Cold Weather, Low Energy Tips
10/16/2005 03:09:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Found this in the comments of a GNN.com article:

>From a Reader living in Quebec, Canada :

Tips to stay warm and sleep tight even if it is rather cold in the house:

– On the whole, get ready for Winter, just like people use to do when things were not that easy. And have fun doing it. – The best trick for all areas where people experience cold and damp nights : Heat up some bricks or nice flat stones in the oven, wrap them up in many layers of newspapers, put them under the sheets at the foot of the bed some time before going to bed. The newspaper will act as in insulator for the bed sheets to not be damaged by the hot bricks and for the sleeper to not burn his feet and it will allow for the heat to be released slowly. It will probably stay warm till morning. And as it provides dry heat, it balances out the dampness in the air that occurs when a room is not heated enough. Try it, it is wonderful. [LD: also a hot-water bottle works, but is a petro product.] – Sleep with a woollen cap (tuque) on or something like that. Body heat escapes from the top of the head. The hat will prevent the body heat loss. And wear wool socks on the feet. – Make your own down comforter. It is easy to fabricate – once you get your hands on some down feathers of course – and duvet is the warmest of blankets you can ever find. If you can’t make it, buy a used sleeping bag of good quality or an old fur coat at the thrift store. – If all family members wear warm clothes in the house รข?” good sweaters, body warmers, woolen socks, slippers, you can keep a house at only 60°F or 15°C all day long and it will be all right. Everybody will get use to that temperature and not even notice after a while. This is what I do here every winter. It is important to keep the back of one’s body, the belly and the feet real warm. The rest of the body will take care of itself if these parts are warm and nobody will catch a cold. – Eat hot meals, like porridges for breakfast, hearty soups, stews or crepes for dinner, etc. food that provides heat and burns slowly in the body, without being expensive or taking a long time to prepare. Choose a recipe that requires the use of the oven for a long time, like baked beans. It is the right type of food in a cold season and the oven releases heat slowly, for hours, thus keeping the kitchen warm. And the smell of the food while it is cooking pleases everybody. – Never be cheap regarding heating the basement; keep it around 60°F too. A warm basement assures you comfort on the first floor without spending so much energy. A cold basement on the contrary will not allow you to build a really comfortable temperature on the first floor. – Forget the fireplace to warm up a room; it is a romantic idea that doesn’t stand a reality check. The chimney sucks up almost all the heat which goes out immediately. You can feel warm next to the fire; but if you stand back a little, you notice how cold the rest of the room is. It is not a matter of contrast really. It is because the heat in the rest of the room has gone up the chimney. Unless you have a slow combustion type of fireplace with a system that pushes back the heat into the room or a good old wood stove, forget about buying wood. – Seal the windows by covering them with a layer of plastic if you can feel a draught coming through or see ice forming on the glass. The layer of plastic makes a big difference and it is a cheap material. And curtains are important too. Close all the curtains and shades at nightfall to keep the cold out. – If you have young kids and you want to warm up the bathroom real quick in the morning, run the hot water in the shower or bathtub for a couple of minutes. – If you live in a area where snow is abundant, use it to draught proof the house on the outside. It is an old trick from the pioneers era. Build up a snow bank against the outside walls around the house, as high as you can. Inside the snow bank, the temperature stays the same. Even if it is minus 20-30° outside and windy, the temperature into the snow bank does not change (if I remember correctly, it stays at some 26°F or minus 4°C); so the snow helps keep your basement protected against the wind and the very low temperature, thus assisting you in your effort to keep the basement and house warm. It will also help tremendously if your basement is damaged and shows cracks. In my house, a snow cover stopped the water in the pipes from freezing before I had the basement repaired. It is that efficient. – If the kids have to walk to school in cold weather, you can cook them a hard-boiled egg that they will carry in their mittens to keep their fingers warm. When the egg is cold, they can eat it (fancy eh?).

I wish you a nice time reinventing living amid the changes.

With love,
Huguette….” (unquote)

The jist of the article that the comment was made under was a rebuttal to renewables saving ourselves from peak oil. Depressing and a negative view from a doomer, but worth reading (like a good smack in the face to wake yourself up.)

Some of Kane's personal solutions, more like a preparedness list like we've been discussing lately:

Small wind turbines should be investigated, and perhaps, invested into by those who can afford to do so. However it may not be possible to install such systems in urban or suburban areas. Law likely prohibits this, and it may be a good time to take strides towards finding out what the legislation is in your area and how, or if, this can be changed. There is a good online handbook addressing small wind turbine installations. Wind and solar hybrid systems are discussed and look somewhat promising. [7]

Fire places and wood burning stoves are good investments. It is best to burn cedar and maple woods, seasoned for at least 6 months. After 4 years the wood may start to lose carbon content and burn less efficiently. A good tarp covering the wood to avoid getting water logged is important.

It would be wise to have supplies for a minimum of 2 weeks on hand in your home. Lighters, matches, candles, flashlights, batteries, crank radio, heavy blankets, bottled water, and canned goods are necessities in times of blackouts, crisis or shortages. Make sure to store things that you need as opposed to accumulated junk from years past. In case of problems with municipal water systems, it is worth having multiple buckets/barrels that could be used to collect rainwater or rainwater run-off.

Run-off comes from your roof and is quite an efficient form of water collection. However, roofing shingles are made with petroleum which may present a problem for human consumption. Perhaps a tarp can be set up to gather water and funnel it into a barrel or bucket. Let your roof or tarp be pounded for a long period of time before starting your collection – this should help rinse off chemicals. Jan Lundberg can go into further detail on this, as I first read about this from his own experience living in the redwood forest.

Relocation should be considered. Water and food are primary concerns. Electricity is a luxury that is not required for survival; you can go to sleep when it is dark, and wake to the sun. Ready yourself for a humble lifestyle, as the Indigenous Natives of what is rightly called Turtle Island [8] have told us for so long.

Ultimately – based upon the current will and mind state of society – I am convinced there won’t be any tech-“no-logic” solutions, as my dear friend Tiokasin Ghost Horse has profoundly stated on many occasions. Internalizing critical knowledge and cultivating spiritual practice are the only way forward to true sustainability.

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