Issue One of Crunchy Chicken's Low Impact Week
For many years we've tried to keep our energy consumption low--partly for the sake of the environment and party because we are cheap. We've keep our heat at slightly less than 60 degrees during the winter. (Being a knitter and wanting to wear all those heavy wool sweaters certainly helps--as does a delicious pair of silk long underwear.) We air dry in the dishwasher, use cold water in the washing machine, don't have television in our lives, etc.
This week we've been talking about a couple of additional steps we could take. One is a longer-term project--and one we've made a commitment to do regularly.
Amy's example convinced us to try to hang our laundry out rather than use the dryer as much as we do. Hanging a line in our tiny yard was a bit complicated, but we found an alternative line dryer that is like a cross between an indoor rack and a regular outdoor clothesline.
Of course, right after we we found it, the heavens opened and it has been pouring rain since.
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David and I started a much larger conversation--actually, we took an old conversation to a more intense level--about how to green up our house in more substantial ways. Recently we switched to wind power, partly as a result of Lolly's inspirational prodding. But now, even though our electric comes from a clean source, we'd like to reduce our usage further. Should we replace our beautiful but terribly-inefficient ancient windows? During the winter you can hear arctic winds whistling through the house--which is awful for energy efficiency. (On the other hand, we might worry less about VOCs etc. because of our excellent ventilation....)
And then there is the question of a solar water heater. Can we afford it? Do we have the right exposure and the right kind of roof?
We're started our quest for more information. Have any of you had any experience with either solar water heaters or window replacement? I'd love to hear!