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Chelsea Green Blog

Four Ways Curtains Can Curb Your Home Heating Energy Usage

Yes, I realize that after the recent cold front that just washed down from the arctic the last thing many of us are thinking is “How can I reduce my need for heating?” I mean, when it’s -23° outside and you’ve spent the whole day shivering at your desk while sitting next to your giant corner-office window, it is hard to resist the urge to crank up the thermostat when you get home. (Frankly, I would have probably done the same, but my downstairs neighbors have the only thermostat in my building, so I resorted to breaking apart my furniture for wood scraps and burning them in my paper recycling bucket in a big fire pile at the foot of my bed.)

However, if you were able to go through with it and did crank up your thermostat, it’ll be next month when the bill arrives that you’ll really be … feeling the heat. (e-groan)

Here are four tips from Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert, authors of Energy: Use Less—Save More on how to reduce your heating needs…using only your curtains!

  1. Open the curtains during the day if the sun is shining on our windows, and let the sun heat your room.
  2. Draw curtains over windows at night; they provide insulation and help to keep the heat in the room.
  3. Avoid covering radiators with curtains – they will funnel the heat out through the glass of the windows. Tuck them in behind, to enable the radiator heat to come into the room.
  4. If your curtains are thin, line them with thicker fluffy materials, such as brushed cotton, to help keep the heat in.

If you like these tips and would like more just like them delivered to you throughout your work day, sign up for Twitter and follow our @GreenTweet feed. Happy heating!


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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