Envision a future when your electrical production comes from the "solar garden" on your roof, when you can get around town in a plug-in car powered by clean energy (which the roof system will now support), and when your food production comes from the garden in your back yard. You are guaranteed a reduction in your monthly electrical bills, gasoline bills and food bills.
It's this vision of the future that motivates me on my lifelong journey toward energy sustainability. I have been tapping away at this challenge for more than 40 years and I am on the right path. I visualize my journey in 4 phases:
- Electricity production – Complete.
Solar panels and a 10 kW wind generator are all up and running. The electrical portion was quite possibly the most complicated and expensive step. My original estimation was that the monthly savings that I would enjoy, once the system was up and running, would allow me to pay off the initial cost of the system in a little over ten years. With AB 920 becoming available, this time period will be reduced. Check out my bill from April...
- Transportation – In progress.
My six year old Prius is a transitional car that has religiously produced a 40 mpg average. I am looking forward to see what the transition to the next generation of electric cars will produce.
- Food sustainability – In progress.
My extensive experience with organic gardening and Santa Barbara Heirloom Nursery will greatly assist me in accomplishing this goal.
- Conservation, awareness, consciousness, education – In progress.
I remain aware of my energy choices on a daily basis and take action to conserve everywhere I can. We have dual glazed windows and a sod roof in our home; architectural design that maximizes the site location; solar pumps for water well and koi pond. We're also raising children with this energy consciousness as a template.
As food, electricity and gasoline prices continue to go up, I know that my long range plans will be productive and would be productive for anyone. It's really pretty simple and altogether achievable.
Hopefully one day my grandson will look back on all of this and be able to see my vision of the future. He'll know that his family played a small but significant part in promoting sustainability and will do his part to promote it in his own life.