Category Archives: videos

Plastic Into Oil

I had this post in draft form right before the earthquake/tsunami hit Japan, but it didn’t seem right to share this story just yet… 

Have you ever wished that you could turn plastic into something useful, like oil? 
One Japanese inventor is making this idea a reality. 

The man in the video  below is very sweet and sincere about his hope to turn something good out of the pollution we can plastic and  inspire hope.  

This plastic-to-oil converting machine is very interesting. It averages about 3 hours for processing time and uses about 1Kw per hour (equivalent to 24.3 cents in cost), and it processes on average about 90% of the plastic product. So if it had 1000 grams of plastic, it would convert into about 900 grams of fuel. It would cost a little less than $1 to make a gallon of fuel. And if this is done on-site or locally it could be competitive in emissions to current recycling of plastic since the majority of our plastics are shipped long distances to China

Here’s the math of it (done by a friend of mine): it will take 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of plastic to make 1 liter of oil (not gasoline) using about 1 kW of electricity. We pay about $0.06 to $0.10/ kW, which is cheap compared to other places like Japan, at $0.20 per kW.  A barrel of oil today costs $110 (rising daily) and is 42 gallons or 159 liters. 

With his $9500 machine, you can make a barrel of oil for about $30, with Japan ‘s electricity prices –  or less than $15 with Portland electricity prices. It may be a while until this is a common technology, but o ne plant in  Tigard, Oregon is converting plastic to crude oil .

Here’s the quick video:

What inventions do you think could help save the Earth?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Blessed is This Life

Between celebrating Earth Day and Easter, I didn’t have/give any time to our finances this weekend. Instead of worrying about goals, I savored the blessed abundance of our family. It was truly a marvelous weekend. 

My favorite quote from our Big Guy was right after we had said grace, “I love this world we live in!” I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s a video of one of my very favorite songs, which feels like my personal theme song lately – Blessed by Brett Dennen:

How do you feel blessed?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.


In this mid-week phase (especially after having a sick family including myself last week), I need a little inspiration to get through this week. While I’m more in need of wrapping up lots of tasks, Ben Lee’s Begin always gets me going. 

The video isn’t what I envision for the song, but we each have our own personal spin.

I first got into Ben Lee by listening to Pandora, a great source of free music.

Ben Lee’s Begin video:

What are you ready to begin?

Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Dr. Bronner’s Soap & Film

It may be a bit nerdy, but Hubby and I love a  good documentary. Over the weekend we rented Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox from Netflix. It was a really intriguing film about the legacy of a man, and now a family.

Since my parents were some of the hippies who flocked to his “magic soap,” I’ve grown up on Dr. Bronner’s .  I’ve always loved the tingly feeling of the peppermint, and the fact that it’s biodegradable. I enjoy their lotions too, and have the lavender one at my bed side.

I remember sometime in childhood asking my Mom about the religious/spiritual messages on the soap labels…all-one seemed like a unifying belief, but I wasn’t so sure how the rest of it fit together…Dr Bronner’s philosophy blends lots of different truths to create his own unique truth. 

Dr. Bronner lived a fascinating life, and was steadfast in sharing his truth. CIA files labeled him as a “nutty,” although it’s to know if his shock therapy in the “nut house” only made his preaching more emphatic. Disturbingly, he sacrificed his children for his cause, and they grew up in orphanages while he traveled sharing his gospel.  I don’t want to give away the whole film, but the trailer is below and you can start to get a feel for the zany scientist/soap-maker/spiritual speaker. 

I also learned some more reasons to love Dr. Bronner’s soap:

  • First to produce a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle.
  • Organic and proud of it – they’ve been working hard to keep the standards high
  • Fair Trade – and not just their supply chain – DB’s top execs make no more than 5 times the lowest paid employee, and all staff have health care and retirement plans
  • Advocates for industrial hemp – hemp’s high omegas make it great for soap!

Dr. Bronner’s granddaughter is a mom, and has a blog all about her ways of going green.

As suggested, I use it for both personal hygiene and household cleaning. I have yet to try all of the ways they suggest using it though, and I’m planning to get more adventurous in my usage. If you start using Dr. Bronner’s religiously, I promise you’ll save your family money and promote sustainable and people-friendly business practices.

Here’s the trailer to the film about the magic soap maker:

Does your family use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Story of Citizens

As always, I can’t help but share my enthusiasm for Annie Leonard and her brilliant Story of Stuff films series. So here’s the latest, which is about corporate power and how citizens lost control. It’s less than ten minutes, and you’ll no doubt be inspired…or at least motivated to take action:

What are your thoughts on the film/topic?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.