Windows, Window Coverings, And Thermal Long Underwear

ENERGY COSTS WILL CONTINUE TO RISE

As John Michael Greer noted in his recent post at The Archdruid Report,

One way or another, though, whatever income my readers happen to have coming their way in the months and years ahead is likely to buy quite a bit less energy than the same amount of money buys at present. That makes finding ways to make less energy do more work crucial just now – and that, in turn, leads to windows.

If you’ve caulked and weatherstripped your home, and have a decently thick layer of insulation in the attic, your windows are where the largest fraction of your remaining heating bills go dancing out into the great outdoors.

HAVE AFRICAN-AMERICANS FORGOTTEN HOW TO WEAR SWEATERS INDOORS DURING THE COLD MONTHS?

Reading a recent Low-Tech Magazine post, Insulation: first the body, then the home, reminded me of something that I’ve noticed while visiting a number of “new-school” African-Americans’ homes during fall and winter. It doesn’t seem to occur to them to turn the thermostat down and wear sweaters indoors during the cold months. Instead, I see a lot of Black folks who habitually keep their homes warm enough to wear cotton T-shirts and shorts year round.

This is incredibly wasteful, in addition to being expensive. I don’t think it’s a conscious, deliberate choice on their part to be wasteful. I think it’s an example of how certain practices become normalized, and therefore invisible to the people who engage in those practices.

SOJOURNERS KNOW BETTER THAN THAT

Sojourners are more self-aware and conscious than that. As global citizens, we realize that people in other countries generally aren’t as wasteful as many “mainstream” Americans. As global citizens who are good guests wherever we travel, we seek to purge ourselves of these wasteful, mainstream American energy-consumption habits. We know how to turn down the thermostat and put on sweaters.

Please take the time to read the links and check out the thermal underwear in the Icebreaker catalog.

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60 Responses to “Windows, Window Coverings, And Thermal Long Underwear”

  1. Chris says:

    This is a very interesting post, and quite appropriate to the time in which we now live. The environment and issues regarding energy consumption are going to be the key topics in the next century, and one way or another, we will all have to think about how we consume Earth’s resources and how we can lessen the footprint we’ll leave behind.

    Wearing sweaters and turning down the heat is such a simple way. I would also encourage everyone to get a bicycle for those quick trips to stores around your neighborhood, Sunday afternoon rides in your local parks, and as a backup way to get extra exercise. Make sure you have a helmet and night light to ensure safety, and a basket to carry anything you pick up along the way.

    I am currently perusing “The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World for the Next 5, 10, and 20 Years” by James Canton. I’m finding his theories on medicine, population, technology, business, and terrorism quite enlightening. Perhaps some of you will too.

    Thanks for today’s post, Khadijah.

  2. awesome reference to lowtech magazine!

    Readers who like lowtech mag might also like Rainbook: Resources for Appropriate Technology.

    And I’m glad you brought up the “entitlement” issue. How can 7% of the world’s population be entitled to 25% of the world’s resources? In any type of “peak” situation, the “I have a right to drive a SUV!” people are the ones I will be downright scared to be around.

    Khadija,I’m astounded by how well you cover a variety of issues relating to living well. Great work!

  3. Zoopath says:

    My problem is that I’m extremely cold natured (yes, I’ve had my thyroid checked). I will put on a sweater, set the thermostate at 76 and have a fit if the hubby even touches it. At night I prefer the room to be cool but I won’t get out of bed until the house is warmed up. I have a little space heater at work and fingerless gloves and a blanket that I wear when I want others to have a visual indication of my discomfort. I also do not swim in bodies of water thant are under 85 degrees. On top of that I was born and raised in Michigan so I have no excuse for my proclivities, it’s just the way I am. Our home is pretty well insulated since it’s relatively new and we only heat the 1st floor because we don’t really use the 2nd floor. I’m always receiving unsolicited commentary about me being overdressed for the weather from random people at work but I don’t care if I’m a walking stereotype about black people and cold weather, I simply must be comfortable.
    However, summer is when I get to be smug because I’m comfortable in very lightweight clothes with the thermostat at 78. All my neighbors’ AC units are constantly running but our doesn’t. If the hubby get’s too hot then I will deign to put on warmer clothes so that he can cool off but I really love it when it’s hot and humid.

    • tertiaryanna says:

      and a blanket that I wear when I want others to have a visual indication of my discomfort.

      Would you consider wearing a shawl? They’re warm, but also beautiful and stylish (google “shetland triangle shawl” and look at the images there.) A lady I know has a shawl she always looks so put together and fashionable. Also, a friend of mine who lives in a cold climate swears by legwarmers under her pants.

      “I also do not swim in bodies of water thant are under 85 degrees.

      Swimcaps can help here. I wear them, and it keeps my head warm, which makes me feel a lot warmer in the pool. Also, if you wear a swimsuit that’s more covering, like a bodysuit style, then your back and upper thighs aren’t exposed. This helps you retain heat in the pool, and can make you more comfortable.

      If you do wear a swimcap, you may find that wearing 2 is more comfortable than wearing one. I wear a lycra one directly over my hair, then a rubber one on top of that. The lycra keeps my hair contained and helps keep the rubber cap on (otherwise they tend to side off unless your hair lays perfectly flat.) I hate being cold, and this works well for me.

      • Zoopath says:

        My dear Tertianna, the water temperature requirement I gave is with a wetsuit and swimcap. I also don’t swim in chlorine anymore, it’s saline pools for me. The chlorine is just horrible on my skin and hair.

    • RColeman says:

      I moved from a tropical climate to Michigan. I also moved into a house that is 110 years old which I paid for in cash about 6 years ago.

      As I was re-habbing the house I took advantage of putting in energy saving methods to make sure that my heat bills in the winter were as little as possible. So far the winter gas bill have been no more than $125 a month during the winter months. My thermostat is taped down at 68 so no one can adjust it instead, they put on a pair of socks. I have triple pane windows which get plastic put over them come November. In addition, they are covered by thermal lined backed drapes.

      I do not run my AC at all since I like the summer heat and, if I know the heat index is going to be excessive for that day I make sure I get up at the crack of dawn. That way I get everything I need to accomplish done so that I may relax and remain hydrated during the hottest time of the day. Since I do not own a vehicle I either ride my bike or walk to do my errands- I live within the city limits. If I need to go out of town or have a large bulky item to haul I have several friends who will take me where I need to go in exchange for me paying for a tank of gas and meals.

