"GREEN UP YOUR LIFE"
I've been taking a course in "Green up your Life" at the ILEAD program at Dartmouth College. I am learning a lot as far as how to make our lives more energy efficient.
Yesterday we discussed Passive Solar Energy. This is when you are able to heat the space where you live without any mechanical assistance. It means you try to encourage sun to stream into your home on a cold day. Not only should it stream in, it should warm up something in that room that will be able to absorb the heat and release it later when the sun settles down for the night. If that sun hits the hard mass of the fireplace or a piece of furniture that gets warm as a result of the sun hitting it, you're golden!
As gardeners we can take note of the fact that by planting deciduous trees outside sunny windows, we keep the house cool in the summer because that leaf cover produces shade. When the leaves fall in the autumn, the sun is allowed to flow into our homes adding to the warmth of our house.
We can also plant evergreens around the north side of the house to shield it from winter wind and snow. These are little things, but they can make a huge difference!