Windows, Efficiency and Techniques

Windows in the sand.

Windows have been around a long time. The origin of the word is centuries old and the original “wind eye” was nothing more than an unglazed hole in the roof that provided ventilation and day lighting. Today’s windows have come a long way since then. Good windows add much to the enjoyment, comfort and value of a home, but bad windows... Well, let’s just say they can be more like a “wind eye.” In ... Read More

Las Vegas’ Green Decade Marked by Decathlon Success

Desert Sol interior

Here’s a riddle for you: What is beautiful, totally green, and red all over? The answer: DesertSol of course! DesertSol is the name of the green home designed and built by the amazingly-talented UNLV students collectively known as Team Las Vegas. They recently completed the Department of Energy’s prestigious Solar Decathlon competition held in Irvine, California.  Students from colleges and ... Read More

Nevada’s 2013 Conservation Scorecard

Nevada Conservation League

The Nevada Conservation League (NCL) is an organization that works for everyone in the state when it comes to environmental issues. I am fortunate to be a member of the board of directors for both the Nevada Conservation League and the Nevada Conservation League Education Fund. It is one more way I get to practice the art of Green Living. As Nevada's leading environmental advocacy organization, ... Read More

Watch Out for Hidden Energy Waste

Circulation pump clock timer.

One nice side effect of using solar energy is a heightened awareness about energy use in general. Not everyone will have the same reaction of course, but I enjoy the process of paying attention and making adjustments here and there as needed. It also a good way to take some personal responsibility for the state of our world. The heart of many solar water heating systems is the heat-exchanger ... Read More

Greened House Effect is a Must Read for Homeowners

Author Jeff Wilson (photo by Sherri James)

It has been said that the greenest building is the one that’s already built, because so much energy is embodied in the existing structure. There is some truth to that statement and greening an existing home or building can be the shortest route to energy efficiency, long-term savings, increased comfort and environmental healing. I would say that the greenest building is one that’s already built ... Read More

The Importance of Leadership

The Earth is heating rapidly.

Good leadership is important. It can make or break a community, a nation, even our world. As citizens we depend on leaders to establish policies and standards that make our community safe. They must balance the immediate needs of many while keeping an eye on long-term trends that will shape our future. It’s not an easy task and there are more opposing opinions (some with very loud voices) that you ... Read More

A Sense of Urgency: It’s Too Late to do Nothing for Earth

The first atomic explosion, 1945

I try to keep the tone mostly warm and friendly here but what drives me to write is very serious. We are facing… no, strike that. We are creating a planetary emergency. Let me state a few facts and then tie them all together. The Earth has an energy imbalance due to added greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Just like adding a blanket on cold night, the gasses trap heat so less of the sun’s ... Read More

Green Real Estate in Nevada

High Performance Home Symposium in Las Vegas

Imagine you had some great products to sell. They were the best available in terms of value and longevity. They helped protect people’s health and improved their quality of life. They were so good that the people who actually found out about them agreed to buy as many as you could make for the price you were asking. Sounds like a great scenario right? Now add one little twist. The sales could ... Read More

EnergyFit Nevada Makes a Difference!

An EnergyFit home stands out.

My last column about the season of giving suggested that Green Living can be a wonderful way to express our appreciation to those we care about. Just after I wrote it, a friend sent a wonderful email providing a real world example of exactly what I had in mind. I’ll refer to this couple as Jenn and Rob. The excitement in Jenn’s email was obvious. She mentioned “a Merrier Christmas season” for ... Read More

Efficient Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heater

As homes become more efficient, the portion of energy used for water heating is growing larger. Collectively, the amount of energy expended on this simple task is astounding and much of it is wasted. There are many options for improving the efficiency of our water heating systems, including insulating the water heater and pipes, avoiding setting the thermostat higher than necessary and using low ... Read More