Tag Archives: comet project

Thank You Social Venture Fund!

I recently received another grant in support of The COMET project. The Social Venture Fund supports projects with social impact on a community. Thank You Social Venture Fund, your support will help make The COMET possible!!

As always, you can support The COMET, and education in sustainable design and living, by heading over to the “DONATE” page of this website and clicking the Donate button!

Thank You!!

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Quick COMET update


Today I have a lot of grant-related things to do for The COMET. I’m going to be “pitching” the project to a panel of judges that will determine if it’s a good fit for their funds. I’m really excited about it! I’ve been practicing my intro, and it made me realize how incredibly complex The COMET project is. It’s just so far-reaching and multi-dimensional. This grant is particularly interested in how it socially engages with a community, which is what I love about The COMET: it’s engaging people all over the world through this website, and it’s benefiting my local community as people come to me for help doing their own  sustainability projects. I’ve gotten lots of offers from volunteers that want to help me with the build process and in return learn the skills associated with tiny house building, interior finishing, and photovoltaic installation (to name a few). What I’m most excited about is the prospect of building my own small vacuum form, and then designing and fabricating my own urine diverter kit. This will allow me to show you all an awesome DIY project, and it will avail me to holding local workshops with my community where I explain how to build a DIY urine-diverting toilet, and I can give people the urine diverters (easily reproduced) to take home and build their own waterless toilet in their house!

It’s all about empowering people to take action. I want to de-mystify these processes and techniques, and make cost-prohibitive things available and affordable to everyone. Let’s get to it!


And as always, you can support The COMET and help make it happen by donating either on the “DONATE” page (click the little button) or by clicking on the button at the bottom of the Home page/the bottom of each post page.


Totally un-related:

The tow wiring on these old campers is always a MESS!

I was incredibly relieved and excited to find that the undercarriage of The COMET is metal and not roofing tar. It is all intact and in great condition. No holes and no sagging at all! This means there probably aren’t mice nesting in there. And it means I don’t have to replace it, which is awesome!!

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Do It Yourself Solar

So as you readers probably figure, I’m a DIY kind of person. I would just much rather build something myself, know how it works (and therefore be able to fix it!), and learn a new skill than buy something and forget the value of it in a few days. Yesterday I had an amazing conversation with someone over at AltE (an alternative energy powerhouse located nearby in Hudson, MA – they started out in Worcester!), the company that is helping me out with the solar power aspect of The COMET project. I’m not too well versed in Solar electricity, photovoltaics, or thermal heat (not yet anyways, but my Solar Design and Installation workshop at Yestermorrow Design + Build School is coming up real soon!), and AltE is helping me figure out what I need for my system. The lady I spoke with knew exactly what I wanted to do with The COMET, totally understood where I was coming from, and was enthusiastic and super helpful. We talked about everything from solar water heaters to exactly how many watts I will need in photovoltaic energy in my new set-up. She gave me some really good resources to look into, and I want to share those with you all. I had been looking for a reliable, honest website about DIY solar pr0jects for some time, and she pointed me in the right direction!

Check out Build It Solar for what seems to be a million and one DIY solar energy projects. This website is infinitely helpful and full of information. This website has links to tons of solar projects you can do yourself and on a budget. I saw something about a solar shower made from a car inner-tube…pretty neat!

My friend over at AltE also recommended this project to me, a solar air heater made from aluminum cans! I know I’ve seen this before, but these instructions are really good. Check out http://rimstar.org/renewnrg/can_solar_air_heater_DIY_gs.htm   for the full instructions.

Another cool product that she pointed out to me, which is specifically suitable for small camper/tiny house applications, was this solar water heater: http://www.altestore.com/store/Solar-Water-Heaters/Solar-Collectors-and-Mounts/AET-Collectors-Racks-Mounts/AET-2X3-Display-Collector-Kit/p5593/.

It’s actually meant to be a display model of how a larger scale solar hot water heater would work, to be used at trade shows and the like. Fortunately for us, it’s just the right size for a tiny house or mobile home! I think it’s very reasonably priced, as well.

I encourage you all to check out these sites, and if you’ve done any DIY solar projects yourself, or have plans to build something, let me know in the comments!

More coming later on finding free used building materials + stuff on the side of the road (my favorite!)

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