Tag Archive for environment

Savannah Tractor Powered by Turkey Oil

Posted on November 28th, 2009
Original post by: Savannah Now

Now that your turkey is a picked-over carcass, here’s a win-win idea for getting rid of the oil that fried that bird: Wilmington Island farmer Bill Lynes wants used vegetable oil to power his tractor. The county wants to keep all that fat out of local sewers, where it congeals and creates expensive clogs. So they’ve teamed up to collect cooking oil at the Wilmington Island Recycling Center.

He currently collects oil from several local restaurants and a South Carolina nursing home, filters and centirfuges that oil to remove water and particulates, then pumps it into his diesel engine tractor. As an off-road vehicle, it’s a hassle-free use of a free fuel. Vehicles driven on public roads are required to pay road tax on their fuel, a process that’s difficult to comply with where free vegetable oil is concerned, Lynes said.

Lynes approached Chatham County officials several months ago with his idea of collecting used vegetable oil from residents. When they agreed to give it a try, he spent about $800 outfitting the Wilmington Island Recycling Center on Concord Road with a small storage tank just for the job.

Chatham County Environmental Program Coordinator David Nash loves the cooking oil collection not only because it’s a great local recycling effort, but also because the grease that could otherwise end up in local sewage systems is expensive to clean out.

“If you’re on septic, it will clog it,” he said. “If you’re on county sewage, it’ll clog up drains, and you’ll have a backup. It’s imperative not to put grease down the drain. It’s a slow killer.” “It’s like how you have a heart attack – plaque builds up slowly. Once it’s in there, you have a heck of a time getting it out.”

Lynes, who traded-in his Porsche race car when he bought his tractor, has been cultivating his three-quarter acre “town farm” for about a year on family land that once was part of a larger vegetable farm and before that a cotton plantation. He still works in Lynes Realty and Development Company, but he’s clearly a devoted gardener, too.

He barters his vegetables with local markets such as Davis Produce. Friends and neighbors get his chickens’ eggs. “I’m sort of in a learning process now,” he said. “I want to know what works, like bartering with people and giving stuff to friends.” And maybe, if it catches on, collecting used cooking oil.

Consider Bartering When Paying Your Tuition

Posted on November, 24th 2009
Original post by: DailySkiff

Since tuition is set to increase to $30,000 for the 2010-2011 school year, students are going to have to be more creative with how they pay for their tuition. While it is beneficial to get a summer job or practice saving money during the year, I think it’s time we reinvigorate a time-honored tradition: bartering.

Frankly, I can’t afford the $30,000 next year, even with my scholarship and a summer job. But I don’t want to disrespect the education I’m receiving by not paying my bills. So when the first bill drops in my account, I plan to visit Chancellor Victor Boschini in his office and bring him my tuition deposit personally. He accepts cows as payment, right?

If not, I’m sure I can get a hold of a chicken or two. Times are tough though. He might have to make do with a pair of slightly-used tennis shoes and my good word that I will get TCU my tuition payment as soon as the next farmers market opens.

In my mind, bartering is a tradition that faded away unnecessarily with the advent of coinage. Even as the great empires of the world expanded, and with them the use of a standardized coin, bartering is a practice that remained. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. You let me copy your notes from class, and I won’t tell your parents exactly how drunk you were at the last tailgate. It’s a fair (mostly) and often interesting exchange.

Another benefit of bartering is determining what others value beyond money. Sure, cold hard cash makes the rest of your unappealing Christmas presents seem a little more bearable, but why settle for cash when you can have a pair of handmade socks from your grandmother, fresh off the knitting needles? How about making someone else a meal in exchange for help studying? Supposing you can cook, this is a pretty sweet deal.

While it’s not quite as fair anymore to trade your daughter for a fresh plot of land, there are many benefits to bartering. It can, in fact, increase the breadth of our education and the university should support it.

Watercooler Story

Posted on November 23rd, 2009

Man happy with simple life in Utah cave

MOAB, Utah, Nov. 23 (UPI) — A 48-year-old man who has not used money in nine years and resides in a desert cave in Moab, Utah, said he loves his simple existence.

