Solar-Ready Homes

A solar-ready home powers up!

The policies set by local governments can do much to move us toward sustainability. We do not have to wait for national regulations to change the way we build or rebuild the homes in our communities. There is much to be done and with the political gridlock in Washington, local action is our best hope for meaningful change. One example occurred recently in Boulder County, Colorado. The area has ... Read More

Gifting the Future

We hold the key to her happiness.

I love the way the seasons remind me of our planet’s journey around the sun. As another winter solstice approaches, I find simple pleasure noticing how the light reaches deeply into our home as the sun traverses its low, southerly arc each day. Another source of enjoyment this time of year comes in the form of giving to others. Exchanging gifts is a holiday tradition that can have great ... Read More

Five Years and Counting

We are changing our home.

Our Home is changing – unnaturally and much too quickly. The Earth’s fragile, life-sustaining balance is shifting due to rapid and massive releases of carbon, dug up from beneath the surface and thrust into the atmosphere at an explosive rate. This “Sacred Balance,” as Professor David Suzuki so eloquently described it in his book by the same name, is what we depend on to survive and thrive. It is ... Read More

Tour of Solar Homes

Installing solar thermal system.

Seven years ago, Southern Nevada experienced its first Solar Home Tour. At the time, I was involved with a great non-profit group called Solar NV, the Southern Nevada chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). I had attended a few solar home tours in Arizona and they were always a great experience. Our group decided it was time for folks in our local communities to have that same ... Read More

Housing’s Silver Lining

They say that every cloud has a silver lining. That might be even more appropriate here in the Silver State, since the clouds caused by the housing market have caused more than a passing shadow. However, the sun is beginning to peek through, and it’s shining a bright light on some activities in the housing market that not only have a silver lining, but perhaps even gold or platinum. I’m talking ... Read More

Carbon-Neutral Nevada

Expired: to emit the last breath; to die out, as a fire.

I think it’s time to set a big, audacious goal for Nevada. Let make it the nation’s first carbon-neutral state. That doesn’t mean we have to stop driving, cooking or heating our homes. It does mean that we would make a major commitment throughout the state to reduce energy consumption and increase renewable energy production. In the process, we will create jobs, build new infrastructure, transform ... Read More

Local Gardens – Organic Food

"Food and Hunger: Eating in America” was the topic of a panel discussion presented by the Black Mountain Institute last week at UNLV. The panel included celebrated chef and author Alice Waters, writer and organic farmer David Mas Masumoto and noted food scholar Raj Patel. The conversation was meaningful, thought-provoking, and at times, witty and humorous. The hall was overflowing and it was great ... Read More

Godzilla Water Users

Remember the old Japanese monster flicks? Godzilla wreaked havoc on the city, stomping cars like they were ants. That monster had one serious footprint! We are the new Godzilla. Our footprints have been stomping the planet and it seems we’ve only recently looked back to realize the destruction. Can progress that leaves a trail of environmental ruin really be called progress? Can we reduce our ... Read More

Green Options for Homebuyers

It’s exciting to see the transformation taking place in the home building market. Perhaps the best example is the new Villa Trieste development by Pulte Homes. Located in Summerlin, this community of 185 homes is leading the way when it comes to responsible building in Southern Nevada. The community has gotten some good coverage recently but I noticed the focus is mostly on energy savings and ... Read More