Looking Back at a Green 2013

Green 2013Green Living covers a lot of territory. Let’s take a look back with a recap of the topics we covered in this Green 2013.

Winter

We kicked off the year with “Liking Las Vegas,” highlighting some great green things that have been happening in the valley. The topic of “Solar-Ready Homes” revealed the logic of building with the sun in mind.

Shake and Fold: Drying Your Hands Without Using a Whole Tree” brought some levity and practical advice to help save over 570 million pounds of paper a year. “Green Real Estate in Nevada” reviewed green educational opportunities for real estate professionals, a key to accurate home values.

We also added a GreenDream post about Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Nevada featuring a map of where EV owners can get some juice.

The impact on our community’s recycling rates was the topic of “Rob Dorinson: Green Leader.” His legacy continues to benefit everyone.

A Sense of Urgency: It’s Too Late to do Nothing for Earth” tied the concept of climate change to an unforgettable visual: 400,000 nuclear bombs of additional greenhouse energy added to our biosphere each day, the effect of fossil fuel carbon we have released. If that didn’t spur you into action, nothing will.

Spring

April included a head’s up about green happenings including Earth Day, celebrated with GREENFest at UNLV, plus other significant events produced by Great Basin Permaculture and the U.S. Green Building Council – Nevada Chapter.

Then readers were invited to support DesertSol, UNLV’s first entry in the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. That column also mentioned ways to save with solar energy rebates and tax credits.

Renters Can Do It Too!” revealed how anyone can get involved in the clean energy revolution and make a difference.  “The Importance of Leadership” discussed the necessary acceleration of adopting deep green building codes and practices.

Next up was a new book, “The Greened House Effect” by Jeff Wilson. It is an enjoyable and very informative story about greening his family’s home.

Finding Our Way With Water” revealed a broad range of techniques, practices and technologies as alternatives to the proposed water grab pipeline.

In June we posed the question “How Fresh is Your Energy?” Logic favors using fresh, unlimited solar energy (only eight minutes old) rather than stale, ancient and ultimately exhaustible energy exhumed from fossilized graves hundreds of millions of years in the making.

Summer

July kicked off with a column urging everyone to “Be a Clean-Energy Leader,” reviewing victories over dirty coal in Nevada and inviting attendance at the National Clean Energy Summit.

How Do Your Feel About Plastic?” told the heart-wrenching story of plastic and the albatross of Midway Island, focusing on the incredible work of Chris Jordan that’s creating awareness about the global impact of even our simplest choices.

We visited our past by looking at building renovation in “Las Vegas’ Historic Harrison House Goes Green.” It was followed by “Buycott: Make Empowered Buying Decisions” about how the brilliant “Buycott” app can help us vote for a better world every day.

Daily life was the topic of “Using Solar Around the House,” highlighting the many benefits of living with the sun in Southern Nevada. “Watch Out For Hidden Energy Waste” rounded out the summer season by creating awareness about inefficient but all-too-common plumbing practices that contribute to hidden energy costs and even premature equipment failure.

Fall

Readers were invited to participate in Solar NV’s 9th annual “Southern Nevada Solar Home Tour” in early October. Then we discussed the incredible, edible landscapes created by Anna Peltier of Aria Landscape Architecture in “Edible Landscapes Delight the Palate!

Las Vegas’ Green Decade Marked by Decathlon Success framed the incredible results of Desert Sol and Team Las Vegas in the international Solar Decathlon competition within the context of our city’s progress toward sustainability.

The Human Race: Can We Win It?” was the question posed in mid-November, providing a big-picture view of our green living progress. Thanksgiving prompted a column about “Giving Thanks” and how our green choices can help others too.  A special GreenDream post, Electric Car Safety – The Real Story, echoed an excellent piece by Elon Musk on the topic.

December’s first column rounded out the year prompting awareness of the winter solstice, something people have done for thousands of years. The brief historic overview of solar energy also invited readers to tune into the annual path of the sun. Observing the solstice aids our understanding of passive solar home design.

A Green 2013

We covered a lot of ground in 2013. Topics ranged from the minutiae of drying one’s hands to the big picture of climate change. In the end it is all about learning to live lighter on the planet. Our homes provide a great opportunity to improve comfort, reduce energy costs and make the world a better place for everyone.

Thanks for reading and more importantly, for caring. I wish you a Happy and Green New Year!