Category Archives: Energy

Energy Workshop is a Call to Action

I attended a day-long seminar at the engineering school at the U of M back in October: “Energy from Renewables: Confronting Global Collapse.” It was a mix of hope and despair. Lots of good information, much of it new to … Continue reading

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Thinking About Consumption: “Highest Use”

One of the things I’ve been thinking about is whether I am using something for its “highest use ” or “highest purpose” – something like electricity or space or whatever. If what I’m doing is not its highest use (general … Continue reading

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Permaculture Principle 2: Catch and Store Energy

I love this principle because it fits with my belief that we should look at every building and bit of land as having the potential to fulfill multiple functions and that each function should be maximized together as a system, … Continue reading

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Calculating the Impact of the Motor Scooter

This weekend we replaced the battery on the Kymco People 50 motor scooter that Peter rides to work. With a new $50 battery in place, he zoomed off this morning in high spirits, reporting back that the odometer hit 15,000 … Continue reading

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Kitchen Remodel & Energy Efficiency: Natural Gas

Taking The Leap FROM Natural Gas Like most Minnesotans, we use natural gas to heat our home and our water, and we used it to cook our food. It’s an accepted fact that “natural gas is cheaper and easier to … Continue reading

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Kitchen Remodel & Energy Efficiency: Electricity

I admit it — I’m a design junkie. I watch all the kitchen design shows, follow Houzz, Kitchn and TinyHouse, and regularly attend the Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour. I have a Pinterest page where I collect images of kitchen efficiency … Continue reading

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How Thinking of Sustainability Affected our Kitchen Remodel Project

We really USE our house. We host neighborhood soup nights, community meetings, discussion groups, game nights … all with a side of food and drink. We can tomatoes and pickles, sprout seeds, brew beer and wine, bake bread and culture … Continue reading

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Good News: PUC Sets New Values for Health & Environmental Cost of Energy

Train derailments, pipeline spills, explosions – it feels like the energy sector is just one bad news story after another, but that’s not the case in Minnesota. We’ve got a little celebrating to do! At the end of December, the … Continue reading

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Do You Dream of Going Solar?

Fall is the time to start planning for a solar PV (electricity) installation for the coming year. You can learn more about solar energy by taking a class at the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES). This organization also offers site … Continue reading

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Researchers Question Enbridge Oil Spill Risk Assessment Methods

Today is the last day to submit a rebuttal comment to Enbridge’s request before the PUC to increase the carrying capacity of one of its pipelines across northern Minnesota. Yesterday the Vancouver Sun carried an interesting article about Enbridge’s faulty … Continue reading

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