Solar Water Heating Update

Solar water heating production.

Last October we installed a solar water heating system on our home. It has been about ten months and I thought this would be a good time for a promised update. Overall, we are very pleased with the results so far. Solar Water Heating System Our system was manufactured by Heliodyne in Richmond, California. I like that it is made in the U.S. and is relatively local. It consists of one 4’ x 10’ ... Read More

New Solar Thermal Incentives

Liberty Center solar panels at dusk.

Timing is everything, as the saying goes, and that certainly applies to act of purchasing a renewable energy system. There seems to be a constantly changing landscape of costs, rebates, incentives and supply that influence the final price of these systems. It would be great if we could gaze into a crystal ball to determine the precise moment of maximum benefit. The next best thing is to stay ... Read More

Longest Solar Eclipse Ever

There was a time when a solar eclipse struck fear into the hearts and minds of those who did not understand what caused the sun to briefly disappear during the middle of the day. Now when the moon casts its shadow while passing between the earth and sun we enjoy the relatively rare experience. We’ve long lived in the shade of another solar eclipse of sorts; however no celestial body was ... Read More

2009 National Clean Energy Summit

Perspective is an interesting thing. If you’re too far away from something, you don’t see the details. If you’re too close, you miss the big picture. In my experience, the best strategy for maintaining a healthy perspective is to keep both in mind. Look at the big picture and use it as a guide as you handle the necessary details. With regard to Green Living, the big picture is the health of the ... Read More

Food Inc.

Society has shifted in many ways in this historically brief Age of Oil, and our means of food production is no exception. The once-rich diversity of food crops has been decimated over the last few decades due to the intensive industrialization of farming industry. A vast array of products found on supermarket shelves is manufactured from just a few primary mono-crops. Unfortunately for people ... Read More

Independence (from Fireworks) Day

One minute all is well. This is the normal view of the fireworks launch site.

Sometimes, all the logic in the world is still not enough. Perhaps its human nature, but we can be extremely resistant to change, even when the preponderance of evidence indicates otherwise. There are countless examples and some are so ingrained in our collective psyche that they are almost invisible to us. Traditional customs are like stories we’ve heard from birth that have become a part of our ... Read More

House Like a Tree

Vertical farming

Hiking is one of my favorite activities since I love reconnecting with the natural world. Safety is always number one so I try to avoid paths that get too close to dangerous cliffs. Call it self-preservation. I’m also not a speed demon, preferring to savor the experience – noticing the details. Did you know that a ponderosa pine gives off a scent similar to butterscotch? You have to get real ... Read More

Desert Water Solutions

I love a good challenge. The bigger the problem, the more fun it can be to solve. The most elegant solutions are simple, effective and often right before our eyes. Such is the case with water. For decades, we’ve focused on engineering “more is better” solutions that “improve” nature and bend it to our will. There are still plenty of folks around who subscribe to that antiquated approach. Big ... 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