      This summer for my next rehab project I will be putting in a roof gutter-french drain system to capture roof water and have it go from the foundation to my mini-orchard and my main garden.

      I have a wrap double insulated glass around porch with a south-east exposure that I am able to use during sunny winter days that gives me a bit of sunlight when I don’t want to go outdoors. I also use it to start my seedlings for the spring.

      • RColeman,

        It sounds like you’ve got your energy footprint totally under control. {deep martial arts bow}

        I’m not at that point, but I do the easy, no-cost things like turning down the thermostat and putting on a sweater and some socks.

        Expect Success!

      • Zoopath says:

        That is indeed impressive. I plan on putting a clothesline in so that we’re not using electricity to dry clothes in the summer when it’s 90F outside. It’s nowhere near your level but it’s a start 🙂

        • Browncow says:

          Where we live there is an HOA which prohibits the use of clothes lines. We’re also renters so that isn’t going to fly in our neighborhood which consists of townhouses and townhouse style condos. We generally will be trying to hang some of our clothes indoors and if we can get away with it using a rack on the back deck to dry some of our items. I hope nobody reports us for trying to save money on energy costs.

  4. KimP says:

    This is such a timely post as I am now writing an article about weatherization tips to keep energy bills low. From my research, it appears every degree above 68 degrees that you set your thermostat leads to a drastic spike in heating costs. Amazing. When you think about it, 68 degrees isn’t cold at all, it’s pretty comfortable once you adapt.

    It’s like Jacob said over at ERE, back in the old days, people didn’t have AC or heating systems like we do now. They learned how to sweat until the adapted, or they became quilt makers and used scrap material to make quilts and keep warm.

    Another thing I notice is that keeping your home extremely warm in the winter time increases your chances of getting sick. Something about the drastic differences in temperatures in the home and outside.

    • Zoopath says:

      If you heat your home without humidifying, the dry air dries out your mucous membranes and does make it easier for viruses to latch on and make you sick. I use a humidifier in our home and a fountain in my office to humidify the air. When I was living in the northeast I was always getting URI’s. Between the dry air and my allergies (even though I was under immunotherapy and irragating my sinuses daily) I would get about 6 colds/sinus infections a year if not more. Since I’ve moved to a warmer, more humid climate I hardly ever get sick and my eczema’s better, too. My husband, OTOH was peferctly healthy in the NE and the south. Go figure.

  5. Chris,

    You’re welcome!

    You said, “The environment and issues regarding energy consumption are going to be the key topics in the next century, and one way or another, we will all have to think about how we consume Earth’s resources and how we can lessen the footprint we’ll leave behind.”

    Indeed! I believe that, as with most issues, it’s far better to adapt BEFORE the storm hits. It’s a point of concern that AAs are unwittingly doing so many things that are just so totally UN-sustainable. And we’re oblivious to all of this—for which I partially blame our (mis)leadership class.

    Thanks for mentioning “The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World for the Next 5, 10, and 20 Years” by James Canton. I love those sorts of books, and I’m on my way to Amazon.com to look for it.
    ___________________________________________

    RevolutionaryAndJoyful,

    Thanks for the reference to Rainbook—something else that I’ll be looking into!

    You said, “And I’m glad you brought up the “entitlement” issue. How can 7% of the world’s population be entitled to 25% of the world’s resources? In any type of “peak” situation, the “I have a right to drive a SUV!” people are the ones I will be downright scared to be around.”

    Well, there are several interlocking things going on with that:

    (1) The fact that, due to country-wide cultural shifts over the decades, our huge resource footprint is invisible to most modern Americans—including the vast majority of AAs. Modern day poor AAs do some incredibly wasteful things that would have been unthinkable to my grandparents (who were poor) and my parents (who grew up poor in the tenements on the South Side of Chicago).

    The unthinking things that so many AAs (across various class categories) do look strange to me because I wasn’t raised to do those sorts of things. Things like keeping your house hot enough to wear T-shirts and shorts year round. Like keeping your house an icebox during the summer. I use air-conditioning, but not to that extent that’s it’s actually cold indoors. And only when I’m actually in the house. Like immediately turning on the TV the moment they enter a room, even though they have no intention of watching it. Like leaving the TV and radio playing even when they leave the house. Etc., etc.

    (2) Right-wing politicians like Reagan, Bush, and so on have made this type of wastefulness, and the entitlement mentality surrounding it, a core platform of the so-called “American way of life.” A lot of Americans have bought into that idea that they’re being wronged and robbed if they can’t continue in their wasteful ways as before.

    Quiet as it’s kept, a LOT of everyday AAs have bought into this same mentality. I’ve heard several populuar, prominent local Protestant AA preachers make crazy statements that are based on this type of mentality. For example, Illinois State Senator and Rev. James Meeks of Salem Baptist Church on his telecast. He has openly and shamelessly talked about taking the Arabs’ oil. And when Rev. Meeks talked about the US taking these other people’s oil, I didn’t hear any murmurs of discontent from his congregation during the telecast.

    (3) Because of points #1 & #2, these people are going to react very poorly when this planet’s limits force them to change some of their ways. A lot of AAs will go without food before they give up their SUVs. I still see people rolling around in Hummers.

    You said, “Khadija,I’m astounded by how well you cover a variety of issues relating to living well. Great work!”

    Thank you for your kind words; I truly appreciate it. It’s all about full-spectrum lifestyle optimization for AA women! LOL! I think I would’ve made a good CIA analyst, or vizier in previous eras. {chuckling} It concerns me that, as far as I can tell, none of the (mis)leaders or purported serious thinkers among AAs are talking about any of this. Much less planning for it.

    It’s all interconnected. These sorts of unconscious wasteful habits are the sorts of things that will make AAs stick out in a BAD way when they travel or relocate to other places. I want the Sojourners to be aware so they don’t unwittingly engage in these behaviors while they’re traveling the world.
    _______________________________________________

    Zoopath,

    I prefer jacket weather—spring and fall are my favorite seasons. 🙂

    You said, “However, summer is when I get to be smug because I’m comfortable in very lightweight clothes with the thermostat at 78. All my neighbors’ AC units are constantly running but our doesn’t. If the hubby get’s too hot then I will deign to put on warmer clothes so that he can cool off but I really love it when it’s hot and humid.”

    Oooh, no—I can’t stand that sort of heat. Muggy and sweaty = ewww. When I was small, I used to have nosebleeds when it got too hot. {frowning at the memory}
    ________________________________________

    KimP,

    You said, “It’s like Jacob said over at ERE, back in the old days, people didn’t have AC or heating systems like we do now. They learned how to sweat until the adapted, or they became quilt makers and used scrap material to make quilts and keep warm.”

