Heating and electricity, local twists

For most people in the blogging world I can guess that you don’t know where your electricity comes from, or if you do it is in general terms. Of course some of you are going to stand up with indignation and let me know you have solar panels so you do know, good for you!

When I grew up in Washington state I knew roughly where my electricity came from, hydro electric dams, living in SW Colorado I can point to the haze from the coal plant that powers my lights at work, I can find the coal mine on a map. I actually know how to get to both those locations, and have been there. (These would be the mines and power plant on the Navajo nation near Farmington, New Mexico).

Personally we use wood to heat and don’t have electricity at home. Heating in southern Colorado with wood isn’t unusual, and for our purposes it is cheap/free and part of our rental agreement. See, we rent 43 acres of pinion forest/high desert and one of the things we have to do is fire mitigation. That means removing beetle downed wood- lots of it is punky or too big for our stove, but we cut up what we can and use it. Our heating comes directly from our land and our work.

So how do we see at night? We use candles and one battery powered lantern, currently they are inherited candles but soon will be beeswax candles from the area (bees might be bought in the spring). It is actually nice to have the early winter nights, although sometimes it would be nice to have a light in the bathroom that comes on with a switch.

Of course we don’t live without the modern wonders of life, and we still use the grid. At work or school we plug in phone, tablets and other tech, we have internet (via 4g) and listen to the radio.

While solar panels might be in our future, we don’t really miss the bright lights and late nights messing around on the internet or watching mindless movies. When we only have so much battery power, we treat it like a valuable resource instead of cheap amusement.

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