Water and Technology

Water and Technology

Not long ago I heard about an interesting new product designed to make showering more efficient, reducing water use by 90% and energy use by 80%. The Orb-Sys or Orbital Shower is being developed by Orbital Systems in Sweden. The shower starts off with fresh water like normal, but instead of disappearing down the drain, the reclaimed water is collected in the base, cleaned and filtered to tap water ... 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

Edible Landscapes Delight the Palate!

Anna Peltier's edible yard, Aria Landscape Architecture.

Recently, I had the good fortune to participate in a panel discussion at the monthly meeting of the U.S. Green Building Council - Nevada Chapter. Appropriately, their meetings are held in a beautiful green building built with straw bales, one of several LEED-Platinum structures at the Springs Preserve. The topic was green homes and my talk encompassed a combination of many strategies 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

How Fresh is Your Energy?

Clean, fresh solar energy is best for heating water.

There are many ways to heat water but in the end, it really boils down to how we make use of the sun’s energy. Consider these two scenarios: Scenario One: Ancient Energy The process starts hundreds of millions of years ago. The sun shines down on our planet providing energy for plants and animals to flourish. The life process pulls carbon out of the air and over many millions of years, some of ... Read More

Finding Our Way With Water

Lost when it comes to water.

Have you ever gotten really lost? I’m not talking about a wrong turn. Getting really lost usually requires some effort, like thinking you’re going the right way for so long that when you finally realize you made a mistake, it may be too late. It happens all too often, to people as well as cultures. When it comes to water, our culture has yet to realize its mistakes. We have managed to ... Read More

Flow: An Award-Winning Documentary About Water

Flow-movie-flyer

There will be a showing of the award-winning documentary film Flow at UNLV's SEB Auditorium on Tuesday, March 19th at 7 PM. It will be followed by a panel discussion. I'll be there and I hope you will as well. Water is fundamental to our lives, especially here in the Mojave Desert. Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and ... 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

Solving the Water Crisis

Water from recent rain in Southern Nevada should have been harvested.

The aptly-named Black Mountains behind my home have been turned a beautiful shade of green by recent and relatively abundant rainfall. Even a brief rain event in Southern Nevada is welcome, but the last month or so has been exceptional and it has me thinking of potential opportunities. Each time I see water dripping off my roof or running down the gutter, I think of the lessons I’ve learned from ... Read More

Evaporative Coolers Save Energy and Money

Fan blowing water mist provides evaporative cooling effect.

Keeping cool can be a challenge during our hot summers, especially when faced with high energy bills. Modern air-conditioning systems use a lot of power and that’s why making our homes more energy-efficient can be so rewarding. Efficiency can only go so far though, so it’s good to have other options for chilling-out while saving some dough. One of the most effective ways to reduce summer ... Read More