    Yep, if folks are wise, they’ll learn how to make these adjustments now. Before they’re forced to adjust.

    You said, “Another thing I notice is that keeping your home extremely warm in the winter time increases your chances of getting sick. Something about the drastic differences in temperatures in the home and outside.”

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that too. I’m not sure if it’s the extreme heat that’s causing that—it could be that the same people who keep their homes hot also have other personal habits that are making them ill (poor diet, etc.).

    Expect Success!

  6. Vanessa F. says:

    Good Afternoon,

    This post comes at a time when my mother recently remarked to me that the high school kids where she teaches only wear thin, not-fit-for-winter coats to school. The school population is 90% AA and she has attempting to figure out why this is the case. It could not be a money issue because many of these kids wear the latest styles. Reading this post makes me think modern times may have something to do with it. Coming from a (too) warm home knowing you are going into a warm school with little time in between maybe a deciding factor in wearing impractical outerwear. I suspect this will change as the energy crisis begins to finally hits home with a lot of families.

  7. Karen says:

    We do not have AC (never had it in our home)and I really dislike it in office buildings and hotels…

    We always wear sweaters and socks (I knit them). Our heating costs are very low as we only heat the bathroom regularly on a timer to ensure it only is heated when we use it and use our wood stove for when it gets really cold. Yes, I live in a climate where it gets enough to have snow and below zero temperatures, but our house as pretty good insulation although we plan to do more.

    I can attest to the benefits of not heating the bedroom (no colds whatsoever this season).

    Humanity has existed without central heating for most of recorded history and it would serve us well to become less dependent on it and resort back to time proven measures (blankets, sweaters socks and shawls). I also have nice silk long underwear too!

    • Zoopath says:

      I hate, hate, hate the overuse of AC as well. I work in a hospital and you could swear the electricity is free in the summer the way they run the AC. It’s colder in the building in the winter than the summer. If you dress appropriately for the outside, you’ll be freezing once you walk in the door. My coworkers tell me to put on weight so that I’ll be warmer, I always decline the invitation but it’s funny. I’ve heard that AC is very drying for the skin as well.

  8. Lorie says:

    Every time I visit my parents during the winter months, I am freezing. My generous father, raises the temperature to a 66 degrees when I visit. I don’t complain but I am still freezing at this temp. However, I only developed this issue after I moved away for college and continue to enjoy “apartment heat” to this day. I know this is my fault. I have become spoiled but once I move into a house, THIS WILL STOP! I never understood Mom and Dad’s habits such as low heat in winter, gardening in spring/summer and even simple things such as turning the light off when you leave a room (I once got spanked for repeatedly forgeting that rule- never broke it again) but I discover each day how wise they are…

    Khadija, You are so right! Thank you for reminding us of the basics. Dad always told me “Before any progress, you must first master the basics!”

  9. This is a good post for me, because I’m a lot like Zoopath-I love being warm all year round, and I really suffer during the winter. I wear leggings and tank tops under my clothes from November to April, I take iron supplements, and I keep a small space heater and lightweight blanket at my desk. Evne with all of that, I still feel cold on most days. The upside is that summer is a great season for me: I wear long pants or jeans during the summer, even though the temps in DC/MD/VA are upwards of 85 degrees on most summer days and consistently humid all season.

    However, I want to relocate to Europe and I know that I will have to adjust to much colder temps in the Nordic countries. There isn’t any warm weather in Norway, Finland or Sweden like I’m accustomed to right now, so the quicker I get used to using energy-less means to stay warm, the better off I’ll be. I just added Icebreaker to my favorites so that I can start stocking up on thermal gear for the next winter.

  10. Faith Dow says:

    Having grown up on the East Coast I was used to cold weather and layering, but after spending a bulk of time in Northern CA where the weather is more or less the same temperature year round it has been an adjustment being back in the more extreme temperatures. Of course the older housing in SF isn’t built for anything below 40 degrees and tends to be drafty. So it’s an exchange of one “cold” for another. It was 95-105 degrees for several weeks in DC last summer and if I hadn’t stayed indoors I would have passed out. I don’t like running the AC in the hotter months either and going from public transit and office buildings to outside temperatures could easily make you sick going from freezing to hot. I hate, hate, hate being cold though. I’m wearing 3 layers right now in fact and I’m still cold. When I lived in London our landlord tried to move in another tenant in our apartment (long story) but for the 2 weeks she was there, she had the nerve to raise the thermostat 15 degrees to lounge in her underwear (she was from Jamaica and complained it was too cold [it was December!!])when we (the tenants with a lease) were responsible for the gas bill. I wasn’t having it and was fully repaired to report this guy to my program officials so he quickly moved his “friend” out. We intentionally kept the heat low except for the mornings when we dressed for work and to warm the apartment at night before bed. Having insulated housing is just as important but a lot of the older homes were not built to be energy efficient. Still, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of adjusting to less energy use and the impact of global warming. I will boil water and use the steam to keep warmer air circulating if I have to.

  11. For today’s teachable moment example of the type of individual the Sojourners DON’T want to be, I’ve decided to repeat the comment that a troll submitted to this post. (Of course, I deleted the comment. There is NO open mic for trolls here.) The troll said:

    AAs are not the only ones who turn the heat up in the winter. It is WINTER. what’s the purpose of sleeping in a cold house (and getting athritis) when you have enough money to turn the heat to wear it is most comfortable. It does not need to be jungle hot but it at least needs to be warm enough to take the chill off the house.

    Note the “White people are doing it too” foolishness. Also note the underlying entitlement attitude. For some background on this particular troll, this troll is one of the individuals who were crazy and entitlement-minded enough to actually get angry when I refused to grant it access to my premium content posts. From its emails, it spoke as if I somehow owed it access to the premium content. Imagine that. [???] And yet, like so many other trolls, it continues to obsessively read this blog. [???]

    This type of idiotic and overall distorted thinking is a luxury item that will be much too costly for AAs in the VERY near future. This mindset is a very good example of who you DON’T want to be.

    Expect Success!

    • Natasia says:

      Re: “This type of idiotic and overall distorted thinking is a luxury item that will be much too costly for AAs in the VERY near future.”

