Transition Mankato in partnership with the School Sisters of Notre Dame Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry, Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation – Gustavus Adolphus College, and Region 9 Renewable Energy Task Force hosted a DIY Solar Air Heat Workshop. Professor Jim Dontje (Gustavus) gave a demonstration on building a solar air heater to 95 attendees from the Greater Mankato area. Many folks in our area have been impacted by the spike in propane prices and other heating costs. This workshop was created in response to the need for affordable, non carbon based heat and in the name of resilience and community. We were so pleased to see such a large crowd on what was a very cold night. Lots of new faces and lots of old friends reinforced in us of the power of community. Jim gave a brief presentation and then the group gathered to build a solar air heater to be attached to the exterior of a house (wall or roof). The estimated cost of constructing the 4’ x 8’ solar heater was $250. The solar heater constructed by the group could provide adequate heat for a good sized room, and based on fluctuating fuel prices could save you $100 – $250 per year in heating costs. The feedback we received was that this workshop was very informative. People left feeling empowered and motivated to start building their own solar heaters. We are looking in to hosting another event similar to this one in the future. Like us on Facebook (Transition Mankato, MN) to be notified of future workshops and events. And feel free to leave us your feedback!