Seattle is home to the Seahawks, Puget Sound, and the Space Needle, but walk up and down any street in Seattle and you will see another overlooked trademark: moss. Moss is extremely problematic in the city of Seattle where the days are short, the skies overcast, and it rains all the time. While most residents of Seattle just turn the other cheek to moss, a creative mind decided to turn it into something useful.
“Moss is everywhere in the Puget Sound area”, said longtime resident Joe Smooth. “It grows in the trees, on the fences, on the streets, rocks and houses. It grows in the sewers and in the pipes. It is everywhere I tell you.”
Joe Smooth decided that it was time to turn this extremely problematic symptom of the cooler weather into something useful. After trying to turn the moss into a fashion statement by making it into clothing, and trying it as a bookmark, Smooth discovered a useful use for moss – heating.
“Seattle isn’t extremely cold like Minnesota or Alaska”, explained Smooth. “But when it rains and gets overcast it can get chilly. With the cost of heating both electric and gas going through the roof I thought I’d find a new way to heat homes.”
Smooth began collecting moss that grew on the fence and roof of his home. The moss was stored in an airtight container in the garage. When Smooth had finally collected a pound of moss he dried it using one of the air suction vacuums he owned.
“The key is to remove all the air and moisture from the moss”, Smooth explained. “Then it can be used almost like kindling for a fire. It’s pretty cool.”
The dried moss can then be light on fire in a wood burning fireplace and used to heat up a home. A pound of dried moss can heat a home for about eight hours, or until it is extinguished. Smooth has been invited to speak at several local colleges and libraries to explain his findings.
“We think what he discovered could help a lot of people”, said library director Melanie Indigo. “I want other people to see it too.”
Joe Smooth plans on publishing his findings in the local Seattle heating journal, and even has plans to write an eBook about his discovery. Joe has also been nominated for “Amazing Citizen of the Year award” by his local neighborhood for his efforts in reducing the costs of heating in Seattle.
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