Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Frugal living (129)

How to keep cool without air conditioning

Mother Earth News / Stan Cox / August/September 2015

At current usage rates, air conditioning U.S. homes, businesses, schools and vehicles releases fossil carbon and fluorocarbon refrigerants that have a total annual global-warming impact equivalent to a half-billion tons of carbon dioxide. Eliminating these emissions from air conditioning would benefit the atmosphere as much as shutting down 140 typical coal-fired power plants would.

Air conditioning also eats a sizable chunk of our budgets. In the United States, I estimate that our collective annual electric bill for cooling our homes is about $30 billion. The yearly cost per household ranges from about $200 in the Northeast to more than $450 in the sweltering South.

So, how do we wean ourselves off of this energy-intensive habit? The range of natural ways to cool your home depends on where you live: in the North or South, on a forested hillside or in an urban heat island, in an apartment or a house. But whatever your situation, you can find natural cooling methods to stay comfortable without air conditioning — starting by adjusting your internal dial.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

5 container gardening tips

Mother Earth News / Jennifer Poindexter / 28 April 2017

I look forward to spring every year. I start planning my small raised bed vegetable and herb garden about a month before I can actually put anything on the ground. I learned the hard way that I need to be patient lest I lose everything to an unexpected frost.

My yard is not very big so, I have always filled clay pots with brightly colored flowers to place around the outside of my home. Over the past couple of years, I have expanded my container gardening to include fruits, vegetables, and herbs, not just flowers. I have discovered that I can grow almost anything in a container. Here is what I have learned from my container gardening adventures.

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Voluntary simplicity: Resources

Transition Brockville / 05 May 2017

Here are resources — websites, books and videos — mentioned by TB Steering Committee member Christine Stesky in her presentation and discussion on voluntary simplicity on Sunday, April 23.

  • The Simplicity Collective

    Voluntary simplicity, or simple living, is a way of life that rejects the high-consumption, materialistic lifestyles of consumer cultures and affirms what is often just called ‘the simple life’ or ‘downshifting.’ The rejection of consumerism arises from the recognition that ordinary Western-style consumption habits are degrading the planet; that lives of high consumption are unethical in a world of great human need; and that the meaning of life does not and cannot consist in the consumption or accumulation of material things.

  • [ more… ]

Planting with preserving in mind

Mother Earth News / Mary Moss-Sprague / 28 February 2013

In order to have enough stores to last through the next winter, one must know the quantity of product that will be needed.

The possibilities are mouth-watering and tempting. Tomatoes, apples, string beans, carrots, peas, okra, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, berries, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pickling cucumbers, grapes, greens, beets, garlic, onions, potatoes, asparagus, peppers, herbs, squash, and other items all lend themselves well to canning, drying or freezing. Some methods work better for certain items than others. In this instance, we will focus on vegetables designated for canning, and the quantities to plan on growing for “putting up the harvest.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Westerners urged to reduce carbon footprint

Climate News Network / Terry Macalister / 21 January 2017

Global carbon emissions could be cut by one-third within 12 months if affluent westerners changed their way of life, claims a leading climate change scientist.

Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at Manchester University, in the UK, says a major reduction in personal air travel is a key starting point.

More than half of the carbon dioxide pollution that causes a large part of global warming comes from the 10% best-off people on the planet, he argues.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

How to sharpen and maintain gardening tools

Mother Earth News / Shelley Stonebrook / 29 April 2016

Where would we be without our trusty gardening tools? With a little tender loving care, there’s no reason they shouldn’t last for many years.

You can easily maintain your gardening tools to keep them as good as new. Keep the following tips in mind.

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The Transition Framework

The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.

— Chris Rhodes, Resource Insights (03 June 2013)
TB Projects

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