Natural Living Des Moines

Hang that Laundry! by sarahtar
August 3, 2010, 11:24 am
Filed under: Energy, Home and Garden, Urban Homesteading

It’s summer, and the hot air that makes us all sweat is perfect for drying laundry outside! Air-drying is cheap, doesn’t use any energy, and makes your clothes last longer. Read more over at Boulevard Farm.


Solar Leasing by sarahtar
July 24, 2010, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Energy

Hm, perusing through the most recent issue of Urban Farm magazine, I came across the idea of solar leasing. Basically, some companies have started leasing solar panels to interested homeowners. This lessens the up-front costs but, like any lease, makes it more expensive in the long run. In doing just a short bit of research online, though, I’m finding that there are many who doubt the financial viability of a solar leasing program – particularly, Citizenre Renu has been promising solar panels to interested homeowners since 2006, but apparently have yet to actually install any.

Regardless, I did find a company in Minnesota called Solarflow Energy that provides solar panel leasing. They are in the middle of a pilot project limited to customers in the twin cities area, but I would assume that if the project goes well, there might be a possibility of expanded operations – or of a business opening up here in Des Moines providing similar services. Something to look into!

Wind Turbines in Ankeny? by sarahtar
June 23, 2010, 1:14 pm
Filed under: Energy

It looks like the wind turbine plan in Ankeny might become reality. It’s passed its second reading, and only needs one more reading to become law. The next City Council meeting is July 6, so if you live in Ankeny and feel passionate about this issue, contact your City Council representative.

Wind Turbines by sarahtar
July 8, 2009, 8:52 am
Filed under: Energy, News

Here at my house, we don’t get significant amounts of wind. Though I’ve wished we COULD have a wind turbine, and I guess we certainly could have one, it just wouldn’t make much sense.

My mom’s house, on the other hand, out by West Glen, received wind All. The. Time. We never did any studies, but my amateur guess is that a wind turbine on her roof might have actually paid off.

During a time when we as a nation are trying to cut down on our dependence on fossil fuels, and especially foreign oil, many families – urban and rural – are looking into alternative energy sources for their own household. Not content to trust that the power company is doing all they can, and not necessarily trusting that the power company will always be there, or that they will always be able to afford the power company’s services, more and more families are thinking about solar panels, wind turbines, and the like.

So why a town like Waukee would be considering banning wind turbines is a bit of a surprise.