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Solar energy is an abundant resource. Once a curiosity, solar electric systems are becoming commonplace. As we transition away from finite and polluting fossil fuels, clean, reliable and affordable renewable technologies such as solar electricity will become the mainstay of our energy supply.
Solar Electricity Basics provides a clear understanding of the sun, solar energy and solar electric systems. It discusses the theoretical, practical and economic aspects of residential solar installations including inverters, batteries and controllers, costs of solar electric systems, financial incentives, system installation and maintenance, permits, covenants, utility interconnection, and buying a system.
Whether your goal is to lower your energy bill through a grid-connected system or to achieve complete energy independence, Solar Electricity Basics is the introduction you need.
Author: Dan Chiras
As fossil fuel supplies dwindle, home heating will be one of the major challenges in temperate and cold climates. The reserves of natural gas used to heat the majority of North American buildings are rapidly being depleted. This latest Green Energy Guide helps readers who want to slash their energy bills and reduce their dependence on scarce resources to navigate the sometimes-confusing maze of clean, reliable and affordable options.
Solar Home Heating Basics focuses on renewable energy strategies to heat new and existing homes and small businesses. These include:
While most solar home heating resources are geared primarily towards new buildings, this practical and easy-to-understand guide also addresses ways of retrofitting existing buildings, making solar a reality for many people.
Packed with all the essential information home and small-business owners need to find alternatives to conventional heating solutions, Solar Home Heating Basics is your key to a personal energy.
Author: Dan Chiras
Nutrition, environmental impact, ethics, sustainability — it seems like there's no end to the factors we must consider when we think about our food. At the center of the dietary storm is animal-based agriculture. Was your beef factory-farmed or pasture-raised? Did your chicken free range, or was it raised in a battery cage? Have you, in short, met your meat?
Most efforts to unravel the complexities of the production and consumption of animal protein tend to pit meat eaters and vegetarians against each other. The Ethical Meat Handbook seeks a middle ground, arguing that by assuming full responsibility for the food on our fork, and more importantly, the route by which it gets there, we can make animals an optimal source of food, fiber and environmental management. This hands-on, practical guide covers:
Eating diversely may be the most revolutionary and proactive action we can take to ensure the sustainability of our food system. The Ethical Meat Handbook challenges us to take a hard look at our individual dietary choices, increase our self-reliance and at the same time enjoy delicious food that benefits our health and our planet.
Author: Meredith Leigh
There has never been a better time to make and sell great cheese. People worldwide are consuming more high-quality, handmade cheese than ever before. The number of artisan cheesemakers has doubled in recent years, and many of the industry's newcomers are "farmstead" producers — those who work only with the milk of their own animals. More than ever before, the people who choose to become farmer-cheesemakers need access to the knowledge of established cheese artisans who can help them build their dream.
Few career choices lead to such extremes of labor, emotion and monetary challenge. In The Farmstead Creamery Advisor, respected cheesemaker, instructor and speaker Gianaclis Caldwell walks would-be producers through the many, and often confusing, steps and decisions they will face when considering a career in this burgeoning cottage industry. This book fills the gap that exists between the pasture and cheese plate. It goes far beyond issues of caring for livestock and basic cheesemaking, explaining business issues such as:
Drawing from her own and other cheesemakers' experiences, Caldwell brings to life the story of creating a successful cheesemaking business in a practical, organized manner. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in becoming a licensed artisan cheesemaker, The Farmstead Creamery Advisor will also appeal to the many small and hobby-farm owners who already have milking animals and who wish to improve their home dairy practices and facilities.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Author: Gianaclis Caldwell
This exciting book takes the reader on a tour of fourteen natural building methods, including straw bale, rammed earth, cordwood, adobe, earthbags, earthships, and more. You'll learn how these homes are built, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of each.
Author: Daniel D. Chiras
A great overview of green building techniques, materials, products and technologies that are either currently available or will be in the near future. Author Dan Chiras provides practical information for home buyers, owner-builders and anyone interested in building for a sustainable future.
Author: Dan Chiras
The Scoop on Poop presents a wide range of ways to answer the call of nature, and in so doing maximize the benefits of existing wastewater. This book explores proven alternatives to Western wastewater disposal. Whether you're interested in composting toilets, outdoor greywater or blackwater planters, constructed wetlands, or other innovative solutions, author Dan Chiras will walk you through:
All system plans are relatively simple and straightforward — enough so that the average homeowner can build and install them. Intended for readers who live in cities, towns and rural environments, this is a practical guide to safe, ingenious ways to capture the nutrients from waste and recycle them back into your soil to grow fruit trees, vegetables and flowers — all without running afoul of the "ick" factor.
Author: DAN CHIRAS
There has never been a better time to be making and selling great cheese. People worldwide are consuming more high-quality, handmade cheese than ever before. The number of artisan cheesemakers has doubled in recent years, and many of the industry's newcomers are "farmstead" producers-those who work only with the milk of their own animals. Today, more than ever before, the people who choose to become farmer- cheesemakers need access to the knowledge of established cheese artisans who can help them build their dream.
