Solving the Water Crisis

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 […]

Evaporative Coolers Save Energy and Money

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 […]

Water-Saving Stealth Provides a Royal Flush

In days of old, even kings and queens did not have the luxury of hot and cold running water and flush toilets had not even been imagined. Modern technology has come a long way since the outhouse moved in-house, but there is always room for improvement. Toilet technology is no exception. I like to find […]

Bathing with Sunlight

I enjoy writing this column and sharing ideas about living lighter on the planet. I think it works best when I write about real experiences, especially my own. Several years ago I set a goal to install a solar domestic hot water system. This week, I checked that one off the list. Now, most of […]

Thoughts on Water Use in the Mojave Desert

Recent malfunctions in our home’s irrigation system have wreaked havoc with my water efficiency efforts. The real problem wasn’t the leak, sometimes things happen and occasional maintenance is necessary. The issue was that the leak went undetected until weeks later when the water bill showed up. Water is a basic human right and is priced […]

Right Sized Homes

The choices we make about where and how we live have a tremendous impact on our environment, community and economic well-being. If we choose wisely, we can minimize the negative impacts while maximizing value. They go hand in hand. Well-designed, efficient spaces can be beautiful, functional and comfortably provide for our needs. Architect and “Not […]

Personal Waterfall

Back in the days of old, taking a warm shower was a luxury that few could afford on a regular basis. Water had to be fetched from a well or stream, then heated by fire from wood chopped by hand in the forest (assuming there was one nearby). It took a lot of effort to […]

Green Pools are Great

Here’s a summer riddle for you: What’s clear and fresh and very clean, all blue but still completely green? If you guessed a swimming pool, you’re right. But what’s green about a clean pool? The green isn’t from algae but from the energy saved by using a variable-speed pool pump. Most swimming pools use a […]

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. […]

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 […]