Adopt a Home and Live Net Zero
Posted by Luke Fishback
A lot of the readers of this blog are energy-savvy “ecogeeks.” Most of you share our enthusiasm for energy efficient, conservation-oriented living. We love you for that. In this post I’m going to frame our individual efforts in the big picture and encourage you to spread the energy-saving love.
We humans are a self-serving species. There are few places where this is more apparent than environmentally-oriented purchasing. We will go to great lengths to make our individual lives eco-pristine. Photovoltaic solar anyone? We will squeeze every ounce of energy waste out of our homes and we often do so at great monetary expense. The first 10, 20, even 50% might be easy, and then it starts to get costly. We start to rationalize things like 20-30 year payback periods.
At the point where we start looking at home improvements that take a decade or more to pay for themselves, we should all ask ourselves a question: “Why am I doing this?” Your answer to that question is important. If your goal is to stimulate innovation by pumping money into bleeding edge technologies, that’s awesome. If your goal is to have the most eco-bling on the block, that’s fine too (I guess). But, if your goal is to reduce the need for dirty power plants, fight climate change, end mountain top removal, pursue energy independence, or take up any other clean energy goal requiring collective improvement, I’d like to suggest an alternative to the big capital investments. The alternative is to adopt a friend or family member’s house. Help them save 10% and then adopt another.