      Seriously.
      I’m currently studying environmental racism/urban economics at my university, and I’m way too familiar with the rising costs of energy and gas (and, for that matter, how marginalized communities – like African-Americans – will NOT be helped when it’s needed most). Although “white people are doing it too”, most African-Americans, however, are not in the same financial position to protect themselves in times of emergency. So, when the United States finds itself in an extreme situation of environmental degradation (within OUR lifetime), you’ll probably reconsider your current position and wish you had put that money towards building wealth.

      My point is, adjust now or regret it later.

      • Natasia,

        I 100% cosign. And I’ll have to borrow your final statement of “adjust now or regret it later.” That’s REAL.

        And “later” is only about 5-15 minutes into the future for many of us. Let’s just say that world-altering events are picking up steam and accelerating. And since I don’t give warnings anymore (the time for that has passed), I’ll simply mention an observation: It doesn’t take long for a category of people to become demonized as THE #1 Cause of America’s Economic Woes. Just look at how quickly government employees and their pensions have been tossed into that particular role in the American mainstream public mind.

        The AAs who mindlessly keep their homes hot enough to wear T-shirts and shorts indoors during the fall and winter are in for a rude awakening. Sooner as opposed to very much later.

        Expect Success!

  12. VanessaF.,

    You said, “Coming from a (too) warm home knowing you are going into a warm school with little time in between maybe a deciding factor in wearing impractical outerwear. I suspect this will change as the energy crisis begins to finally hits home with a lot of families.”

    I don’t know about that—that’s too much like common sense. The last time gasoline prices spiked, I noticed that AAs kept buying SUVs. Including the poorer ones among them couldn’t afford to keep the gas tank totally full. Gas prices are spiking again (currently around $3.75/gallon in the Chicago area), and I don’t see any type of common sense reactions or awareness from most AAs that I observe.

    What I do hear AAs saying is that they’ll start crossing the state line and going to Indiana to buy their gas (because it’s apparently somewhat cheaper there). And the ones who are saying this don’t seem to be factoring in how much gas they’re using to drive to Indiana. It’s one thing if you live a hop and a skip near the state border. It’s something else if you’re driving a significant distance to get the pennies-cheaper gas in Indiana.

    It’s all quite fascinating to watch.
    ____________________________________________

    Karen,

    You said, “Humanity has existed without central heating for most of recorded history and it would serve us well to become less dependent on it and resort back to time proven measures (blankets, sweaters socks and shawls).”

    Indeed.
    _____________________________________________

    Lorie,

    You’re welcome!

    You said, “Dad always told me ‘Before any progress, you must first master the basics!'”

    Your Dad is right! 🙂
    ______________________________________________

    MissGlamtastic,

    You said, “However, I want to relocate to Europe and I know that I will have to adjust to much colder temps in the Nordic countries. There isn’t any warm weather in Norway, Finland or Sweden like I’m accustomed to right now, so the quicker I get used to using energy-less means to stay warm, the better off I’ll be.”

    Yes, this is part of why I’m bringing this up. I know that a number of Sojourners want to relocate to various Scandinavian countries.
    _____________________________________________

    Faith,

    You said, “Still, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of adjusting to less energy use and the impact of global warming.”

    Yes, it’s better to make these adjustments before one is forced to do so.

    Expect Success!

  13. Jamila says:

    ” Instead, I see a lot of Black folks who habitually keep their homes warm enough to wear cotton T-shirts and shorts year round.”

    I lived mainly with my grandmother in public housing growing up and she also keep the heat turned up high. Even now, I get cold quickly and always want to turn up the thermostat.

    I think this brings attention to the large number of African Americans who grew up in homes where the heat was included in the rent (such as public housing) or down South where it was hot all year round. Now many are used to high temperatures as a result of the surroundings and aren’t accustomed to having to dress for the weather in their homes.

    • Jamila,

      You said, “I think this brings attention to the large number of African Americans who grew up in homes where the heat was included in the rent (such as public housing) or down South where it was hot all year round. Now many are used to high temperatures as a result of the surroundings and aren’t accustomed to having to dress for the weather in their homes.”

      You’ve brought up a very important point. I’m not so sure about the Southern angle, but I do think that having large numbers of AAs growing up in heat-included-in-the-rent situations is what has normalized this “never-turn-the-thermostat-down” behavior pattern that so many AAs have.

      With the ongoing climate change and worsening economic conditions, heat will increasingly NOT be included in anybody’s rent. My building came with separate furnaces, etc. for each unit when I bought it. That was one of the features that I required for any purchase. I know other landlords who have had their buildings remodeled to have separate heating and cooling fixtures for each unit. They did this so they could require their tenants to start paying their own heating and cooling bills.

      Expect Success!

  14. FoxyCleopatra says:

    My flatmate in my final year of uni was very much like this. Right in the middle of winter with snow outside, she would wear chick shorts (very short shorts) and a tank top round the apartment and would be complaining that it was cold. She would then put ALL the heaters in the communal areas (kitchen, sitting room, dining, hallway) on. When I would tell her that its causing our electricity bill to spike up, she’d idiotically say, “oh my gosh, I don’t know how u cope. Aren’t u feeling the cold?!” I’d just be blankly staring at her wondering if she is soooo oblivious to the fact that I’m wearing a sweater and hoodie, thick trousers and socks while she is practically wearing nothing! She’d even leave the heater in her room on and go to school in the morning and so it would be on all day. The year she stayed there, our electricity/gas bill increased by almost £1000 even though the actual tariff never changed.

    • FoxyCleopatra,

      Lord have mercy….

      Here are my questions for you as one of our UK correspondents (if you know):

      (1) Does public housing in the UK typically include heat in the rent that tenants pay?

      (2) Are the sort of places that are called public housing projects in the US called “council estates/flats” in the UK? I’ve read a little about “council estates” in the UK, but I wasn’t quite sure if these places were directly parallel to US-style housing projects like the former Cabrini-Green in Chicago.

      (3) Are the public housing places in the UK mostly low-rise or high-rise (like Cabrini-Green)?

      Expect Success!

      • ak says:

        Hi Khadija how have you been? Well hopefully. To your Question no. 2 the answer is a big YES. council estates especially these days, although some were always a bit sketchy, are basically the projects like in the US. They are both funded by and built by the government on both sides of the pond.

        • AK,

          I’ve been busy but well—thanks so much for asking! 🙂

          Also, thanks for answering question #2. It can be difficult trying to suss out the exact connotation of various terms from another culture. You can tell that something is a negative reference. But it can be hard to assess how negative the reference is (on the scale of yuckiness), or exactly why it’s yucky.

