Heating and insulation
The house (and water) is heated by a combination of wood pellets and solar panels. In
the summertime we use almost only the solar heating – and even on a sunny winters
day it makes a contribution to our heating.
We have chosen to have brand new heating pipes and radiators, which gives an optimal utilization of the heat.
Most floors of the house has been up and been insulated with 300 mm. Where ever possible, the old floors have been laid again.
Headboards and ceiling are insulated with flax, which is an environmentally friendly insulating material, with the advantage that you can work with it without any skin- or respiratory problems.
Renovation of the house
In many places we have reused the original materials from the house or other recyclable materials. F.ex. Our kitchen cabinet doors are bought from a recycling company and put on a new frame.
The walls are painted in most places with homemade paint - known as an emulsion paint – with an addition of 20% plastic paint to make the surface more robust.
It is actually cheaper than buying plastic paint and gives both a better indoor climate, as it doesn’t "close" the surface and a better environment because no artificial chemicals are used. It has been easy to work with this kind of paint. In some places, we have also used linseed oil paint - but that was NOT so easy to work with - and consequently most woodwork has been painted with turpentine-based paint.
In our other material choices, we have similarly attempted to compensate for the practical, sensible, environmentally sound and economic against each other.
Washing and cleaning
We use detergents with enzymes and no phosphate and washes usually by 30 degrees. The clothes are dried either on our English "airer" below the ceiling in the laundry room, outside on the clothesline when the weather permits or (unfortunately still a little too often) in the dryer.
Flour, grains, spices and other groceries and dairy products are ALWAYS organic.
Fruit and vegetables are as far as possible either organic (80%) or locally grown. Especially in the summer season we think it makes sense to buy local, fresh and gently produced goods, even if they are not organically certified. Our own garden crops are
not certified either, because we are not under control from the government. But we garden by the same principles.
Meat is preferably locally produced, from animals that have had a good life. For us that mean pigs and cows that have lived outside in an as natural way as possible. Some of
this meat is organic some not.
Eggs are from our own produce to the extent that the chicken produce (may vary over the year) or else organic. Except for eggs used raw in deserts etc. that are always pasteurized for health security reasons. Unfortunately we can’t get organic pasteurized eggs (yet!).
When we buy imported foods (and other things) we try to be aware of its source of origin and limit the need for transportation.
Dividing and recycling waste is for us a natural action and we try to minimize the amount of packaging, plastic and tinfoil used in our household.
Electricity and water
Finally a word about energy saving bulbs: In this house we do not like them! We know that many people swear to them to be the big "energy savers", but they give a very nasty and unpleasant light, which actually is not fit for a nice and relaxing home environment. And because we simultaneously do not feel convinced that the total energy consumption (including production and degradation) is much smaller than for ordinary light bulbs, we have chosen to go another way and put dimmers on many of our lamps, so that we can turn down to maybe 10-15W and that way both create a nice lighting and save energy.
Like most others, we have a myriad of electrical things that uses standby power when they are not switched off. So we do our best to remember! As a guest, we hope you will help us by remembering to turn off lights when you're not in the room!
As for hot water, we have plenty of it. We love ourselves to take hot showers in the morning and it's a great luxury every day to kick-start your body in this way. But remember that in Denmark we actually bathe in clean water, somthing we should not take for granted.