Make Love Heat the House

Ultimately, the success or failure of the green building movement may hinge on how good we are at being teachers, not builders. It's much easier to go through a LEED checklist than to show someone how to build a green building. But it's much more interesting and valuable (and fun!) when designers or builders tell war stories.

A man named Jack Aley used to guest-lecture to environmental studies classes at Bowdoin College when I was a student there. He talked about the house he had built in coastal Maine. Throughout the presentation, he always returned to one theme: "Simple and elegant. Passive solar! Face it south! Superinsulation! Thermal mass. It's simple, it's elegant." Jack heated his house with a small woodstove, but he said it was so tight you could heat the place by making love. Jack boiled down this confusing field of green building to a few shouted words.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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