Few career choices lead to such extremes of labor, emotion and monetary challenge. In The Small-Scale Cheese Business (originally published as The Farmstead Creamery Advisor in 2010), respected cheesemaker, instructor and speaker Gianaclis Caldwell walks would-be producers through the many, and often confusing, steps and decisions they will face when considering a career in this burgeoning cottage industry. This book fills the gap that exists between the pasture and cheese plate. It goes far beyond issues of caring for livestock and basic cheesemaking, explaining business issues such as:
Drawing from her own and other cheesemakers' experiences, Caldwell brings to life the story of creating a successful cheesemaking business in a practical, organized manner. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in becoming a licensed artisan cheesemaker, The Small-Scale Cheese Business will also appeal to the many small- and hobby-farm owners who already have milking animals and who wish to improve their home dairy practices and facilities.
Author: Gianaclis Caldwell
The Small-Scale Dairy includes everything you need to know in order to successfully produce nourishing, healthy, farm-fresh milk. Whether for home use, direct sale to the consumer, or sale to an artisanal cheesemaker, high-quality raw milk is a delicate, desirable product. Successful and sustainable production requires the producer to consider and tackle many details, ranging from animal care to microbiology to good hygienic practices-and, for those with commercial aspirations, business plans, market savvy and knowledge of the regulations.
Applicable to keepers of cows, goats or sheep, The Small-Scale Dairy offers a holistic approach that explores the relationships between careful, conscientious management and the production of safe, healthy and delicious milk. A historical overview offers readers a balanced perspective on the current regulatory environment in which raw milk lovers find themselves.
Included are options for designing a well-functioning small dairy, choosing equipment and understanding myriad processes-such as the use of low-temperature pasteurization where raw milk sales are prohibited. Whether you have a one-cow home dairy, a 50-goat operation or are simply a curious consumer, The Small-Scale Dairy is an accessible and invaluable resource for achieving your goals.
Author: Gianaclis Caldwell
Before you build your home, read this definitive guide to designing with the sun in mind by Mother Earth News contributing editor Dan Chiras. Learn how you can cut your energy bills in half by choosing the best passive solar heating and cooling techniques.
Passive solar heating and passive cooling — approaches known as natural conditioning — provide comfort throughout the year by reducing, or eliminating, the need for fossil fuel. Yet while heat from sunlight and ventilation from breezes is free for the taking, few modern architects or builders really understand the principles involved.
Now Chiras, author of the popular book The Natural House, brings those principles up to date for a new generation of solar enthusiasts.
The techniques required to heat and cool a building passively have been used for thousands of years. Early societies such as the Native American Anasazis and the ancient Greeks perfected designs that effectively exploited these natural processes. The Greeks considered anyone who didn't use passive solar to heat a home to be a barbarian!
In the United States, passive solar architecture experienced a major resurgence of interest in the 1970s in response to crippling oil embargoes. With grand enthusiasm but with scant knowledge (and sometimes little common sense), architects and builders created a wide variety of solar homes. Some worked pretty well, but looked more like laboratories than houses. Others performed poorly, overheating in the summer because of excessive or misplaced windows and skylights, and growing chilly in the colder months because of insufficient thermal mass and insulation and poor siting.
In The Solar House, Chiras sets the record straight on the vast potential for passive heating and cooling. Acknowledging the good intentions of misguided solar designers in the past, he highlights certain egregious — and entirely avoidable — errors. More importantly, Chiras explains in methodical detail how today's home builders can succeed with solar designs.
Now that energy efficiency measures including higher levels of insulation and multilayered glazing have become standard, it is easier than ever before to create a comfortable and affordable passive solar house that will provide year-round comfort in any climate.
Moreover, because modern building materials and airtight construction methods sometimes result in air-quality and even toxicity problems, Chiras explains state-of-the-art ventilation and filtering techniques that complement the ancient solar strategies of thermal mass and daylighting. Chiras also explains the new diagnostic aids available in printed worksheet or software formats, allowing readers to generate their own design schemes.
About the author
Daniel D. Chiras is the author of The Natural House. He holds a doctorate in physiology and teaches courses on sustainability and environmental health at the Universities of Colorado and the University of Denver. He is the author of five college and high school textbooks as well as other books on global environmental issues. Chiras is also an avid musician, organic gardener, river runner and bicyclist. He lives with his family in a passive solar/solar electric, straw bale and rammed tire house in Evergreen, Colo.
Author: Dan Chiras
Wind power is the fastest-growing source of energy in the world, and by the year 2020 it is projected to supply at least 12 percent of global electrical demand.
Wind Power Basics provides a clear understanding of wind and wind energy systems including turbines, towers, inverters and batteries, site assessment, installation, and maintenance requirements.
Whether you're considering your own small-scale wind energy system or just want a straightforward, detailed introduction to the benefits and challenges of this rapidly emerging technology, Wind Power Basics is the guide for you.
About the author:
Dan Chiras is a respected educator and author who has published more than 25 books on residential renewable energy and green building, including Power From the Wind. He is the director of the Evergreen Institute, where he teaches workshops on small wind energy systems, solar electricity, passive solar design, energy efficiency, and green and natural building.
Author: Dan Chiras
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