|By Steve Balogh in Composting, Conservation, Energy, Gardening, Green Building, Green Living, How To, Peak Oil, Solar | July 6, 2008|
From baloghblog – a snippet:
As I sit here, taking a break from life, far, far away from home…
The beer tastes cold and crisp, the warm sun being replaced by a cool breeze from off shore, and the birds are circling lazily on the updrafts. All feels well for the time being. But, like a distant rumble of thunder and a flash of light on the horizon, a feeling of uneasiness nags at me – a soft pang of guilt rolls into my subconscious.
“What have I done over the past 3 years to prepare for what approaches over the horizon?”
“What could I have done that would have been ‘enough’?”
The answer to those questions appear to be not enough and it’s never enough.
So in order to come to grips with those thoughts and emotions, I’ll do what I always do to work through overwhelming periods in my life… I’ll make a list. What should I do to fulfill my dreams, and to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground? Where should I be now or in the near future?
I should be in a home with a low mortgage payment and taxes, perhaps one I’ve designed myself, more likely one that I’ve made changes to, to suit my family’s needs. It should be in walking distance to the grocery store, shops, and services. Public transportation should be convenient and my friends and family nearby. I should know my neighbors’ names within 3 homes on either side. My plot of land should be manageable and I’d enjoy the bounty of a small productive garden and a range of fruit and nut trees.
Ideally, my home would be extremely energy efficient and insulated, and require only a small wood stove to keep us warm through the winter and several fans to keep us cool in the hot summer. This ‘dream house’ would include a small solar array to provide enough power for the lighting in each room, to run a high-efficiency chest freezer, the coffee pot, the computer, a stereo and occasionally a small LCD TV. The grid would supply the remaining electricity to power the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and washing machine1. A solar hot water heater would provide hot water for showers in the summer, and an on-demand hot water heater would do the same in the winter, as well as radiant floor heating for the bedrooms in the winter, for the nights that the wood stove just won’t cut it. Homemade insulation inserts would complete the heating (and cooling) system – fitting snugly in the windows. The clothes dryer would be a fading memory, replaced by a clothesline in the summer and a highly efficient centrifuge and drying racks/lines in the winter…