Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How you live--Heating your home

You may be wondering why I keep referring to bioregional and bioregionalism. As Doug Aberly writes in his essay Interpreting Bioregionalism
Bioregionalism is a body of thought and related practice that has evolved in response to the challenge of reconnecting socially-just human cultures in a sustainable manner to the region-scale ecosystems in which they are irrevocably embedded.
November snow
November snow
Photo by J. Harrington

I've decided that My Minnesota and its inhabitants and visitors might benefit by knowing a lot more about bioregionalism, so look for some bioregional themes woven into our bioregional quiz, from which we are now answering the second question:

What type of energy is used to heat your home?

Starting almost three years ago, our home became heated by a natural gas fueled hot air furnace. Before that, we relied on the original 25+ year old fuel oil hot air furnace. You can see that heating oil provides only a very small share of the Midwest's heating energy.

How many days a year is it employed in this capacity?

April snow
April snow
Photo by J. Harrington

Approximately 225. Here's a link to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Heating Degree Day record since 1872. Our heating season generally runs from sometime in October to sometime in May. Not all of October or all of May require running the furnace although, to be honest, we haven't actually counted the days we turn the heat on.

     October days----31
     November days-30
     December days-31
     January days-----31
     February days---28
     March days------31
     April days-------30
     May days--------31
     TOTAL days--243

Old Woman Nature

By Gary Snyder 

Old Woman Nature
naturally has a bag of bones
                tucked away somewhere.
                a whole room full of bones!

A scattering of hair and cartilage
               bits in the woods.

A fox scat with hair and a tooth in it.
               a shellmound
                      a bone flake in a streambank.

A purring cat, crunching
               the mouse head first,
                       eating on down toward the tail--
The sweet old woman
               calmly gathering firewood in the
               moon . . .

Don't be shocked,
She's heating you some soup.
                            VII, '81, Seeing Ichikawa Ennosuke in

                      "Kurozuka"—"Demoness"— at the Kabuki-za
                                                       in Tokyo


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