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Herb de Bray

Bigger is not necessaryily better.If it's big it has more plumbing and plumbing can freeze or rupture under northern conditions.
Smaller is actually better but we're stuck with the demographic think of 30-50 years ago when keeping up was abig deal.
I say no more SUV's unless you need it in the country for saftey and business, use solar power or wind, get rid of theelctric water tank and put in a gas water heater that's tankless. Walk and get you internal temperature normalized so you not so dependent on heat. gas is cheap use it and convert the ould oil boiler. It's been done.
we can't gut and tear down allthe oldre house but there are creative ways to save energy, lose weight and the dog will love it. They hate heat and love love.
The eskimoes slepp all together, naked in a snow house . How's that for cosy and the dogs are outside, all alive and healthier than ours.


Our college just had an Environmental Week. We hosted a speaker and, for four days, provided free screenings of "An Inconvenient Truth." Last Wednesday had been the first time I saw the film...and I cried. What the heck are we thinking?

Let's start with one person in an SUV. Need a large car for kids? Apparently you've shown you have enough money for two vehicles; therefore, one can be a Kia to get you to work. The only time anyone should be alone in an SUV is when driving to pick up a baseball team from the field.

Let's continue by not buying *everything* we think we need. Start with 7" plates for meals. Change our mindset from consuming everything we see, PacMan-like, to getting only what we truly need.

Let's stop buying massive homes on huge lots and go for more townhomes and apartment living. Let's get tax breaks for living in an apartment and saving the earth's resources.

So strange that we have the dichotomy of one hand with many people aiming for large homes and paying for storage units, and the other hand with many people aiming for a small condo on Chicago's Gold Coast, or mini apartment in New York, or that tiny cabin on a cruise that seems to fill all our needs at the time...

To the original comment: Fewer occasions of central heating and more fireplaces and solar collectors and family members to make it a warm place to be.


If you have looked into solar energy as a method for heating your home, panels are usually the first things that come up. There are, however, other unique methods.

The Solar Heating Aspect You Have Never Heard of Before

The power of the sun is immense. The energy in one day of sunlight is more than the world needs. The problem, of course, is how does one harness this power. Solar panels represent the obvious solution, but they have their downside. First, they can be expensive depending upon your energy needs. Second, they do not exactly blend in with the rest of your home.

Passive solar heating represents a panel free method of harnessing the inherent energy found in the sun for heating purposes. If you come out from a store and open the door of your car in the summer, you understand the concept of passive solar heating. A wide variety of material absorbs sunlight and radiates the energy back into the air in the form of heat. Passive solar heating for a home works the same way as the process which overheats your car in the parking lot.

William Draves

Stephen, great comment. Hadn't thought about small houses needing central heating. And I agree with you about McMansions and SUVs.

Stephen Downes

I just put in a new furnace. Natural gas, so it will cost less and use less energy than the old electric furnace (power here in New Brunswick is generated using coal- and oil-fired plants, not Hydro as in Ontario and Quebec).

Why? Certain not because I think central heating is dead!

First of all, it was -20 outside last night. Without serious heating, it gets cold very quickly where I live.

Secondly, it is not practical to heat individual rooms separately. Perhaps you live in a very big house with rooms you don't use a lot. I don't.

I would focus on the smaller houses instead of attacking central heating - today the suburbs are filled with McMansions. There's no need for that.

Or better yet, focus on cars, SUVs, and other wasteful personal transportation - and the enormous lobbies against public transportation that make them a necessity.

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