Friday, March 1, 2013


The Carbon-Free Home by Stephen & Rebekah Hren is a step by step blueprint for how to reduce your use of fossil fuels bit by bit until you are basically 'carbon-free'.

This is a book of projects, although it includes lots of little bits of their story of how they have weaned themselves free, and lots of explanations of what's going on and ways to think about it.  The authors have chosen to focus on eleven specific areas: energy use, renewable electrical systems, appliances and lighting, cooking, refrigeration, hot water, heating and cooling the house, rainwater, waste, food and landscaping, and transportation. 

Each chapter contains a bunch of projects clearly labeled with the time involved, cost, energy saved, ease of use, maintenance level, and materials and tools needed.  The skill level involved is there as well, and it varies.  Some of these projects anyone could do and for others, some skill with carpentry or plumbing or electrical work is needed.  Still, for the DIY person who wants to begin to work their way out of the system, this book is a gold mine.  And even if you don't have the skills, you will learn a lot about how things work and still find a few projects to get you started on radically reducing your carbon footprint.

I like that their stories include the mistakes that they made--in the hopes that you won't repeat them.  For those who want to live beyond fossil fuels but aren't ready to move to that country commune, this is a good place to start the journey.

Quote of the Day:  "We ... are convinced that as day turns to dusk for fossil fuels, we must take a good look at our surroundings and learn to live with what we have already built, what we've spent our free fossil currency on: the infrastructure, especially the housing, that already exists in our towns and cities.  For us it was time to learn from our mistakes and move back to the city, a city that had oodles of existing and abandoned houses just waiting for a good retrofit..."  - Stephen & Rebekah Hren

1 comment:

vera said...

Wanna do a carbon re-set? Grow soil!