Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Insulate your Home the Cheap and Cheerful Way

What Time is It?
Interested in getting a perspective on what’s going on right now? Check out this world clock by scientist Peter Russell.

Our Drafty Old House
There’s a nip in the air which means only one thing. It’s going to get really cold. Unfortunately, most of us don’t live in a passive house – houses so energy efficient they don’t require furnaces or air conditioners.

If you’re like me you live in a drafty old house or apartment. We moved in to our home this past February and let me tell you the gale force winds coming through the windows and under the base boards was something else. Jane and I want to do a home energy audit but want to save a bit for the high-priced retrofits we know we will have to make.

In the interim we can caulk the bejeebers out of our house – inside and out. It’s going to be a caulking frenzy this fall and I invite you to do the same. Trust me, if I can caulk, anyone can. And what a wonderful opportunity to feel she-womanly or he-manly when you swing a caulking gun. Now is the time to do it because caulking does not respond well when it’s cold – a little something I discovered in March.

You probably know the drafty areas in your home. To help you find out where, burn an incense stick and hold it up against windows, doors and the areas where floors and walls meet. If the smoke waffles, you know you have a draft there.

Do you rent? Offer to caulk your apartment yourself. The caulking is affordable and will help you do your bit to decrease your carbon footprint, increase the comfort of your home, and reduce your utility bills if you pay them.

Not too sure how to caulk? Just ask someone at your local hardware store. It’s pretty easy once you start.

What’s the Big Deal? – According to Dave Reay, author of Climate Change Begins at Home, the home accounts for 36% of your overall carbon footprint. Improving the insulation in your home can cut up to 40% of your home’s contribution. Caulking is of course one component of insulation – but it’s affordable and something you can do right away if needed.

Hot Water Bankie
Jane and I are also going to get a blanket to insulate our water heater thanks to a terrific house warming present from our friends Liz and Dave. It’s a good idea to put an insulating blanket over the pipes in the basement too.

Ontario Election
If you are an Ontarian, you should be well aware that an election is upon us. Given that Ontario has a bit of a coal addiction problem that it’s trying to wean itself off of and the current government doesn’t seem interested in investing heavily in conservation measures, it’s important to get the skinny on the stand of the candidates.

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance has conducted a survey of candidates on their issue of clean energy. Not too many responded I’m afraid.

Click here for the survey results.

Check out the candidates in your riding and visit their websites and/or contact them to find out their stand on coal, nuclear, conservation and renewable energy. You can locate them by visiting:

Ontario Conservative Party
Ontario Green Party
Ontario Liberal Party
Ontario NDP Party

CBC also has useful information on the ridings.

In the News

The Climate Action Network has just launched its Take Real Action site – for Canadians to send a message to the Harper government about Canada’s commitment to Kyoto.

Other News

BBC – The Greenroom

Ecoshock Radio

Green Bloggers

Grist Magazine


My Green Element

New York Times – Environment

Tree Hugger

Zerofootprint Blog

1 comment:

ralph said...

thanks 4 the world clock web's very interesting and timely.