I'm going to start a series about individuals living sustainable lives in hopes that it can inspire others to do the same. The series is titled: Sustainable Living in Real Life. We all won't be able to implement everything the people I chronicle do, but hopefully there will be a few takeaways from each person.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired about reading about "The next largest solar array in the world in Spain" or "What Company XYZ is doing for green-marketing!". It gets old reading about what other companies or countries are doing if you can't learn from it and apply it to your life. I want to see what people just like me are doing in their lives to live sustainably, in hopes that I can learn from them and replicate what they do.
The first person I'm chronicling for this series is a gentlemen by the name of Guy Marsden, who I discovered on the wonderful renewable energy site for DIYers, BuilditSolar.com. Guy and his wife live in Maine and he has a great section of his website, arttec.net chronicling what they have done to live more sustainable. His list of their sustainable living methods is long and very informative. Some of the basic things that Guy is doing that I have covered on the Mapawatt blog are:
- Tire Inflation
- Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs), LEDs, and Occupancy Sensors
- Using the Kill-A-Watt meter
- Monitoring Electrical Energy Consumption
- Heating with Clean Burning Wood Stoves
- And More....(I do have a compost pile, but it is very puny since I dont have a yard)
But what I really enjoyed seeing were the things Guy is doing that I haven't spent enough time on with the blog, which include:
- Owning 2 Hybrids ( I just paid off the first car I've ever owned. Once I save up enough money, a plug-in hybrid is my next purchase)
- Solar Water Heating
- Heat Recovery Ventilation system
- Solar Heating
- Studying heat loss
- Insulating window shades
- And More
And what initially brought me to Guy's site was his section on installing a grid intertied solar electric power system. This section chronicles Guy and his wife's efforts installing their own grid-tied solar PV array. Why pay Earth4Energy for plans when you can just learn from a great resource like Guy. His site includes everything from his financing, panel siting, selecting hardware, installing equipment, and stats on production.
If that wasn't enough, he has some great information on thermal window inserts (preventing heat loss) and his company also manufactures solar differential temperature controllers for controlling solar heating systems.
Maybe you're like me and don't have the room to undertake all the things Guy and his wife have done, and maybe you can't install your own solar panels on your home, but hopefully you can learn something from someone who really is undertaking sustainable living in real life!