Solar Retrofit to a Mid-1960's Edmonton Bungalow

I've started a home renovation that will include the installation of solar thermal collectors to help provide domestic hot water and help heat my house. I thought there would be other people like myself who would be interested in my experience - both good and bad. Here goes . . .

Like many people, I'm interested in increasing the efficiency of my home and reducing my gas and power expenses and would love to live in something like the Riverdale Net Zero house. Also like many people, I don't have the means to built my own net zero house. Add to this is the fact that I really like the house I'm in now and love the location and we've got a recipe for a renovation.  read more... »

Solar Salad

We get a lot of sun in Edmonton. In fact, I've heard that we have as many sunny hours as Miami. Moving into the uncertain future, that's an asset.

On May 6, I decided to leverage that asset into a sun-cooked potato salad.

Solar Ovens

The concept of a solar oven is very simple: a black, insulated box with glazing (plastic or glass) is aimed towards the sun. It's amazing how the simplest concepts can be so powerful. It's a cinch to get my solar oven up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and during the hottest months it will hit 300 degrees.  read more... »

Most Efficient Cooker Ever

This is a thermally insulated pressure cooker. We're not going to buy our way out of the environmental crisis, but certain purchases can make a big difference if they reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.

Pressure and Insulation for Efficiency

Pressure cooking is a super-efficient way to cook. A pressure cooker "can drop the consumption [of energy] by ... 68 percent ... compared to a flat-bottomed pot" (Stoyke, 2007, p. 80). It's so efficient because when it's under pressure, water can boil at a much higher temperature (about 120 degree Celcius), which makes the food cook faster.  read more... »

Kids Do Good: Eco-Air

This is Anna Talman. She's a member of Edmonton’s Children-Organized Anti-Idling Recruiters (Eco-Air).

I saw Anna speak to a City Council committee last year about enacting an anti-idling law. It was awesome. Being characteristically timid, our fine councillors backed off on a law and instead committed $140,000 to beg educate people to stop idling their cars unnecessarily. Better than nothing.  read more... »