Another great article from Vox media that highlights the disparity of energy use between the top 10% of income earners and everyone else. Really open your eyes just how much privilege certain economic classes get in our society and what that privilege costs the rest of us.
I am going to try something a little different here at the Green Living Library. In the past I have focused on providing articles that provided practical information and how to’s on many different aspects of living a green life. I will continue to do that but every now and then when the mood strikes me I will pluck an article from the internet and analyze it from my perspective. I will tell you what I think of the article where I agree and disagree with what the author is proposing.
Please read the article at the link above before diving into my thoughts on the subject
Here it goes…
Living off the grid is a dream for many of us in America these days. The reason for this are many, some fear the collapse of modern society, others want a life closer to nature and its ebbs and flows and still others simply want a life that has a minimal impact on the environment. Whatever your reasons are many people believe that you have to give up on a modern lifestyle when you you choose to go off the grid.
Thanks to modern technology in power generation, home building and heating and cooling methods of modern life you really don’t have to give up anything at all if its done right.
Now each person's definition of what a truly modern life is will vary depending on your needs and desires so to start this off I will list what I feel like I need for a modern lifestyle.
Well that depends….
As with most things in life this is dependent on your specific situation. Factors like,
Solar power is fast becoming the go to renewable power source for those that wish to generate their own power in a clean and effective way. More reliable, less maintenance, and silent compared to wind solar can be a great option for new and already existing homes. When deciding to add solar to your home there are lots of options to consider about the system like,
In this particular article I am going to go ever the pro’s and con’s of whether or not mounting solar panel on your roof is beneficial or not.
So you have decided to add some solar panels to you home and you know you need to look at all your options to help you decide how big of a system you need. You are probably already familiar with a few of the different factors that must be considered before your first purchase.
Earth sheltering is an ancient and time honored technique for moderating the temperature of a house or other structure without any external energy. It has been used for thousands of years across many cultures starting all the way back with humans who lived in caves. To the right can see a picture of sod houses built in Iceland by some of the early settlers. They not only needed to build out of sod due to the climate of Iceland but also because it was one of the few available resources to build with.
They work off of the very simple fact that the soil maintains a certain temperature year round despite how cold or warm the air outside. This can offer you tremendous advantages when it comes to keeping your home comfortable for no extra cost in money or energy.
The diagram below illustrates what I am talking about about the soil maintaining a steady temperature. Not only do you get the climate control benefits but having a earth sheltered house can protect your home from storms and other forces that nature can throw at you. You home will also be quieter and burying your home in the earth could be a great way to escape city noise.
With properly designed house right from the start it is conceivable to get most if not all your heating needs from the sun. This of course is very dependent on your climate and requires solar design from the ground up. Most of us do not have the luxury of building a passive solar house from the ground up so we have to suffice with adding on solar heat to our house.
A masonry heater as defined by the the Masonry Heater Association of North America is
“... a site-built or site-assembled, solid-fueled heating device constructed mainly of masonry materials in which the heat from intermittent fires burned rapidly in its firebox is stored in its massive structure for slow release to the building. It has an interior construction consisting of a firebox and heat exchange channels built from refractory components.”
To put that in plainer english you could call a masonry heater a big wood stove made out of brick or similar materials that is capable of capturing heat from a burning fuel source and slowly releasing that heat into a space. There are many features that make a masonry a great choice for you home heating needs and I will touch on just a few of them with this article. But to keep things fair I will also go into a few of the cons because you can’t really understand something until you know both sides of it.
Wind vs Solar For Household Power: Exploring The Pros And Cons
If you have chosen to transition to a green energy source in your home, you may be wondering whether wind or solar power is your better option. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question that will apply to every homeowner. This is because wind and solar powered systems work in very different ways to produce electricity for your home. Consequently, this is a decision that each homeowner will need to make on a case by case basis after learning about the way each system works. Below you will learn more about the pros and cons of each of these options so that you can make the choice that is right for you.
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.