Our parents always said we shoud listen to the elders. Our parents, grandparents, uncles, in short, the generations before us have much to teach us. In addition to experience about life, about sustainability too.
Until recently there were more resilient communities. Past generations were less dependent on external energy. But we born in the era of cheap energy from fossil fuels and electricity available at a click, and we are not prepared for a period of rationing – which can happen in a not too distant future.
In Dan’s parents’ house, we have many ecological examples. Here are two of them :
Heating water for showers using wood stove: my father-in-law installed a coil coupled with a wood stove. Snaking through the coil, the water heats up, and then it is distributed to two showers for two bathrooms. And while the water is heating, you can cook in the wood stove! Better yet, the fuel used is not native or eucalyptus wood, but instead construction and remodeling debris, old paper and cardboard, etc.. wood stoves are a tradition here in Minas Gerais, and this system can be easily adapted in many homes. PS: Be aware of using painted wood as fuel, because i may contain toxics. And if you can install some filter for the smoke, even better.
Lighting with glass tiles: the roof of the kitchen mixes common and glass tiles. In one of the glass ones, it was even used an old Jeep glass, which also works very well. Result: less dependence on electric energy to brighten the kitchen. Breakfast, lunch and preparation are made with sunlight, saving energy and natural resources. The sun is a source of free and powerful energy!