Mounting evidence suggests that it’s time to take
global warming seriously, and the rising costs of gas and
oil are making everyone nervous. Clearly it’s time to
explore how to make our lives more self-reliant and secure.
In this issue, “Slash Your Heating Bills” outlines how you can reduce your heating costs this
winter. Last issue, we brought you a series of articles
about how to choose a more fuel-efficient car, and we are
planning to increase our coverage of energy issues in 2006.
For more inspiration and advice right now, check out our
digital Archive. MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers have been reporting on clever, conscientious
and sometimes corny energy-efficiency ideas for more than
35 years, and all of Mother’s articles can be
accessed through the Archive. It’s amazing how many
excellent ideas and exceptional projects we’ve
published over the years. All of that wisdom is
particularly valuable now, as we confront the twin
challenges of global warming and declining supplies of
Here’s a sample of the articles in the Archive about
low-cost, easy-to-install solar hot-air collectors:
Ultra-simple Solar Hot-air Wall Heater. This unit is made
by covering a 1-by-6-foot wood frame with clear plastic,
mounting the panel on a south-facing wall and installing
top and bottom vents into the home.
Recycled Aluminum Can Solar Heater. Cans cut in half are
used to construct the absorber plate for this double-glazed
solar hot-air collector. Temperatures in the collector
reach more than 200 degrees, and the original unit reduced
the heating costs of a New England church by more than 60
Storm Window Solar Heating Panels. This article details how
to use recycled storm windows to make a solar hot-air
collector that delivers heat into the home through a vent
installed into a south-facing window.
There are several ways you can tap into MOTHER’s
digital Archive. You can buy all three volumes of our
Archive CDs and have nearly 7,000 articles at your
fingertips, no Internet connection required. Or, you can search the Archive online. If you just want to read more
about home heating options, you can visit a special
collection of articles at www.MotherEarthNews.com/Energy-Efficient-Home-Heating-Cooling.
Also online, we offer a great selection of books and plans here. Of particular interest for
this winter are two excellent books: Natural Home Heating
by Greg Pahl and The Home Energy Diet by Paul Scheckel.