Category Archives: Energy

Learning the Lessons of Love and Loss, Hope and Sacrifice

Sometime around 1890, in Perth, Scotland, my ancestors made the difficult, possibly desperate, definitely courageous decision to send half of their children to America. Away would go three adult sons – a blacksmith, a tailor and a soon-to-be farmer – … Continue reading

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A 2-Step Plan to Kick Fossil Fuels

A Life-Changing Talk Leads to an Energy Plan Like many people, I want to do what I can to live more sustainably and to reduce my carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels. But once you get past the obvious … Continue reading

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Efficiency Won’t Cut It. We Have to Power Down.

Energy efficiency sounds nice, but the reality is, it’s a double-edged sword. It hasn’t allowed us to meet carbon reduction goals. Only powering down will move us in the direction of a sustainable future. Continue reading

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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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