Solar power is exploding these days, what with generous financial incentives and the price of products going down. All sort of people are looking at the technology to provide green power, but they need good information. One place to find that is in a new book called Solar Basics by Neil Kaminar. Kaminar, a solar engineer with nearly 40 years of industry experience, explains most of what you need to know about solar modules and how to make a solar system work.
Elizabeth Rogers, co-author of The Green Book, has a new book being published this week called Shift Your Habit, and we've been given a review copy. Shift Your Habit is more of a resource book or a toolkit of ideas, rather than something that you would read on a snowy day, but I guess you could do that, too. The premise is that moderation is revolutionary, or more specifically, that living greener doesn't just help the planet but it helps you save money.
Thus, save money and save the planet at the same time. It's a theme that's been played out quite regularly in the media with headlines like "Earn green by going green." But that's not to say there's no value in the message.
Rogers actually quantifies the incremental, monetary benefit to shifting your habit from one behavior to another. And she does this with hundreds and hundreds of eco-friendly tips, just like this one:
- Sustainability is a growing theme.
- Are we prepared for an 8.8 earthquake?
- LEED v. Passive House: what's the difference?
- 10 things to consider before building a green home.
- Historic preservation and green architecture.
- How's the environment? Ask the buildings.
- Starting to see the value in green building.
- How to plant a lush vertical garden.
When you buy a house, there’s no clear way to know what you’re getting. There’s no miles per gallon sticker, as with cars, or nutrition label, as with foods. You’ll pay for an inspection and walk through the place any number of times, but you definitely can’t see through the walls. It’s strange that we allow ourselves to spend, or mortgage, so much with so little information.
Sacred Heart Schools' new Michael J. Homer Science and Student Life Center in Atherton broke some records recently. It's the first school to obtain LEED Platinum certification under the LEED for Schools program and the first school in San Mateo County to use fruits and vegetables from an on-site organic garden for food service in the school cafeteria. It's also designed to use 69% less energy than a typical school and features some incredible green features.
As the years go by, it’s interesting to see the same innovators pushing the envelope in new ways. For instance, ZeroEnergy Design, a design firm that we mentioned with the net-zero energy Truro Home and solar-powered English Residence, and Aedi Construction, a builder that we mentioned with the LEED certified 53 Standish Street, are working together on this handsome Passive House retreat in Little Compton, Rhode Island.