Even the basement does not escape the concept of a sustainable house. If you are planning to remodel the lower floor and are concerned about the future of the planet, here are a few guidelines you should follow, according to Écohabitation experts.
This would be the perfect time to check for radon. We have been hearing more and more about this carcinogenic gas. You can find the detection device in a large shopping centre or a hardware store. If the level is high, Écohabitiion recommends a system designed to evacuate the gas.
Insulating the water heater and plumbing pipes will considerably reduce your energy bills.
Opt for synthetic (recycled) gypsum for the walls and ceilings instead of the natural one. It is more ecological. Continue reading →
It’s wrong to say that aesthetics and durability don’t go hand in hand. On the contrary! A green kitchen exudes warmth and cheerfulness, otherwise difficult to obtain. Here is an example.
Imagine a large floor made of natural linoleum, ceramic, wood, concrete or natural stone, like slate or terracotta. Just above are the cabinets made of solid wood, bamboo or wheat board panels. And plenty of natural sunlight is streaming through the windows.
Did you wince when reading the words linoleum and bamboo? You see, times have changed. Today’s linoleum is sold in many different colours and contemporary designs and bamboo comes in many various shades. Take some time to shop around.
The sink is in natural stone or stainless steel. The base of the kitchen island is made of wood, while the countertops of ceramic, waxed concrete, stainless steel or any other material imitating stone. On the wall, copper pans are hanging.
Note that all the surfaces in the kitchen are made of durable, hygienic and easy to maintain materials. Three of the criteria that largely exemplify a green kitchen. Continue reading →
Wine is suitable for all seasons, but during the rigours of fall and winter, it provides a warmth that is unique to it. During these times, it has the gift of reconciling us with life. Not surprising that lovers of good wine reserve a specific place for it.
Some people store it in their closet. Sacrilegious? Not at all. Good bottles of wine can be stored anywhere, as long as it is cool, devoid of light, has an ambient temperature between 10 and 15 degrees and 55% to 80% humidity. Warning! All these conditions must be respected to the letter, all year long. Wine is delicate and sensitive to changes in temperature. It needs stability. The slightest change can alter it.
To ensure this stability, some wine enthusiasts resort to a mini-air conditioner, a humidifier, a wine cooler, and other devices after having consulted a wine specialist.
There are two other mandatory conditions: the wine must be free from any vibration and the air it breathes must be pure. Therefore, you should avoid storing it in the garage. Continue reading →
Farmers used to store their vegetables in an underground space in the middle of a field. Come fall, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and other garden produce was stored underground. Otherwise the vegetables were found under the house in a space known as a root cellar.
It’s quite likely that root cellars and natural caves still exist in Quebec. You just have to go for a walk far out in the country to find them.
These underground spaces have a dual advantage: they stay cool in the summer despite the hot weather and they are protected from freezing in winter. If you go into one of these underground spaces, you’ll find that they’re cool and humid, and that the only light usually comes from the light of day through the open door.
We tasted food cooked in a wood oven on the roof of a hotel at the Siwa Oasis in Egypt. We didn’t see what it was made of. We did notice the exquisite taste of the lavash (Egyptian bread that we call pita bread), Clepara pizza and oum mali (oriental pudding).
More and more people are building an outdoor oven in Quebec. These ovens are taking different shapes. One thing to keep in mind is that the materials have to support high temperatures for a long time. You think that brick would be the obvious choice. But wait! The quality of the brick or its finish are not always up to par.
You just can’t combine field rocks or bricks stuck together with mortar. Our cold temperatures require a good insulation system.