          I’ve seen the term “chav” used often in connection with these “council estates.” And one of the funnier explanations I’ve seen for the “chav” term is “Council Housed And Violent.” I’ll note that it seems like these “chavs” are references to White male hooligans. Sort of like the White Americans referred to as “trailer (park) trash.” {shaking my head at it all}

          Expect Success!

      • mochachoc says:

        Hi Khadija,

        Re council housing in the UK. From my understanding few people have their amenities included in their rent anymore. It would really depend on the setup of the estate. I imagine it is rare to find it now.

        Very few if any council homes (local government) are being built. In the 80s Margaret Thatcher gave council house tenants the ‘right to buy’ their homes at discount prices. If you were in the right place (some tenants lived in affluent areas like Kensington and Chelsea) you made a killing. It was a political stroke of genius because it swept up traditional Labour voting working classes into the Conservative voting middle-class block. There is a lot of emphasis placed on owning your own home. Living in a council house is seen by many as low-class.

        Nowadays social housing is largely built by housing associations which have some element of profit but they have charity status. The rents are usually higher but they tend to be nicer looking homes (but less well built and smaller) than council houses. They are also much smaller estates and tend to be dotted in and around privately owned houses. There are areas in London where the very rich and poor live in the same community. Notting Hill is one example although it has historical reasons why this is so. In the 50s and 60s this is where many immigrant Caribbean’s could find somewhere to live. Over the years it became gentrified as the houses are very large and the area is very close to the heart of London.

        As with anything it depends on the people. Some tenants take great pride in where they live and look after their homes. Others do not. Also it depends on which side of the river (London) you live. I have heard people say that south London is more violent than the north. Can’t say whether this is true or not becuase gangs of stupid young black and Somalian men everywhere have got it into their heads that they own their postcode (zip) area. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious.

        Some high rised estates have been knocked down to make way for low rised traditional styled houses (I think Scotland still has a very large high rised estate which attracts a terrible drug, unemployment and crime problem). I suppose the thinking was it would reduce crime and engender greater community spirit. I have no idea whether it worked. I do know people who live in these homes who preferred their previous home because it had more green space and rooms were much larger. Nevertheless, they do look like a vast improvement on the old estates. They are designed in such a way that there’s no room for people to hang around on the streets. Some buildings have won awards for architectural merit.

        Chav hhm not sure really. It’s not a term I’ve heard anyone actually use other than journalists. It was a term I heard frequently when there was a report on lower class white people who lived in Essex mainly, didn’t work but could afford Burberry. I don’t know. I guess it was one way of whipping up middle-class snobbery. There are people who fit that stereotype but I think things are more complex than they seem. Many of these young white people are children of people who made money off of right to buy and moved out to Essex. Most of them are old Eastender’s who wanted to create a new community because their end of London had an influx of Bangladeshi’s and other new immigrants. From my observation they are not destitute and are fiercely proud of their heritage. I really dont know how they make their money but I think many of them opened small business’. I rarely hear that term used now.

        Phew! A bit long but I hope this helps and of course these are only my observations of a small area in London.

        • Mochachoc,

          THANK YOU for your detailed reply to my questions. It’s that sort of detail that helps an outsider have a better idea of what’s going on (in the UK)!

          You said, “Very few if any council homes (local government) are being built. In the 80s Margaret Thatcher gave council house tenants the ‘right to buy’ their homes at discount prices. If you were in the right place (some tenants lived in affluent areas like Kensington and Chelsea) you made a killing. It was a political stroke of genius because it swept up traditional Labour voting working classes into the Conservative voting middle-class block. There is a lot of emphasis placed on owning your own home. Living in a council house is seen by many as low-class.”

          Oh, now, that’s very interesting. What little impression I had of Margaret Thatcher during that era is a bad one because the US media kept lumping her in with Ronald Reagan (who I hated with a passion). I’ll have to read up on her—that was a brilliant political move! I appreciate smarts, even if they’re being used for the “wrong” political side.

          You said, “I have heard people say that south London is more violent than the north. Can’t say whether this is true or not becuase gangs of stupid young black and Somalian men everywhere have got it into their heads that they own their postcode (zip) area. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious.”

          {feh} I really wish Negroes would quit with that…

          You said, “Some high rised estates have been knocked down to make way for low rised traditional styled houses (I think Scotland still has a very large high rised estate which attracts a terrible drug, unemployment and crime problem). I suppose the thinking was it would reduce crime and engender greater community spirit. I have no idea whether it worked…. They are designed in such a way that there’s no room for people to hang around on the streets.”

          It’s ridiculous that building designers actually have to factor in that sort of nonsense for low-income housing. A lot of local Black folks in Chicago would use the high-rise nature of places like Cabrini-Green as an excuse for the savage behaviors of these buildings’ inhabitants. I would point out that many local luxury condos are ALSO high-rise “sky boxes.”

          It’s not the architecture. It’s the depravity of many of the people who live in those housing projects. They would find a way to make prehistoric caves, Eskimo igloos, Native American teepees, and camping tents filthy, urine-soaked, and deadly places.

          Expect Success!

  15. SweetIslandGirl says:

    The building that I currently reside in, has begun offering the option of paying extra for hydro to new tenants moving in and I understand why. Hydro is getting expensive. I despise driving at night and seeing office buildings with their lights on when no one is there. Its disgusting to me. Think about how much money they will save if they just turn the lights off??

    At my prior employment the Trinidadian accounting supervisor shared ideas on how she and her husband are vigilant when it comes to cost control in the winter months. Besides taking a homeowners loan to change the windows, fridge, stove, and furnace to more energy conservative units they also turn the heat off when they leave the house for work in the morning. She explained that the rule of thumb for them is whomever comes home first turns the heat on just enough to warm the house then its turned down throughout the night and the cycle repeats in the morning.

    In case your wondering, Trinidad is 24’C/75F right now at 9:40 pm high of 86F tommarow morning. So if anyone is used to hot weather its her. Surprisingly enough, there were a few white co workers in the lunch room knodding in agreement.

  16. Oh heck yeah! It gets cold in the South. The winters a few years ago were virtually non-existent but those aberrant winters are over 🙁

    In the winter my thermostat is on 65 or lower when I’m not at home and 68 (yeah sometimes I kick it up to 70 in the mornings) when I’m at home. At night it’s back down to 65 or lower (like to sleep in a cool room).

    In the summer the thermostat is up around 85 or 90 (I usually don’t turn on the air until mid-July) and oh my yes it’s hot in the Southland!!!! However I can deal with hot weather more easily than I can cold weather. Since I don’t live on the coast anymore the humidity in the central part of the state is a cake-walk. I will use a fan at night however. Not everyone has my heat tolerance threshold so I make allowances for family and friends and I’ll bump the air down to 75.