Daniel Suelo said he shops for clothes by going through garbage and he is content with living an existence in which he does not have to worry about a job, mortgage or other concerns that most people have to deal with, The Denver Post reported.

“The understanding that, really, we all possess nothing is the cornerstone of all spiritual endeavors and religions,” Suelo said.

A former Peace Corps volunteer, Suelo said he also will not barter for food or rent because he considers bartering another form of currency.

Suelo took up his lifestyle nine years ago despite having a master’s degree in accounting and a degree in anthropology. He says he will never embrace a conventional lifestyle again.

“I have no idea what the future holds, and I don’t worry about it. But the longer I do this, it seems absurd to go back,” he told the Post. “It would be like going back to slavery.”

Life Without Money

Posted on November 23rd, 2009
Original post by Jason Blevins, The Denver Post, November 22nd, 2009

MOAB — Cave-dwelling Daniel Suelo is one of many across the planet who happily live without money.

The vagabond philosopher known as the “Peace Pilgrim” walked 25,000 miles across North America for nearly three decades beginning in the 1950s, living without shelter or food until it was offered.

India’s wandering monks, or sadhu, number several million and are widely respected as holy men who have abandoned all material attachments.

Heidemarie Schwermer of Germany recently penned a book about her life without money and gave all her earnings away.

Mark Boyle, a pen-pal of Suelo’s and fellow “freegan,” just finished a year-long experiment of living moneyless in England. A publisher asked Boyle to write a book about his penniless year.

Trouble is, Boyle says, the book contract comes with pay.

Suelo has wrestled with the same dilemma. A publisher recently offered Suelo a book deal but balked when Suelo asked that he not be paid and the book be made available for no cost.

So, now an author is interviewing Suelo and writing his story.

Boyle plans another tack: He will use all proceeds from his book to establish a moneyless community based on his “freeconomy” philosophy.

Like Suelo, Boyle says the more he gives, the more “organically and miraculously” his needs are met.

“I would write about difficulties about freely giving, freely receiving, but haven’t had any of note,” Boyle says.

Suelo and Boyle regularly blog about their lives and ponderings, using computers at local libraries.

Suelo’s blog (at has nearly 800 followers.

He doesn’t harbor some extreme dream that the world will follow his lead by abandoning money and moving into caves. He does, however, hope his path will stir “incremental change” and that maybe more people will embrace a simpler life without what he calls “our addiction to money.”

“I do this to show that we are in a culture that believes our happiness comes from things outside ourselves, rather than within,” he says. “You can be happier with less.”

Trade Your Art for a Good Advertisment

Posted on November 19th, 2009
Original post by Atlanta Artist Examiner, Darla Dixon


Advertising can be a major expense.

Whenever I have paid for advertising, it has been (to me) a considerable amount of money. Most paid print ads have cost me $100 or more each monthly run, and generally the publication wants the commitment of 4 or 6 months’ worth of ads. There is also usually a design fee of about $50. Then I sit and cross my fingers and hope I have done the right thing.

Even once you’ve been an established artist for awhile, it’s still good to keep expenses low. But how do you do this?

One way is to barter. I have successfully bartered portraits for advertising space in publications. It never hurts to ask. Many small local publications are owned by individuals – individuals who have children and pets, so it’s expecially good for portrait artists. If you’re not a portrait artist, almost everyone can use beautiful art for gifts or to decorate their home or office.

When you are approaching them regarding an ad, you can show them examples of your artwork. See if they are interested. In some cases, their order by barter may pay for your entire ad, or it might pay for half your ad run. It’s a win-win situation.

The publisher has space to fill in their publication, and you need the promotion. The publisher will know your work first-hand, and many publishers know a lot of people in your local area. You’ll probably receive some business just from this word of mouth.

Four Easy and Funny Barter Sites

On July 28, 5:55 PM, by R.S. Johnson

Bartering goods is a great way to reduce spending, clean out that garage and save our planet from excess consumerism.

But ever since our economy has tanked, it has become more than a just a wise and conscientious decision, but an absolute means of survival.

