Day Two Living Without Spending Money or Using Energy: Thanks for Nothing Month

| 1/8/2014 8:27:00 AM

Tags: rural life, Blue Rock Station, simple living, Annie Warmke, Ohio,


“Just for today I will touch the arm of every person I speak to face-to-face.  This one act has the power to create a connection between us.”

Mornings during THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH are a challenge during these beginning days of the month.  Each year we forget how much thought goes into the process of having hot water.  And hot water is the first thing needed in the morning, and nearly the last thing required in the evening.  

The wood stove in the living room is the only active source of heat for our home, an “Earthship” designed by the architect Michael Reynolds.  The home is constructed with rammed-earth tires, cans, bottles and lots of other re-purposed items.  Because the basic premise of the home is to use the concept of thermal mass for heating and cooling, the house naturally never falls below 55 degrees F, even with no heat source.

The only sources of hot water include a large old-fashioned enamel water kettle, and a small modern metal tea pot which are heated on of the top of the wood stove.  This hot water is used for washing dishes, filling up the solar shower bag that’s used for an evening shower, and, most importantly, for hot tea and coffee.  It takes a bit of planning to not run out of hot water, and that’s where our month of no electricity and money gets off to a rocky start.

For example:  Unless someone gets up in the night to put wood into the stove, in the morning the water in the tea kettles is only lukewarm.  The room is still plenty warm, and the stove is still hot, but the tea kettles loose their heat rather quickly.  Since Jay loves his morning cup of coffee, and I crave a proper cup of morning tea, this causes us to huddle around the stove, waiting for the smaller tea kettle to begin to “sing” that it’s finally hot enough.

6/3/2014 9:24:41 AM

In the Philippines, where there is a lot of sunshine, I used a large magnifying lens (Ebay)to heat up pots and to start a fire. In a long past Mother Earth News, I remember seeing a "hay box" that kept a cast iron pot of stew hot for 12 hours or so.

1/8/2014 10:39:12 PM

Dear Annie Warmkie; No waterjacket in your stove. they are very simple to install. I always have plenty of hot water. It's much easier to heat water in the stove than on it. Maybe next month since you would have to buy a couple pieces of pipe.

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