Affordable Renewable Energy for Everyone

Written by Debra Lynn Dadd

Have you ever wanted to power your home or office with renewable energy, but thought it was too expensive? Or you didn't want to deal with installing and maintaining equipment?

Now there is a way that everyone can use solar, wind, and other renewable energies, at a fraction ofrepparttar cost. Even renters can power their homes with renewable energy.

Renewable energy certificates (aka green tags, green energy certificates, or tradable renewable certificates) make it easy and inexpensive for anyone to reduce or eliminaterepparttar 110079 environmental impact of their electricity use.

Each certificate representsrepparttar 110080 delivery of a specific amount of renewable power (usually one megawatt-hour) into a regional or national energy "grid." This replacesrepparttar 110081 non-renewable fossil fuels that would have otherwise been used with non-polluting energy from solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable sources.

Whilerepparttar 110082 renewable energy you pay for may not flow throughrepparttar 110083 wires in your own home,repparttar 110084 resulting overall benefit torepparttar 110085 environment isrepparttar 110086 same as it would be if you installed solar panels or wind turbines directly on your own property.

The certificates are purchased in addition to paying your regular energy bill. So it doesn't cost less than standard electricity, but itís a small premium to pay to keep toxic pollutants produced byrepparttar 110087 burning of fossil fuels out ofrepparttar 110088 environment. And it supportsrepparttar 110089 market for renewable energy as a whole, which ultimately will bringrepparttar 110090 price down for renewable energy and make it more generally available.

Finnish Cottage Tradition

Written by S. Nicole Thomas

Finnish Cottage Tradition

The origin ofrepparttar log structure is uncertain. It is probable that it began in northern Europe sometime inrepparttar 110078 Bronze Age (c. 3,500 B.C.). Byrepparttar 110079 time Europeans began to settle in America, there was a long tradition of using logs for houses, barns, and other outbuildings inrepparttar 110080 Scandinavian countries, Germany, and Northern Russia. These regions had vast stands of softwood timber that could easily be worked with simple hand tools. According to C. A. Weslager, whose book on log cabins is considered a classic,repparttar 110081 Finns, as well asrepparttar 110082 Swedes, had a "close attunement" withrepparttar 110083 forests, and both groups had well-developed forest industries. Weslager goes on to say:

The Finns were accomplished in building several forms of log housing, having different methods of corner timbering, and they utilized both round and hewn logs. Their log building had undergone an evolutionary process fromrepparttar 110084 crude "pirtii"...a small gabled-roof cabin of round logs with an opening inrepparttar 110085 roof to vent smoke, to more sophisticated squared logs with interlocking double-notch joints,repparttar 110086 timber extending beyondrepparttar 110087 corners. Log saunas or bathhouses of this type are still found in rural Finland.

Whenrepparttar 110088 Finns andrepparttar 110089 Swedes began to arrive in New Sweden (along both banks ofrepparttar 110090 Delaware River into modern Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland), they brought their knowledge of such wood construction with them. So did later immigrants from Germany. The Scots, Irish, and Scots-Irish had no tradition of building with logs, but they quickly adoptedrepparttar 110091 technique. The log cabin suited early settlers and later pioneers. It would have been nearly impossible to carry building materials acrossrepparttar 110092 ocean inrepparttar 110093 small sailing ships ofrepparttar 110094 time. It would have been equally difficult to transport building materials on horseback or even inrepparttar 110095 wagons or river barges pioneers used to cross mountains and valleys in their search for their own land. So, wherever there were forested areas,repparttar 110096 log cabin becamerepparttar 110097 preferred type of initial dwelling. Log cabins did not even need nails or spikes to hold them together. Untilrepparttar 110098 19th century nails were made by hand by blacksmiths, which meant they were quite expensive, and like lumber, they were also heavy.

Log cabins were relatively easy to build. Weslager reports that a record was set by three men who cut down trees, trimmed them, draggedrepparttar 110099 logs torepparttar 110100 building site, notchedrepparttar 110101 logs, and built a one-room cabin with chimney and fireplace in two days. For most people it took a bit longer, but it was possible for a man working alone to build a cabin in one to two weeks. However, a man alone faced some problems. Because it is physically difficult to lift a heavy log above one's head, most men could build cabins only six to eight logs high. With help, it was possible to build several logs higher--even two-story log houses were possible. First, skids of two logs were placed againstrepparttar 110102 wall at an angle to serve as an inclined plane. Then forked sticks or ropes were used to positionrepparttar 110103 logs.

Most log cabins had a single room, or "pen," some 12 to 16 feet square. There was one door, and usually no windows. If windows were cut intorepparttar 110104 walls, animal skins or boards fixed to slide acrossrepparttar 110105 openings were used. Some builders used paper greased with animal fat, which made it both translucent and waterproof. Most log cabin builders placedrepparttar 110106 fireplace at one end ofrepparttar 110107 cabin and builtrepparttar 110108 chimney of wattle. Stone or clay was used forrepparttar 110109 hearth andrepparttar 110110 interior ofrepparttar 110111 fireplace. As these were not very safe constructions, later builders used brick or stone if they could be obtained. Fireplaces provided warmth, light, and fuel for cooking. Back bars and cranes made of forged iron were used to hold cooking pots. Not untilrepparttar 110112 1840s were cast-iron ranges available that would burn wood or coal, so cooking over a fireplace did not seem a hardship.

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