    I remember the messages about conserving energy from childhood. Things like turning off the lights when you left a room, putting on extra layers in the winter and not holding the refrigerator/freezer door open for extended periods of time!!!! My mom was serious about those behaviors and I still have them to this day.

    Oh and turning the television on just to have it on?!?!

    I think Depeche Mode said it best: “Enjoy the silence…”

    Peace

  17. SweetIslandGirl,

    You said, “In case your wondering, Trinidad is 24′C/75F right now at 9:40 pm high of 86F tommarow morning. So if anyone is used to hot weather its her. Surprisingly enough, there were a few white co workers in the lunch room knodding in agreement.”

    This is why I’m not buying into the idea that this wastefulness is due to being from a warm climate. It’s more about the cultural values that one is raised with—being frugal versus being wasteful.

    And like I said in the main post, I don’t think that folks are deliberately and consciously being wasteful with their heating (unless they’ve already been told about it, like FoxyCleopatra’s crazy former roommate). I think this issue is invisble to many AAs because a lot of them have grown up in public-housing type situations where somebody else (the government or landlord) has been paying the lion’s share of their heating bills.

    Another thing is that modern AAs have totally abandoned most of our traditional values such as frugality. Like the troll I quoted above, most AAs have lost sight of the fact that often the question isn’t: “Can you afford to pay for this?” But instead, the sensible question is: “Should you spend your money in this manner?”
    _____________________________________

    SouthlandDiva,

    You said, “Oh and turning the television on just to have it on?!?!”

    Well, as explained in the post I linked to, I believe that this TV All The Time thing is the poisonous fruit of recent generations of AAs using TV as a babysitter for their children. So now there are about 2.5 generations of AAs who get anxious if the TV isn’t on whenever they’re inside the house.

    You said, “I think Depeche Mode said it best: “Enjoy the silence…”

    Indeed! {Big applause for one of my favorite groups—Depeche Mode!!}

    Expect Success!

  18. ak says:

    You make a good point Khadija. I’m surprised to hear people turn up their heaters to ‘Florida’ in order to wear T-shirts inside instead if of just putting on some sweaters and yes long johns. That is crazy!

    I mean what are they gonna do? If they live in a ‘cold weather’ part of the country, then winter will always be on it’s way at some point! LOL LOL You can’t run away from it sooooo it’s better to invest in some thermal underwear, coats, and sweaters.

    Hey winter clothes are usually more stylish than summer clothes anyway! LOL In London and heck even in NYC I’d die without my thermal vests (what you’d call camisoles in the US) from Marks and Spencer’s, a shop in the UK that’s had a history since the turn of the last century.

    No matter what, Marks and Spencer’s (or M & S) thermal underwear and their food always remains the best!

  19. Sisterlocgirl says:

    Hi Khadijah! Well, I must say I have my husband and a 75 year old home to credit for getting me out of my ” Jamaica in January ” heating habits. I too used to wear shorts all year round in my rental apartments before I bought my house. My ” gift ” for my foolish thermostat habit was a $1000.00 heating bill for 1 month. ( not a typo ) Needless to say my childhood habits kicked back in fairly quickly and the heat was quickly turned down to the low 70s. Enter my now hubby, and he pointed out that there really was no difference between 72 and 68 degrees, but it would really drop the heating bill. And yes he was right. I have acclimated with minimal distress and now i’m the one complaining its too hot in the house when the thermostat hits 68, LOL.

    My hubby and I have picked up the Lazy Environmentalist show from the Sundance channel. The series shows you simple ways to be less of a detriment to the environment. We’ve picked up some good ideas that were easy to incorporate into our daily lives. Its available thru Netflix and well worth watching.

    • Zoopath says:

      $1000…..Record scratch! I love, love, love older homes but wasn’t able to find one in a nice neighborhood in my area. Perhaps that was for the best given my disposition towards winter warmth. Our gas bill was 89 last month. I would probably go into “Laaaawd! what is we gone do?” mode if I received a gas bill that high.

  20. Everybody,

    Y’all are too funny: “apartment heat,” and “Jamaica in January…” {still chuckling}
    _________________________________________________

    AK,

    You said, “I’m surprised to hear people turn up their heaters to ‘Florida’ in order to wear T-shirts inside instead if of just putting on some sweaters and yes long johns. That is crazy!”

    {slipping into Ebonics} New school Black folks be doing some peculiar things.

    {back to my normal way of speaking} New school AAs do a number of peculiar things that are invisible to them (because everybody around them is doing the same strange stuff), and also usually not commented on by others who don’t engage in those behaviors. This keeping the thermostat set on “Florida” year round is one of those peculiar, usually-not-commented-on-by-others things.
    _______________________________________________

    Hi Sisterlocgirl!

    Yes, a $1,000.00 heating bill for 1 month WILL capture most people’s full attention!

    Thanks for the info about the Lazy Environmentalist show!

    Expect Success!

  21. YMB says:

    I have to admit to being guilty of this. I grew up in a house where the thermostat was no higher than 65-67 during the winter and if I complained about being cold I was told, “Put some more clothes on!”. After years of living in apartments where the heat was included, I got accustomed to keeping it toasty indoors. I definitely learned my lesson this year after paying the heating bill myself!

    At any rate, earlier this year, I saw an article which showed that high indoor temps can put a dent in your health as well as your wallet: Warm Homes in Winter May Contribute to Obesity Epidemic .

    • YMB,

      Oh, I’m sure there are a LOT of folks in the reading audience who engage in “Jamaica in January” heating habits. {smile}

      That’s why I’m talking about this—I want folks to rethink and hopefully rectify those sorts of wasteful energy habits.

      Expect Success!

  22. Joyousnerd says:

    I noticed this habit as well, of keeping the heat blazing like a furnace in the winter, but keeping it subzero in summer. That’s not how I was raised, so it is peculiar to me. As many of you have pointed out, it comes from public/rental housing. It’s horrid for the planet, we all can see that.

    From another perspective, being dressed poorly for the season is not a good look for those who wish to expand their social circles. Walking around like it’s Bermuda in February is *strange* and is like a neon sign to those around you that you come from a lower social class. So in addition to killing the planet you are making yourself stand out, in a bad way, with healthier groups of people. People who see a AA dressed for the beach in winter may wonder what other strange (ghetto) things you do.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why curtains cost as much as they do. They are one of the easiest things to sew, even with very basic skills. I made curtains for each of my kids’ rooms. I recommend the book “Sew What? Skirts” for learning basic sewing skills quickly. The book focuses on skirts obviously, but the intro chapters are the clearest basic sewing directions I’ve seen.