Sadly, many are still reluctant to explore its benefits, outside the occasional DVD trade on Craigslist or a weekend haggle at a local swap event.

So to get those started, I’ve listed four great sites that will turn almost anybody into barter fanatic. All were chosen for their ease of use, feature rich platform and social media experience.

SwapTree - This site is the best for trading books, music, DVD and games. With a clean and simple interface and large member signup that reads ‘Join in 8 seconds!’, swapping is truly a snap.

Commuto - Growing in popularity, this site has just about everything you want. The site’s emphasis is on creating niche barter economies based on groups or items. In fact, they are the first to offer a Facebook app which exploits the social media site’s massive user base.

BarterQuest - With an abundance of items to choose from, this site offers trades in just about everything you could possibly imagine, even real estate! Like Commuto they have recently began to offer a feature for organizing members into niche groups which they call Barter Clubs.

Swapstyle –
Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli once said, “In difficult times fashion is always outrageous.” Elsa would probably have appreciated this site, which offers endless colors, shapes and textures of head turning visual statements. Of course fashion would be nothing without opinion and attitude, that’s why they offer users a Style Blog to express your vision and a Style Page to strike a pose.


Try one, try them all. If you can’t find what your looking for, chances are its never been made. I guaratnee once you start trading, youl’ll think twice before buying anything ever again.

How to Survive in the Small Business Life

By Jim Blasingame, Posted November 2, 2009

In his landmark 1776 book “Wealth of Nations,” Adam Smith called money one of the three great inventions, including the written word and mathematics. Money has helped businesses grow more efficiently, markets expand more dynamically and nations trade more effectively.

But there is something still in use in the marketplace today that humans used for millennia before money: barter. Indeed, barter birthed the marketplace.

In simple terms, barter is the direct and mutual exchange of goods and/or services between two parties. The Latin term, quid pro quo, “something for something,” is the original definition of barter. Think of the frontier doctor who took a chicken and a sack of potatoes for delivering a baby.

Over the past hundred years or so, a combination of the ubiquity of money and the growth of financial tools and resources has relegated barter to the marketplace minor leagues. Nevertheless, barter is still being conducted, primarily between businesses that know each other and have a mutual need for what the other offers. For example, a printer barters a brochure job for food from a local restaurant. Or a lawyer accepts personal and/or real assets from a client in barter for legal representation.

Small business should look for barter opportunities. For example, with too much inventory and too little cash, barter can be part of a survival strategy in a bad economy. Slow-turning goods become the equivalent of cash to pay for something that in a better economy would have been covered by the cash flow and profits from customer sales. Plus, there are tax advantages with barter, but also tax reporting requirements. So consult a tax professional before bartering.

As handy as barter can be, it does have three inherent challenges that money was invented to address: 1) Party familiarity, 2) Timing, and 3) Relative value. But a few entrepreneurs have created something to overcome these limitations in much the same way that money does, while keeping the advantages of barter. They’re called barter networks or exchanges.

A barter network becomes the nexus between parties by offering services that address the challenges mentioned above, including 1) barter credits that can be used any time in exchange for 2) a variety of goods and services from a catalog the network has aggregated from and for its members.

Before using a barter network, remember you may be exchanging assets today for future redemption. So conduct the due diligence to make sure the barter network has experience and a good track record.

A Great Holiday Deal – House Swapping

Posted in Budget Travel ,November 16th, 2009

There is an old saying that goes (it better to give than to receive). Who came it with that saying, I say it is better to do both at the same time. If you want cheap-discount-travel, how about house swapping. That’s right I said it house swapping. I would rather call it vacation swapping. This is newest, latest thing in cheap-discount travel. Here is how it works. You find a family or a person that wants to travel to your location the town or city where or near where you live. You will stay in their house in their city, town or different country, and they will come to where you live. Yes, they will actually be staying in your house, so you have to be ok with sharing your personal space.

