When it comes to seasonal preparation, cheap energy has allowed many citizens of developed nations to abandon the lessons of the Tale of the Ant and the Grasshopper. Addicted to a constant flow of cheap heating fuel, electricity, and even food from overseas, a cold hungry awakening awaits those mindlessly living the Grasshopper Lifestyle ( see earlier post on price impact of electricity deregulation for example of what is coming). To paraphrase the Tale:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.Via::Ned Martin's Amused; The Original Story of the Ant and the Grasshopper
How can you live a more ant-like lifestyle?I you own your own home, get an energy audit done now.
Hint:-paying for more insulation now might make paying the Christmas bills more doable later.
For wood burners:
If you have an open fireplace, get a wood stove insert ordered before they're out of stock. Caveat: check local air quality regulations to ensure you meet emission limits and for use restrictions.
Get the chimney inspected and cleaned as soon as possible; and certainly before installing a wood burning appliance.
If you burn logs or pellets, place a bulk order now. By the middle of September, prices will start to go up drastically.
Make plans for off-ground, sheltered storage of any wood-based fuel. Watch for end of year sales on party tents if you lack a wood shed - be sure to stake legs down.
Image credit::Steiner Books, excerpt from illustration of Tale of the Ant and Grasshopper