a short diary of some part of my life.

Posts from the Go Green Category

Costa Concordia: How ill-fated cruise liner will be raised

Interesting interactive and it would be an engineering achievement if they can do this.


Modern Slavery in Electronics: Facts About Slave-Mined Conflict Minerals from the Congo

The way I see this is we cannot stop what is already happening. We can slow it down by buying less electronics. There are those who are constantly upgrading their ‘toys’ every year or even every small iteration.

People need to open their eyes that your old ‘toys’ are probably still good enough. What if they start experiencing problems? Well, fix it, go to or discussion forums to find out where the problems are and how to fix them.

Sure, there are bad electronics out there. So, don’t buy them and be a smart buyer. A properly designed electronic should last for a lifetime. Maybe not smartphones, tablets, or computers. But they do last for a while if you take care of them.

Partly due to my hectic daily life and the absence of ‘play time’, I don’t get the chance to build my own house from scratch. Land price is insane here in Jakarta, Indonesia. So, before the price goes even crazier, I recently bought the best property I could find. I think I got a good deal out of it. The house was never occupied. The interior and exterior are in good condition. The previous owner left practically everything stock and still intact. That gives me a bit of leeway.

I decided to transform the house into a green house. The plan is to complete the project within a year. Whenever I have more ‘play time’ to spare with, the project will be accelerated. First, I needed to see what can be done, what cannot be done, and what are in between those two.

The first thing I do is to get a solar water heater. It is the most common part that locals use to heat their water, mainly for taking bath. As usual, I did a lot of research in solar panel. I chose the cylindrical solar panel. Cylindrical solar panel allows the absorption of the heat to be spread more evenly on most of its surface. Coupled with white roof, it’s even more effective. So, I’m going to get the roof painted in white on where the solar water heater panel will be installed. I see no reason why I should paint the entire surface of the roof in white. It will only consume more paint and more maintenance in the future. Actually, I am exploring another option of not painting a part of the roof in white. There is still a week to go to decide.

The next thing is to reduce the use of paint. Nowadays, most paints are water based. But that does not make it any less consumable than it was. We still need to repaint the walls whenever they turn into awful looking finish. I cannot completely eliminate the use of paint. The house is located in a cluster where all house look exactly the same. So, the idea of turning my house into one completely different house than the others never crosses my mind. Let’s play for the team. That leaves no option on the face of the house where paint is need and repainting will be needed, at least until I can find something that is much more durable and in the same color. My friend introduced Lemkra. Lemkra is pretty much the same material used in many properties in the US. The applied surface will outlast paint easily. It is also more resistant to crack. So, I’m replacing any painted surface (mainly interior walls) that I can do without repainting with Lemkra.

The third act I chose is to replace every single bulb with LED bulbs. The high quality ones, not the questionable ones. There are lots of questionable LED bulbs. Some people sell them simply for LED reputation as being the best traditional light bulb replacement. Well, not all are created equally, you really need to look carefully.

The fourth act is to inspect, repair, and add insulations. Insulations are very important because they play a huge role in controlling the temperature.

The fifth act is to eliminate useless corners of the house. Again, I cannot alter the face of the house but I can do whatever I want in the inside. So, I made some cuts in the interior and some parts of the unseen section of the house. Places where dust will easily settle are eliminated. It’s going to cut down maintenance and at the same, cut down the use of cleaning agent that used to be necessary.

Reducing maintenance and future repair have always been one of my goals, I’m replacing much of brittle materials used in the house with sturdy, durable, and long lasting materials. There is a part of the roof that uses a sheet of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is notoriously known for weak and not long lasting. I’m replacing it with a simple solution, a roof made by Onduline. It will probably outlast polycarbonate many times over.

The seventh act is to grow a sustainable grasses and trees. There will be no fashion trees. All will serve its purposes. Fruits like mangos, oranges will be grown on site.

This eighth act is one thing that still consider whether I want to go all out or settle for at least a considerable sum for the time being. It is solar panel for electricity. I cannot find a single manufacturer or a brand that does a whole house powered solely by solar panel. If I install one just to power light bulbs, what if in the future, I want to install one for the whole house, will the old one still be useful and can be used or at least retrofitted? I don’t think I want to make that bet. That leaves me to importing the one that can power the whole house from the US, the brand that I’m familiar with. We’ll see how it goes.

The last piece I would like to install is also one thing that I’m seriously looking into. But this one is still a puzzle as I really have no idea how this works. It is a rainwater harvesting system (converts rainwater into safe consumable water that I can use).

So far, those are the plans.

I don’t get what Jokowi is doing. He seems like a nice guy, in fact he looks too nice. Unlike his predecessor who looks more like an a** who does not give a **i* about Jakarta, Jokowi seems to blend well into Jakartaites.

Jokowi started his reign by cleaning up Jakarta which is good. Clean is good. But what he failed to realize is that it’s not the real problems. The real problems lie in Jakartaites themselves. There are too many slumps and **i**o*e* in the city. Jakartaites’ mentalities are very broken. These are the issues that he should have tackled first. He should have introduced heavy fines for those who throw trashes on the road. Fine those who ride or drive motorbikes and cars like crazies. In a few years, I bet we will have a sense of cleanliness and tidyness. Be more like Singaporeans who despise dirtiness and untidyness. I don’t get it why he didn’t fix these issues from day one.

I was very fond on anything automatic. From electronic power seats to home automations. I was a geek in those areas. Years went on, I found out that anything that works automatically tend to fall apart quickly. They require more extensive care and services. It’s no longer fun to use when something breaks and the only way to turn it into a working product is to spend a large chunk of money or simply throw the thing away because the thing cannot be fixed or the cost to fix it is too high.

I spent a large part of my childhood dreaming about robotics, super computers, home automations, advanced electronics… Those dreams have disappeared. I did it on purpose too. As I entered school and now work environment, my interests in those items decrease rapidly. I consider some of them to be an annoyance sometimes. Most of them are expensive and high maintenance. I no longer have the time to tinker and play with them.

Nowadays, I prefer something low maintenance but not necessarily cheap. High quality items (that last) tend to be expensive. But in order for them to last, they need to be as simple as possible. To be simple, the manufacturer needs to cut down things that aren’t that important. I’m kinda like it. Why do you need anymore that you need? Why not buy items that last just about forever. Light switches for example, now you can easily find the fancy ones. I prefer the mechanical ones. Not only they last but I don’t need to replace them when new models that make the old models look dated and expired.

Another good examples are electric steering wheel adjustment and power seats. I have personally experience these two parts do not work anymore and the cost of fixing them is astronomically high. As with the light switches, I prefer a mechanical seat. They last and I have not seen one that fails. Sure, the temptation for power seats is hard to resist but when you think that you don’t actually need power seats, then you don’t need one.

Besides power seats and electric steering wheel adjustment add considerable weight to the car. You don’t want to add anymore weight to our already heavy new cars. Newer cars are heavier than old cars because of safety concerns and other complicated laws. If the government wants to keep the road safe off incompetent drivers, then make the driving tests harder!

Heavy cars consume more gas. Constant upgrades and replacements cost the environment as manufacturers pump new products into the market. With less demand, there will be less activity in the factory or less production. Then who’s gonna feed the workers? Well, that’s another issue about over populated Earth.