Ahh the trials and tribulations of being green.
In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, cartoonist Scott Adams has a humorous and depressing piece on the challenges of trying to create a green home. Between the ignorance and the outdated policies in our building codes, he finds out that it's very hard. Which unfortunately jives with other recent studies this week.
I use to be a big fan of Dilbert, but stopped reading when it became to nihilistic and hitting close to home, it's great to point out that things are F'ed up but you have to somehow go further. However, humor is often a good palliative to the craziness of this world. Adams in the article breaks down that the issue of being green is often in contradiction to our aesthetics (Bauhaus excepted) and simple physics. It is also a mess that getting information is full of conflicts and ulterior motives, the money quote for me was:
Heating and cooling are the biggest energy thieves. And roofs and windows matter the most for heat transfer. Focus your research and budget there. Most of the information you find will come from manufacturers who have a financial interest in misleading you, and also of course from cartoonists who write opinion pieces after being misled by those same manufacturers.
It's a jungle out there to be green. Onto more positive things, given the fact that we are clueless about saving energy, it was good that Techcrunch referenced about about the recent energy knowledge survey didn't just highlight the survey, but analyzed and told us what to do. The best way to reduce your impact in every day ways are as follows:
Here are five of the most effective things you can at home to lower your energy consumption:
1. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs
2. Weatherize your home with caulk or weather-stripping (80% of older homes are under-insulated)
3. Install a more efficient heating and/or air conditioning unit
4. Install or upgrade attic insulation and ventilation
5. Adjust your washing machine settings to warm, or even cold, water
Environment Magazine has a fantastic article on energy use. Single largest use of energy by individuals. You guessed it. guessed it: Private Automobile.: