Useful Tools for Energy Independence

| 12/21/2007 12:00:00 AM

People often find very different solutions to the same problems. Many of us want to be less dependent on fossil fuels, and there are many ways to achieve that goal some rely on old-fashioned tools, while others tap the very latest technology.

For example, my current choice in eco-friendly lighting is to use energy efficient light bulbs. You could go one step further and power them with solar energy. But other people might prefer a completely non-electric solution, such as an old-style oil lamp that burns renewable fuels, such as vegetable oil.

Whatever your preferences, many of the tools for energy-efficient living simply aren't available at your local hardware store. So where do you find them? At Mother Earth News, two online sources where we often look for these types of products are Lehman's, and Real Goods.  Lehman's offers more low-tech and non-electric options, while Real Goods specializes in renewable energy related products, but there is some overlap in the types of products offered by the two companies.

You can browse either catalog online. If you'd like a paper catalog, Lehman's charges a small fee for their complete non-electric catalog. Real Goods will send you a catalog for free, but they also sell their more detailed Solar Living Source Book that has both general information about how to power your home with renewable energy, and specifics about products that Real Goods sells.

Do you know of other good sources for sustainable living tools? You can post them in the comments section below.

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