Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quick Bites: Thursday, May 22nd

This weekend, Katie and I went on the Putney Solar & Green Energy Home Tour. We visited an incredible owner built home on Putney Mountain that Katie said was "inspirational." It had a home made solar array supplying only 600 watts to the battery bank, but it was no small house. Everything was well thought out from the siting to the appliances: the fridge was gas, the stove which also supplied the hot water was wood, and they had a masonry stove for heating during the winter. They even had a washer and dryer.

Like pollinators, but don't want to keep honeybees? Why not get a native bee nesting block?

Or perhaps bats are more your style. Most bats in the U.S. are insectivores so keeping bats around is a great way to keep your garden healthy. Sadly bats in the Northeast have succumbed to an illness (currently called white nose syndrome) that uses up their fat stores for hibernation this winter. The bat houses that you can make or buy may not be occupied year round, because many species of bats are migratory, but they can hold hundreds at a time when they are occupied.

If you're thinking of replacing your consumer electronics (i.e. iPods, cell phones, etc) you might be interested in the CExchange. They help you appriase your product, then you mail it to them where they refurbish or recycle it, and send you money. Like Craigslist or eBay without the hassle.

My mom has been happily using a Sun Oven instead of her own indoor stove for the last couple of months and she swears that she'll write a review for me soon. But to tide myself over I found this review of solar ovens by Cooks Illustrated. It turns out that you can even use them as far north as Boston.

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