Friday, May 21, 2010

Of Power Tools, Balcony, Milk Paint And Amanda Quick :)

Sorry for neglecting this journal for so long!

I've been ranting off-the record elsewhere, so if you absolutely must know what I rant about, drop me a line and maybe I'll send you the link (depending on whether I know you or not!:)

Mostly my days have been quite uneventful, minus the power tools and my family's lack of time management or any sort of organization. And it's not just my family, it's also the neighbours and the weather! Sooo...?
It's not easy to get organized or get things done (or make hay) if you depend on these 'outside' factors. I did read some Amanda Quick books, out of desperation. (Sis's fault for bringing them home!)

Oddly enough, they inspired me for eco things again! The heroines there are so brave and courageous and always getting into the oddest of messes, and out of them unscathed (mostly), and usually happily married!:)
They also have to deal with odd dilemmas and things like...
- who to trust? ('Those fossil diggers can be an untrustworthy lot!' lol! So it's not just the eco world that is full of iffy types and odd sorts?!:)
- how to date? (if you are really interested in other things - those heroines happily go about doing other things, until those brooding handsome-or-oddly-attractive heroes snatch them!:)
- how to be happy with own imperfections (all the heroines -and heroes - definitely have 'em, and are still happily in love anyway!!:)

So.. did I intrigue you yet? They are not for kids, so 18+ only. (My Grandma snickers over some scenes and only brushes past them.) They may return your faith in love (or life) or make you laugh, they are all invariably silly (and mostly look alike!) but that is kinda the point!:)

I did call some people inbetween re: eco things (and have some meetings next week!:), didn't manage to go to eco fair but did make some sort-of-hay (what is the non-hay for silos called?) helped create 1/2 of balcony (it'll be mostly glass and just polycarbonate roof. Plus, after my ranting about which color/polish would be less toxic - the neighbour painted the frames with - milk & wallpaint pigment-??!! ('You'll never guess, he said. We didn't. It looks pretty and yellow. Never thought I'd actually like yellow windows, and not sure if the black knobs really go with them??) He said wax paint (with turpentine - is turpentine toxic??) could be used on top of that for water-proofing/protection against water. (The milk paint is just pretty, offers no protection against water. And this is where the rain can be quite heavy.) I recently stumbled across the awesome milkpaint.com never thought you can just create your own lol!! :)
Not sure what to waterproof the windows with (can I get enough eco wax? How much would be needed? What about any oils or such?)

Some planks have been painted dark brown already, I called the company hotline and a friendly woman said the paint for wood outside contains an iffy preservative, so it's best to be not touched, and recommended painting over with a paint for indoors?
I asked Dad how much he thinks would be needed and he said, 'Oh don't bug me with that' or something like this, so Mum and I calculated a bit, still to do more Math..
Aunt A. suggested Dad's rash might be stress-related so we don't want to bug him with too much stuff anyway-??

Sorry if this is a bit scatter-brained, am awfully sleepy and going to bed at first possible opportunity! :) Been to a concert, a practical beekeeping class (unfortunately rainy so we didn't get to do a lot), to a funeral and a few other things... Wrote programs and ideas for a charity... Researched EU funding and project management... De-weeded some onions.. Got a pretty new pre-loved sweater (of cheerful colors!:) and tutored on global warming?? And what have you been doing? :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Can Polycarbonate Be Recycled?

As you may know, our house (and my ears!) have been subject to some renovation. It's not finished yet!

The balcony still needs to be 'closed up' with either glass or polycarbonate, or both.

This renovation has not been very eco, as I am NOT an expert on eco building materials (yet?) and mostly my Dad was in charge! Also, there have been some considerations: not-so-very-strong walls and balcony mean that light (not heavy) materials need to be used. So polycarbonate was recommended to us.

Can polycarbonate be recycled?

I almost fainted when I saw who produces polycarbonate! No other than the infamous Bayer! (producers of aspirins, toxic chemicals cotton is sprayed with in India, and the infamous Gaucho, alleged beekiller, that corn is treated with!)

Bayer says their polycarbonate product Makrolon can be recycled OR incinerated. Depending if there are any facilities for recycling!
(In Slovenia, I'm guessing NOT! As CDs that are also polycarbonate can't be recycled either.) Bayer actually recommend incineration. (hm!)
Apparently it's recycled within the factory, which is a good thing! I just wish something would be done with postconsumer waste too!

Is the other polycarbonate on the market Lexan really eco? (It is claimed that is, due to energy efficiency-?)

It seems lexan may not be very toxic (tests not for the faint-hearted!) though probably not completely harmless either, especially at high temperatures used for manufacturing or such. (Data from 1992, I wonder if there is any new info?)

Then again, I'm guessing straight window glass can't really be recycled here either - 'eco islands' (local recycling containers) only accept glass bottles, and rumors have it some of those may have not been recycled either, at least some years ago. And last year may have been so-so too, as the building industry was in crisis and didn't need glass wool (which is made from recycled bottles) for insulation.

So, what would be a better choice?

No idea. I told Dad to check leftover glass he has, if anything could be made from that? I was told glass would be hotter in summer (it's a South-West window, and it really gets hot here) and polycarbonate might give better insulation with less weight.
The roof would probably be polycarbonate, we are still discussing the vertical 'windows' or non-windows.

Any ideas or suggestions?
The cheaper polycarbonate is non-see-through (one might hide from neighbours more easily! Though a curtain could be used in that effect too, says Mom! And in case you need to talk to a neighbour, it's better if you can see her on the balcony). The more expensive polycarbonate looks like glass, scratches easily though. (That prompted me back to glass.)
Slightly scared the polycarbonate balcony roof would block my view of mountains! (Don't wish the balcony to start falling apart due to too much weight though either!)

Any experience with closing down of balconies?