Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

DIY: Cut Your Electric Bill and Beat the Heat

Is your electricity bill rising with the soaring temperatures as you try to stay cool this summer?

By changing a few simple habits you can reduce the heat and your energy costs. Such as: Unplug your electronics when you’re not using them; grill or prepare food instead of cooking with the stove or oven; hang your laundry to dry, draw your drapes during the day – and more.

Already doing these simple things but still sweating?

While these small habitual changes can make a difference, there are deeper, structural changes you can make, too, to make your home more energy efficient. An efficient home is cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and it can help reduce your environmental impact and save you a considerable amount of money.

Jeff Wilson, author of The Greened House Effect, shows you how to slash your energy costs up to 90% in this video, where he does a spray insulation as part of a Deep Energy Retrofit (DER).

Before you rip off your roof and get in over your head, be sure to do a thorough evaluation of your home. A HERS (Home Energy Rating System) test or other energy audit will help you determine where your home is leaking air. Wilson recommends getting an audit because it “will allow you to target the worst perpetrators of energy wasting crimes in your home so that you can concentrate on fixing the big problems first.”

Once you complete your evaluation, you can begin analyzing your problem areas and determine where to start. A full-on DER may not be for every home, but there may be some areas of your home where you can significantly improve your energy efficiency.

Get started by reading the excerpt on Designing Your Deep Energy Retrofit from The Greened House Effect below.

Excerpt: Designing a DER by Chelsea Green Publishing


Get Ready, Get Resilient

Are you resilient? How about we put your answer to the test, literally. Now, we know that assessment is always an important, albeit imperfect, subjective, and incomplete tool. In order to understand one’s skill in living a resilient lifestyle, Ben Falk, author of the award-winning The Resilient Farm and Homestead, developed the following assessment tool. […] Read More

Happy Holidays from Chelsea Green Publishing!

Today we kick off our Holiday Sale — with 35% off every purchase at our online bookstore. Simply use the code CGS16 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Along with this great discount, we are offering free shipping on any order over $100*. Are there homesteaders or organic gardeners on your […] Read More

The 5 Rules of Lean Thinking

Are you ready to co-create the future? These 5 Rules of Lean Thinking are a useful tool as we set out to collectively invent a post-market future. Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food. Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive […] Read More

Using Permaculture Principles to Design Resilient Cities

The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures. Author Toby Hemenway (Gaia’s Garden) lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our […] Read More
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