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Thatch Cottages in Ireland

In Ireland I saw several buildings with thatched roofs and they made me smile. I always thought it would be fun to spend the night in a cottage with a thatched roof until someone in Ireland said the reason there are 4 poster beds with canopies in thatched cottages was…
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Solar Energy at Home

solar roof on house

Not even 10 years ago, a home with solar panels was a relatively rare sight. But recently an uptick in local and federal incentives as well as some advances in the technology has made them more popular than ever. This is why homeowners of all types are now looking to…
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Renewable Energy in Europe

windmill energy

I was surprised that I saw few alternative sources of energy during my visit to Barcelona and Tarragona. I began to see wind turbines and solar panels when I crossed the border into France and even more as I traveled into Germany and Austria. I did some research to see…
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Energy Vampires

Are you an “energy vampire?”   If you live in an apartment in the central part of the building you may be sucking energy from neighboring flats.  In Hungary people who live in the central apartments are referred to as energy vampires.  (In the U.S. this term has a slightly…
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The Energy Saving Windows of Catalonia

Catalonia is an autonomous region within Spain that is home to the beautiful cities of Barcelona and Tarragona.  As I walked around these cities, I was fascinated by the windows and the coverings over them that help keep the sun out.  It is an old idea, but one that is…
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Memorial Day – bury me under the green grass and let wild flowers be my memorial

graves

When I was a child my family would spend Memorial Day at one of our family graveyards. I know this may sound morbid but I remember it as a happy place. Park-like the place was filled with trees, flowers and areas of sun and shade. We would arrive with buckets,…
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Stopping Drafts in Your Home

cat door

Is your cat watching the warm air in your home leak out around the front door?  This infrared photo shows air leakage around the front door of my home. Does this look like your house? You don’t need an infrared camera to check to see if you have air leaking…
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China Works Towards Renewable Energy

According to a new report released by the Worldwatch Institute, China is aiming to obtain 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020- And it is headed in the right direction. The financial investments are vast- “More than $50 billion was invested in renewable energy worldwide in 2006, and China…
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