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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!

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..

A Man Apart: Remembering Bill Coperthwaite’s Radical Life

A Man Apart is the story—part family memoir and part biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow’s longtime friendship with Bill Coperthwaite (A Handmade Life), whose unusual, and even radical, life and fierce ideals helped them examine and understand their own. Framed by Coperthwaite’s sudden death and brought alive through the month-long adventure of building with […] Read More..