    In winter I’ve often made cotton skirts with flannel lining, and then I wear leggings underneath. This is FAR warmer than jeans or pretty much any store-bought garment I’ve had. I also have made flannel slips to go under my thinner skirts. A layer of flannel will really insulate. I put it in the curtains, too.

    In spring flannel fabric can be had for as low as 25 cents per yard at Joann fabric red tag sales!!! The pattern may not be the prettiest in human history, but if it is a lining or is sandwiched between 2 layers of thinner fabric, no one will see. If you add thin layers of warm fabric you will be toasty with little added bulk.

    • ZooPath says:

      A warm skirt with leggings is much warmer than jeans, absolutely. I have only one pair of flannel lined khakis and I loove them. I should have gotten more than one pair. Are you taking orders for flannel slips :)?

      • Joyousnerd says:

        Lol! You know, when I commented earlier I did scratch my chin for a second and really think maybe I should be selling curtains! People pay ungodly sums for them, and yet they are EASY to make. Sadly, I don’t have the time to invest in sewing right now. I tell you what, though, if I had some connections in a country with low labor costs you can bet your bottom dollar I would start doing just that! Consult with the clients here, take measurements, buy the fabric and ship it out overseas… and have them send me back the finished curtains. There are lots of people making a good income doing stuff like that.

    • lunanoire says:

      It could also be an indication of a mental disorder or substance use. When riding the bus to work recently on a typical winter day, (in the Midwest) several people commented and laughed after a woman wearing shorts, peep toe slingbacks, and a button down short sleeved shirt (with an exposed hanging belly) exited the bus.

      As a person in the market for a car, biodiesel looks interesting b/c you can learn how to process waste vegetable oil and use it to fuel your car.

      • joyousnerd says:

        You said: “It could also be an indication of a mental disorder or substance use. ”

        Exactly! What has come to pass for normal among New School AAs looks downright insane to others. So even if a sojourner has common sense, she might be suffering from the repercussions of some of those habits. We cannot help how we were raised but we can course correct as adults. Any sojourner should purge herself of any habits that smack of low class foolishness (or insanity, or drug addiction), in my humble opinion.

  23. Truth P. says:

    “You’ve brought up a very important point. I’m not so sure about the Southern angle, but I do think that having large numbers of AAs growing up in heat-included-in-the-rent situations is what has normalized this “never-turn-the-thermostat-down” behavior pattern that so many AAs have.”

    And there you have it.That’s the cause of it all.
    I know because I lived in one of those heat included in the rent places before.Everyone I knew that lived in those places did not seem to care about conserving energy at all,including my family.

    This also reminds me of a lesson that I had to teach my siblings,and learn for myself, it is not always okay to accept gifts or things that people give for free.It’s definitely not okay to OVER INDULGE/CONSUME something that is being shared with you.We have to be modest and not wasteful when accepting certain freebies.

    You really shouldn’t accept everything that someone is willing to give you because sometimes you don’t even need it that bad, and one day when you really NEED something from them you may be afraid to ask because they have already been so generous to you.Or they may have seen the way you take too much of the good things they offer and may not be inclined to share anymore.

  24. Browncow says:

    I can attest to what I call the “thermostat wars” growing up. My father would turn the heat down in the winter, then my mother would turn it up. In the summer, my father kept the A/C up to like 78 degrees, my mother would turn it down. My father would call it, summer in winter and winter in summer. I realized after I got married and established my home with my husband that it’s very important to keep the heat down in the winter.

    We lived in New England for a couple of years and noticed that lots of people kept their thermostat down to 68 at the highest unless there was a newborn baby in the house, in which case it would be 70 degrees. My husband was keeping the heat low from before we met so he was used to it. I needed to acclimate. So I did and it made our heating oil go farther. Heating oil is NOT cheap and you have to buy it by the gallon like gasoline. When you’re filling it up every month, it seriously adds up. Add to that sub-zero temperatures at night you really need to conserve.

    Thank you for writing about this. The price of oil is going up due to all the mess hitting the fan out in North Africa and the Middle East and it will continue to rise. The days of getting gas for under $2 are gone as are the days of getting gas for under $3. We’re paying about $3.50 and up in my area. With that the price of food will also be going up. Pulling back and living simpler will be what separates those who survive tough economic times and those who sink further into the abyss. We need to start learning some of the old ways and what I mean by that is gardening, learning how to sew, knitting, crochet, cook from scratch, canning, buying from your local farmer’s market, and any other thing you can think of to help your family survive and thrive. I for one am doing a container garden on our back deck and we’re starting small this year to get the hang of it. Next year, we’ll grow more veggies. When we buy a house, we’re going to make sure there is no HOA to keep us from having a full veggie garden so we can freeze and can food for the winter or tough economic times. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking Khadija, it’s going to hit the fan and the people who have these down home skills will do well. I certainly plan on being one of them. Let the grasshoppers play. I’m getting down to business.

    • Natasia says:

      Yes!
      Right now, I’m starting my own container garden as well and all I have is my measly little apartment balcony! I’m not a pro by any means though- I’m beginning with chives and arugula, but I definitely want to get to pro status so I can provide for myself.
      Sustainability, sustainability, sustainability!!!

  25. Kiara says:

    Hi,I’m new to this website but I too come from a home where we save energy.

    My mother and grandpa won’t turn on the AC in the summer even though we’re in Virginia with high humidity. Instead, they open all the windows and doors the ventilate the house. It works extremely well.

    Even in winter, my mother and grandfather don’t turn on the heat; they just use down quilts to conserve heat while sleeping. For myself, even though most people find this dumbfounding, in winter I don’t turn on the heat in my room. But, I have three dogs that will sleep in bed with me and we all share heat. Some people gasp at that thought but it works.

    Even if my family didn’t tell me not to waste energy I would still conserve because I am studying biology in college and we have had a lot of discussions on how unsustainable our energy sources are.

    It’s extremely easy to conserve but I think the big problem is that people don’t want to or have the will to change unless they are in a crisis.

    Sorry, Khadija I think I already sent two comments by accident but I wasn’t finished yet.

  26. KM says:

    Just going to keep this post in mind.

