Living Off the Land
On a cold winter day in the Ozarks when I’m hang- ing clothes on the line and my fingers are freezing, I’ve found myself daydreaming about how to harness all
that frigid air. If only I could pack it all down tight in a bottle to
save and release in my house on an oppressively hot summer
day. Hmmm … bottling cold air … that’s an invention I could
get behind! It would be seasonal living at its finest.
Cold air blowing into the house for the sole purpose of keeping you cool in the summer … hmm … it seems like someone
already invented something like that. Yes, I believe it’s called
air-conditioning! It was invented in the early 1900s, but didn’t
see widespread use until much later. In 1965 only 10 percent
of American homes used these devices. That number has now
increased to 87 percent of homes in our country. In only about
fifty years, it has risen from the status of luxury to necessity.
Let that sink in for a moment. Throughout the majority of
mankind’s history, people lived without air-conditioning. But
after only fifty years, our culture now sees it as a necessity! The
United States actually leads the world in energy use for air-conditioning. That really puts things in perspective for me. During
the “dog days” of summer, it helps me to remember that I’m in
good company in my commitment to live without it.
The average American household spends anywhere from 50
to 70 percent of its electric bill on summer air-conditioning.
That’s a lot of money in cold air! Have you ever thought about
how much you could save by choosing to leave it off I recently
talked to a family that decided to make the change last summer
after their air-conditioner broke. They couldn’t see investing
money in its repair while, at the same time, working hard on
their homestead to be self-sufficient in their food production.
It just didn’t make sense. They have had no regrets after making
By Jaimie Bauer