Archive for Saturday, October 6, 2007

House tour touts conservation efforts

Environmental journalist shares green tips

October 6, 2007


Annual Lawrence Home Energy Conservation Fair begins next Saturday

The 7th Annual Lawrence Home Energy Conservation Fair begins next Saturday and brings with it a message of sustainability and energy-efficiency. Enlarge video

Past Event
Home Energy Conservation Fair and Sustainable Homes Tour

  • When: Saturday, October 13, 2007, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: Free State High School, 4700 Overland Drive, Lawrence
  • Cost: Free - $6
  • More on this event....

Halfway through Friday's tour of an energy-efficient home in North Lawrence, Simran Sethi declared her newfound love for cellulose insulation.

"It doesn't seem very interesting to people, but these things are so important," said the environmental journalist, who is teaching at Kansas University and is co-host and writer for the Sundance Channel's "The Green" show.

Before the tour started, Mark Brooks, the construction manager for the Habitat for Humanity house on display, came out in bib overalls, cupping a pile of the insulation in his hands.

What drew Sethi's admiration?

The insulation was made out of recycled newspaper - and not fiberglass - at a Wellsville company. Some say it can help keep heat in or out (depending on the season) better than other traditional material.

"There is so much stuff that is invisible that can have an impact," Sethi said.

Sethi was touring the home as part of a media event to promote the upcoming Lawrence Home Energy Conservation Fair. She was a kind of keynote speaker Friday afternoon, distributing a list of 15 tips to conserve energy.

The house - and its insulation - was the second attraction.

It's the eighth of 16 houses planned for the Habitat for Humanity development off Comfort Lane.

With insulated windows, a 1,050-foot floor plan and a furnace that draws and displaces heat into the ground beneath it, the home was built to be green.

Still under construction, the inside of the house had unpainted walls, concrete floors and newly arrived doors stacked in what would soon be the living room.

The home will be among those showcased next Saturday as part of the fair's sustainable homes tour.

Steve Lane, a local architect, helped design the Habitat for Humanity home and is working to rebuild a greener Greensburg, which was destroyed by a tornado last spring. He said they wanted to put homes on the tour that weren't "extravagant, engineering wonders that cost $400,000."

Or "ugly," Sethi chimed in.

More information is available at

15 tips on how to conserve energy In Your home

From environmental journalist Simran Sethi.

To do today:

1. Turn down the thermostat when you are away from home or at night.

2. Reduce the temperature of your hot-water heater and limit the amount of hot water you use.

3. Open the blinds and drapes on the southern side of your house during the day and close them at night.

4. Clean or replace your air filters.

5. Clean out the lint filters in your clothes dryer.

To do this week:

1. Install a programmable thermostat.

2. Put weatherstripping around leaky windows and doors.

3. Insulate your hot-water heater and hot water pipes.

4. Replace indoor light bulbs and outdoor floodlights with compact fluorescent light bulbs, and install motion- or light-sensing light switches.

5. Buy carbon offsets for the balance of your typical household consumption.

What you can do this month:

1. Seal your heating ducts.

2. Upgrade the insulation of one or more key parts of your house.

3. Make sure energy efficiency is a component of any significant remodeling job.

4. Replace old appliances, heating equipment and hot-water heaters with Energy Star versions.

5. Begin to understand how you can use solar electric, solar hot-water heating or wind energy in your area.


matahari 10 years, 3 months ago

As I have suggested to Boog and others, it should be mandated that every new house in this community incorporate two alternative forms of energy. In fact, this practice should be instituted throughout the USA. all good ideas...expcept the part about yet another "law" that dictates how someone should or could heat their home/water you really like being told what to do?

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