    When I was growing up, the heat didn’t go over 68 and there was a kerosene heater to help keep the house warm (still is!) The warmest I was during winter was when I lived in the dorms in college. My first apartment, I got into an argument b/c I turned the thermostat to 62 at night and one of the my roommates would wake up in the middle of the night to turn it up to 72! She didn’t like it when we made her pay 2/3rds of the heating bill after one month of that.

    I must admit, I do like it to be very cool in the house with AC in the summer, but I don’t like paying that bill. I sleep better with a cool/cold house so I’ll run it to cool the house before I go to sleep but no more than that, especially this coming summer. Prices are going up and I think I can tolerate a hotter house over lots of other things.

  27. zoe1231 says:

    Hi Khadija,

    I think that this topic is really interesting looking at old school AA dynamics and new school AA dynamics at at play… Hope my comment makes sense and does not come off as rambling.

    My mom and I were raised in Miami, however my grandparents were from Georgia, but moved to Miami as adults… Anyhow, I’m thinking back to my grandfather (he lived until I was about 13) and how he had saved so much money over the years(he paid for everything and
    I mean everything – cash!!!), but was never showy or anything.
    I think about his home which he built back in 1933, but I remember as a child his house was never too cold or too hot. He didn’t have A/C, just the ceiling fans and an area heater.

    In his old age his daily outfits for casual wear were the green “Dickies” sets, but in the colder months (well what passes as cold in Miami) he usually just put on “long-johns” underneath and used to do the same for us little ones. It’s funny because I still carry the habit of wearing thermal underwear when it gets cold (by Miami standards 60’s), but there are many folks that walk around with their summer clothes still on and look confused as to why they are freezing their butts off. Ummm… DUH!!! And yes I do beleive that this is a class/cultural phenomena because I went to a “hood” high school and there were kids whose parents had plenty of money for name brand clothes, but were always still in regular clothes during our colder months. I’m talking girls in skimpy Miami-thin-material dresses and sandals with just a jacket over it and walking to school shivering. I never understood that — because they could have gotten weather appropriate clothing that was cute but chose to freeze in order to look cute.
    A co-worker told me she experienced this same thing while in New York as well.
    So I do believe that it is a mentality thing because my grandfather was not poor by a long shot – in fact he was known in the neighborhood as being pretty well off (brought my older sister’s first car cash) but he was frugal and lived a really simple life. He lived and died with no debt what so ever. He also planted his own vegetable garden, had a washer, but used a clothes line to dry his laundry and hadn’t had a house note in like a million years and we never, ever went without.

    Also, your site is really awesome, keep up the good work!!!!!!!

  28. Truth P.,

    The number of places where heat is included in the rent are going to continue to shrink as energy prices rise. Like I said, a lot of AAs who are have “Jamaica in January” heating habits are in for a rude awakening.
    _________________________________________________

    Browncow,

    You’re welcome!

    You said, “Pulling back and living simpler will be what separates those who survive tough economic times and those who sink further into the abyss. We need to start learning some of the old ways and what I mean by that is gardening, learning how to sew, knitting, crochet, cook from scratch, canning, buying from your local farmer’s market, and any other thing you can think of to help your family survive and thrive.

    . . . If you’re thinking what I’m thinking Khadija, it’s going to hit the fan and the people who have these down home skills will do well. I certainly plan on being one of them. Let the grasshoppers play. I’m getting down to business.”

    Oh yeah, we’re on the same page with this. I would also like folks to revisit the questions raised about 3 months ago during the conversation about Sharon Astyk’s “When You Should NOT Adapt In Place” post. As noted during that conversation, for many African-American women and their children, where they are living and what they’re doing is not viable in any long-term sense.
    _____________________________________________

    Kiara,

    Welcome aboard!

    You said, “It’s extremely easy to conserve but I think the big problem is that people don’t want to or have the will to change unless they are in a crisis.”

    Well, to put it bluntly: The masses are dumb like that, and they WILL suffer for it. A whole lot of them won’t make it. There will be plenty of AAs who—because they refuse to take heed of the signs and prepare—will end up in the condition that Min. Farrakhan has described as “naked, hungry, and out of doors.”

    I’m not talking to people like that. There’s not enough common ground in order for me to have a productive conversation with folks like that. As the Noble Quran says, to them their way and to me, mine. My blog posts and conversations are directed toward the Sojourners who have better sense than to wait until a crisis kicks them square in the buttocks.
    __________________________________________________

    KM,

    You said, “I must admit, I do like it to be very cool in the house with AC in the summer, but I don’t like paying that bill. I sleep better with a cool/cold house so I’ll run it to cool the house before I go to sleep but no more than that, especially this coming summer. Prices are going up and I think I can tolerate a hotter house over lots of other things.”

    Like I’ve said, I’m not like the Early Retirement Extreme blog host. I use heating and the AC. However, I don’t go buck wild with it the way many new school AAs do. I abide by the traditional AA values of being frugal and sensible about the use of heating and AC. I turn the thermostat down in the fall and winter and put on a sweater and socks. And I don’t turn my home into an icebox during the summer.
    ________________________________________________

    Hi Zoe1231,

    Thank you for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it!

    You said, “I think that this topic is really interesting looking at old school AA dynamics and new school AA dynamics at at play…”

    Exactly. I’ve been talking about the old-school, traditional AA cultural values such as frugality and common sense (as Evia describes it—LOL!) that are the way AAs lived BEFORE the mass switchover into wasteful, foolish, and dysfunctional welfare-recipient-based behavior patterns. Those among us who are wise will get back to some of our people’s old ways. Before various negative global trends catch up to them and throw their lives into chaos and ruin.

    Expect Success!

  29. medley says:

    Enviroment Friendly Heating with Tax Credits

    http://www.americanenergysystems.com/

    ****
    Corn Stoves, Corn Burners & Corn Boilers

    http://www.cornflame.net/

    • Browncow says:

      This is very interesting because I have never seen this sort of technology. I’m considering something more like this for when DH and I buy a house:

      http://www.antiquestoves.com/general%20store/generalstore.index.htm

      You can cook on this too as well as heat your home. The way cook stoves and wood burning stoves are made now, it’s more efficient so you get more heat in your house and less pollution. My question with the corn stove is what would you burn in it if you were unable to purchase the corn to fuel it? That would be my only worry with the corn stove. With a wood stove, there is wood pretty much everywhere unless you live in a city and if you live near a wooded area, there is wood on the ground in the form of sticks, branches, and fallen trees. With a saw, you could break it down and bring it home for nothing. Yeah, I know, I’m thinking real country now.