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  • DIY Biomass: Briquettes, Presses, Logs, and More

    “Biomass” is one of those terms like “alternative energy”: it could be a sustainable approach to energy generation, but isn’t always. I once sat through a talk by an energy services company executive in which he argued that forest biomass (think trees, undergrowth, etc., cut for burning) was carbon-neutral because “the plants could grow back.” […] More

  • Heat, Not Just Precipitation Changes, a Major Crop Concern

    It’s long been understood that precipitation changes from global warming (i.e. droughts and floods) pose major crop problems. However, what has not been so widely discussed up to now is how much heat, itself, could cause considerable crop problems. Crops scientists are now finding, though, that this is a major problem.. already. More

  • What is Life Like Without an Air Conditioner?

    For the past two weeks, talk about the weather has been a very, very hot topic. (Godawful pun, forgive me.) For good reason. Here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri, daytime temperatures have been in the mid 90s consistently, peaking as high as 100°. Nighttime temperatures have brought little to no relief. On top […] More

  • farmhouse windows

    Are Replacement Windows The Only Option For An Old House?

    We’re all aware to some degree the energy savings that can be realized with the right windows in your house. And, many of us have faced the dilemma of moving forward with these efficiency upgrades while limiting the aesthetic architectural damage that might come to a coveted home as a result. Many of the finest […] More

  • Energy Start-Up Wants to Harvest Your Body Heat

    So we’ve all heard lots about the benefits of solar energy, but there’s another energy source you may have never considered harvesting: body heat. Yes, that’s right—your body could be expending usable energy right now as we speak. The “hybrid energy harvesting device” created by Fujitsu Laboratories would work with solar energy to complete a […] More

  • Beat the Heat with Coconut Water

    There’s something about the first couple days of heat that always gets to me. Even though summer hasn’t officially begun, it’s been unseasonably hot here in Missouri. After sweating all day on the farm, I come home feeling worn out and dehydrated. The one thing that really helps me adjust to summer temperatures is coconut […] More

  • Off Grid Solar Living: Lessons in Energy Efficiency

    I get a lot of people that ask me ‘What’s it like to live off the grid?’  I think a lot of people picture us huddled around a candle in darkened cabin in the middle of the woods.  Well for the first couple weeks we moved into our home, that’s exactly what it was like!  […] More

  • Asphalt Heats Up Solar Power

    I don’t like wearing shoes or socks, but I live in Minnesota so most months out of the year I don’t have a choice. I remember one time when I was a teenager, I decided to walk barefoot down the paved road in front of my parents’ house. It was a beautiful summer day, but […] More