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10 Ways to Make Your Log Cabin More Eco-Friendly With Alternative Energy

A log cabin is already a pretty eco-friendly option for those who want to lessen their impact on the environment. You can create one out of used lumber, choose greener chemicals for the staining and provide a house made from natural materials instead of the drywall used more commonly in houses these days.

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But if that isn’t as far as you want to take your Earth saving methods it may be time to take things to the next level. Here are ten ways to make your log cabin more eco-friendly using alternative energy instead of more harmful fuels.

   1.  Join a Green Energy Service - More and more alternative energies are becoming viable and accessible options for people around the world. One of the ways that is happening is through the use of energy services. These companies will buy up energy certificates in your name, connect to your home and start putting part or all of your energy into nearby alternative energy like wind farms. Many of these are free for half of your energy converted to clean energy, and a small fee per month for turning all of it into clean energy.

   2.  Install Solar Panels - Solar power is a great source of fuel because it has two different types to choose from. Active energy is the type that uses solar panels to run things in your house on the day to day. Passive energy is what is stored for later use. Some people choose to only use solar energy for certain things, or as a backup in times of outages or high energy costs. Others use electricity as the backup, such as at night when there isn’t enough stored in solar batteries to use.

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   3.  Get Energy Saving Curtains - This is one of the cheapest, simplest ways you can save on energy and use up less resources as a result. Heavy curtains can trap in heat during the cold months, so it isn’t leaking out and forcing you to use more heat to keep warm. They can also trap in cool air during the summers when you have the air conditioning running.

   4.  Install Ground Source Heating Pumps - Most of us aren’t lucky enough to live on top of natural hot springs. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of geothermal energy. Ground source heating pumps use the Earth’s natural heated water supply and run it into our homes, no water heater necessary.

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   5.  Consider a Biodiesel Furnace - You may have never heard of these before, but you would know them under another name: oil burning furnaces. These are actually a viable way of heating your home and they can run on biofuels such as plant or even animal fats/oils. If you have access to biodiesel it is the perfect alternative energy source, using discards from your own meals, garden, etc. to run.

   6.  Seal Your Log Cabin Properly - Like energy curtains, sometimes it is best just to stop leaks from happening in the first place. A log cabin can get gaps in the lumber over time, which cause leak sources. This can also be a problem for infestations originating from those gaps, letting in vermin that can be a real hassle to get rid of. Make sure you are regularly staining and sealing your log cabin to keep this wood warping and rot from occurring.

   7.  Look into Capturing Rainwater - Every year a ton of water is wasted in homes. You can do quite a lot to lessen your use of water, such as washing dishes by hand, only washing clothes when there is a full load and taking fewer showers. But you can also capture rainwater and use it for your house. There are a few ways to do this. One is with a simple rain barrel that collects, sanitizes and holds the water, which can be released through a valve. Another is by installing a complete containment system that links to your house and powers everything inside of it. A regular barrel costs around $100, while a containment system can be between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on size. Be sure to check regional laws to make sure it is legal to capture rainwater where you live.

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   8.  Erect a Wind Turbine - This one can be a bit tricky. You need around an acre or more of land to erect a wind turbine and it has to be clear land without power lines or air path ordinances that could cause conflicts or dangers. But if you have land you can get a license from the local government to run your own wind energy source for your home. Some communities have even banded together to erect several on one person’s land that help power the entire neighborhood.

  9. Take Advantage of That Stream - For those who live right near a source of water it can be possible to use hydropower. Deceptively simple, this method uses either naturally running or manipulated water from a stream, lake, ect to create power or their home. Anyone who has ever seen an old-fashioned mill or factory that was hydropowered in a history book see that this can be done for a house just as easily. There may be laws prohibiting water sources for this use depending on whether you own the portion of water or not, so check local regulation before setting things up.

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   10.  Create a Solar Oven - Want something small but effective you can do to make an eco-friendly impact without changing your entire house’s energy structure? Solar ovens are easy to make and very useful. They use the sun to heat your food, making them perfect for camping as well as at home use. You would be amazed at how simple the process is and you can use materials you have laying around the house. These make great additions to emergency kits as all they need is direct sunlight in order to prepare food. Most won’t get hot enough to safely cook things like meat, though they can also be used in conjunction with a clean burning grill to make a combo for any situation.

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