooden mice, keyboards, and a even wooden laptop with components made of wood and sustainable corn based bioplastics. Accessorize with a battery charging solar laptop bag and you’ll be one hardcore green mofo.

wood laptop

solar bag



May 1, 2008 Posted by | Green | , , | Leave a comment

Converting Your Car To LPG (Liquid Propane Gas)


With the price of gas these days, it’s hard not to feel like you’re getting violated every time you pay at the pump. And the cost of a hybrid vehicle can make you feel like some of your options are out of reach. But there is a way for people of normal persuasion to help the environment and save a little money at the same time. The answer to the question you’re all asking, “what is it?”, is liquid propane gas (LPG). Who knew strapping a propane tank to the trunk of your car could be so cool. Hank Hill would be having a conniption!


I can’t find anywhere, in my area at least, that provides the service of converting. Apparently this is already big business over in the UK as there are all sorts of British companies and institutions who use it. They even have over 1000 LPG pumping stations built into their infrastructure.


The Benefits: Emissions are less harmful, it’s less expensive, and LPG burns cleaner causing less harm and wear to your engines internal combustion components. There’s a website in Britain that will calculate how much money you can save by making the switch to LPG. Considering the pound is valued more than the dollar I thought the savings may be substantial… and I was right. My savings of 944 pounds converts to $1,870.00 driving a 1995 Toyota Camry with 136,000 miles an average of 10,000 miles annually. I had to hack a London restaurant phone number (courtesy of UK Yellow Pages) and post code (courtesy of Wikipedia)into the information section to get an output on cost of conversion, and I came back with a cost of 1915 pounds, or $3,795 dollars (using Google converter). But they also provided a cost analysis (brilliant Brits)which told me that my 4 year return on investment would be about 50% (in pounds and dollars), and that over that same 4 year period I would save 3,779 pounds or $7,490. I would also be helping the environment by reducing my carbon output by 1.56 tonnes which in the states is 1.72 tons, and I normally emit 6.6 tonnes, or 7.3 US tons by using a Co2 emissions calculator. Thats about a 24% reduction in emissions if my math is correct, but I’m a psych major, so I might be wrong.


You can also claim a deduction on your taxes for the cost of conversion, so it’s pretty much paid for. We have to take into consideration the fact that the Brits buy their fuel by the liter, or litres as they say on the island, and pay more for it. Since we pay less for more gas, this may throw a wrench (or turd in the punchbowl, stick in the spokes) in the huge savings I encountered.


You can purchase the components from a couple different companies, here and here.  If you’re handy with a wrench, or know someone who tweaks on cars, you can no doubt do what 9,000,000 other people in the world do and run your car on LPG.


This guy has a site with instructions on how to convert an Imperial, but there are no doubt websites with instructions on how to do it for your car and as he says, anyone whose got a reasonable degree of mechanical ability can make it happen.


























April 28, 2008 Posted by | Green | , , , | Leave a comment