Happy New Year!
I wanted to take a moment to convey my well-wishes to each of you who frequent my blog, and to share a few of my New Year's Resolutions related to Sustainable Energy.
Studies show that, while most New Year's resolutions aren't kept for more than a brief period, those who do make specific resolutions are ten times more likely to achieve their goals than those who do not. It's also true that even if one isn't totally successful at keeping a resolution, the act of "failing-forward" generally leaves one in a superior state relative to one's beginning. So make those resolutions and either succeed, or fail-forward!
I tend to categorize my resolutions into two categories: HEALTH (Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Financial), RELATIONSHIPS (God, Family, Friends & Neighbors, Colleagues, Clients, Society, and Planet Earth and the Biosphere I inhabit). These two categories aren't completely independent, of course. You may use other categories such as "personal" and "business/career", etc. But I find if I take care of my health, and invest in the people in my life who are dear to me (my relationships), everything else takes care of itself...
So here are four New Year's Sustainability Resolutions (from the last Relationships category) I intend to pursue:
1. Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle more. I've been amazed to see that we've begun recycling ~85% (by volume) of our household refuse since curb-side recycling came to our neighborhood. This year I intend to maintain or improve further upon this metric, while giving more attention to personal reuse and "re-purposing" of "stuff" that no longer serves its original purpose in hour home.
2. Increase my personal consumption of drinking water, while decreasing my overall household water consumption. My wife constantly tells me I don't drink enough water. (I don't). So I intend to pay more attention to person hydration. But clean water is an endangered resource around the globe. Beyond that, the connection between surface water and energy production is an intimate one. So we'll endeavor this year to reduce our household "gray" and waste-water production.
3. Turn off the lights when I leave the room (Mom said so!) This feels right. Though I must admit I haven't fully investigated this practice from a life-cycle issue. I do wonder whether the frequent cycling of household lighting systems (of all technologies) tends to increase their failure rate and thus the overall life-cycle dollar and environmental costs of lighting. Are there usage patters or technologies in which it makes more sense to "let em burn"? I will investigate this issue and I welcome your comments on the subject.
4. Simplify! De-clutter! Everything. My life. My time. My home... Less really can be more! So let's go explore!
Again, I wish each of you a joyous and prosperous 2012! And let's remember... over a billion people in this world live their lives without the benefits of electricity. Another three billion or so live with significantly less access to electricity than we enjoy in the western world. Let's commit ourselves to the goal of improving their lives while improving our stewardship of this wonderful planet we inhabit.