I couldn’t agree more Lloyd Alter, in your recent Treehugger article “Why are there so many fist pumps for heat pumps these days?” Reducing demand is the challenge, the goal and so very achievable with daily decisions and choices that value the health of our planet over convenience.
While talking to my power company about my solar panels’ stockpiled kWHs this past February, I was shocked to hear them say that I was one of the few customers that had any kWHs left by wintertime. Granted, we use all kinds of other efficiency measures as well, like our “Summer Window Dance” to help us squirrel-away every kWH we make during the sunshine hours from our panels specifically for winter HEATING with our heat pumps. The power company said that most customers gobble up their summer-gained energy use as AC via their “heat pumps”. ???
People. ?? Using precious resources for more personal convenience and comfort at the expense of our planet’s health, people’s suffering and the decimation of animal species all over the world Is Not a Good Thing. We can do better.
#1 Insulate your home to the hilt. This is the first and most important efficiency step anyone can take. Comfort in our homes is our biggest energy expense. While efficiency is the least expensive energy-saving technique. Efficiency improves the viability of a decent life for everyone, and not just humans. Many states offer rebates for this type of work.
#2 Become crazy-intentional, life-wide. Choose a job close to the people and lifestyle you want so you need less daily and vacation travel. A world of opportunities has now opened up for many for digital employment. Choose a bank that invests in your community. Choose a grocery store that pays their workers well. Choose a home that is well-located to your daily needs. Choose to shop locally. Choose efficiency options when working on your home. Choose to reduce, reuse and recycle. They’re not joking. Yes some of these choices can take years. But many, not all, of us Get To Choose. Our American dollars speak loudly to the world and global markets. Choose life over destruction.
# 3 Decide it’s important to get creative. There are so many ways to live more efficiently. I see this as the most important challenge, dare I call it a game, that I can ever pursue. The stakes for all of the humans and all of the other species in our world, couldn’t be higher.
Yes, I do choose to ride my bike more for a more modest job that is close to home. I do a window dance, hang my clothes to dry, grow my own flowers and some of my food all year long to reduce my energy use to crazy low levels. I’m still experimenting with the best way to use those crazy rain barrels. My indoor-outdoor cat wears a bib to protect our birds. My life choices are far from perfect, but I sleep much better now. I appreciate each not perfect-vegetable and fruit I grow and eat from my own yard. I welcome each bug that feeds my neighborhood’s songbirds. There are many of us, many households, many cars, many family budgets. Each and every of our healthy, efficient, less-consumptive choice counts.
I look forward to joining others who will enlighten me on even more ways that I can beat the system
of gluttony advocated by those who profit from the suffering of our declining animal species, ecosystems and other human beings.
Join me! -every day, all summer and winter long. It’s a much less stressful way to live. I am still challenged by our predicament and the suffering all around us. But I’m excited to be part of the solution by my daily choices; excited to live with more health, less environmental impact every day. Tell me what’s working for you! I’m all ears like a backyard cornfield. ☺️