There are a couple of precautions that I would take. You might want to put up all your valuable and personal information or anything that you would be terrified if it gotten broken. I sure they would not intentionally destroy anything, but mistakes do happen. Prior to the switch, you have to decide who would pay the utilities and other usable items. Everyone usually purchases their own food and clean the house when the visit is over. You can also swap automobiles with that person; this will further save you some money on car rental fees again adding to your cheap-discount- travel experience. Again each person would pay for their gas while in usage and fill and clean the automobile up on completion of usage. Thus, both parties receive and give a free vacation stay and transportation for free. Not to mention that the family in question; might have some family pass to local events, that can be used by their home guess, since your staying in their home, your more like an extended family instead of a visitor. Again, adding more value to your cheap-discount-travel vacation.

Depending on where you want to go and where you want to visit, will determine how many responses you get to your offer. If you live in a hot vacation spot or big city or not to far from one this might be a very easy task for you. However, if your location is not so popular, you might have to do a little research. Do some research and find out what types of events or activities that are happing is your area. Make a list and enhance the features. You would be surprised at what local activities that don’t necessary appeal to you might be the very thing that some else is looking for. Cheap Vacations, Vacations Available for Swapping, House Swapping Locations

Green Surviving

Posted by Herbalpagan at Sunday, November 15, 2009

I read an interesting story today. It seems that a town (a larger one too) is having money problems and one of the budget cuts was mowing a meadow. A lady who owns dairy goats is being allowed to let her goats keep the meadow mowed. Good fodder for the goats and free mowing for the town. I’m thinking that many towns might be open to such an idea these days. I wonder what other ideas like that will come out of these economic hard times. It makes sense though and government rarely makes sense, so it must be the smaller governments that do these things.

One year, the small town I raised my kids in had a budget shortfall and the school budget was targeted. It was decided that gym, art,and all extras would be cut. There were many teachers in the school who lived in the town too, and they fought their own union to be able to contribute to the solution. They gave up cost of living raises for two years. The parent group paid for a weekly sports program, volunteers came in daily and ran the computer program and volunteers ran two talent shows with afternoon practices to help with the art and gym issue. It worked and worked well. Solutions can start at the ground level, instead of letting big government come up with them.

This led me to think about how we can make common sense solutions a part of our lives. I think that barter must be a part of those solutions. I can barter a ton of holiday crafts or jam and pickles for some maple syrup and a couple of hours of wood cutting. We need to think of these things and actually implement them into our lives more. We are so used to either doing without or paying hard cash for the things we want and need when barter and haggling is accepted in many parts of the world. I wonder when good sense went out of fashion in this country? Perhaps this is a case of “the proof is in the pudding” as the saying goes…this economy is in trouble and most Americans spend like nothing is different.

Just some thoughts.

In Bad Times, Bartering Can Beat Buying

Why barter? Here are some reasons, and some cautions.

Originally posted by Laura Cohn


– It’s the new national pastime. Okay, baseball still wins. But given the economic downturn, many people are reverting to this ancient form of commerce. Craigslist recently reported that bartering activity on the site had jumped more than 80 percent in the past year. Sites such as report a surge in interest, too. BarterQuest, which offers swaps on a wide variety of goods and services, drew more than 100,000 visitors just two months after the Web site launched late last year. The reason? Bartering is addictive — and fun. Kent Berryman, founder of, says that once users post one item, they usually offer up more.

– You can trade just about anything. Want to upgrade your camera? Online retailer Adorama will give you a free quote on a price for your old camera and cut you a check or offer a credit toward new equipment. Dying to break your car lease? Go to or, which, for a fee, will pair people who want to unload their leases with people who want to assume them. But don’t stop there. At, recent trades included a gas clothes dryer for a high-speed table saw, a personal-shopping jaunt for a Nintendo Game Boy and games, and a service swap between a hairdresser and an accountant.

– Let the barterer beware. Craigslist doesn’t prescreen users. So if you’re looking to swap for a service you really need — such as babysitting — start by contacting friends and neighbors. Or try a site that verifies the addresses and phone numbers of its users, such as BarterBee lets you trade CDs, movies and video games free of charge. But, says chief executive Robert Alvin, be sure that you know what your product or service is worth. “If you list it too high, it won’t move,” he says.