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Dreaming of Green

Posted Aug 24 2008 3:40pm
Although being a CIO is my passion and my lifestyle, there may come a time when I want a less operational role, a focus on the simple pleasures of living, and to apply my energy on leaving an environmentally responsible legacy for my daughter. She will inherit the earth I leave her.



The engineer in me wants to pursue a low impact, off grid, eco-friendly life using all the tools and technologies available. Here's my list of Dreaming of Green lifestyle ideas



1. Pick a location with temperatures that vary between 20F and 80F to minimize the need for heating and cooling energy sources. My early research suggests that Portland, Oregon is a good choice for its mild climate, bicycle paths, vegan restaurants, and environmentally enlightened culture.

2. Live in a home under 1000 square feet. That should be more than enough for 2 people and their stuff .

3. Build with sustainable materials such as rammed earth walls, bamboo flooring, and a living roof.

4. Use geothermal heat pumps to heat and cool the house using the fact that the earth maintains a constant temperature across the seasons. Radiant floor heating is another technique that can be used that is more energy efficient and forced air or radiators. Wood pellet stoves use renewable fuels and are energy efficient.

5. Use photovoltaic solar panels, hydroelectric energy and windpower to generate electricity for the home.

6. Use minimal electrical appliances and choose devices that have minimal use of resistive heating elements.

7. Use natural light and compact fluorescent bulbs for illumination.

8. Wear sustainable clothing made from linen, hemp, and rayon. Avoid leather and any animal products.

9. Use an on demand water heater to eliminate the energy needed to keep a tank of water hot.

10. Use the Japanese technique of washing with minimal water outside the tub, then soaking inside the tub, changing the water every few days.

11. Recapture sink wastewater via grey water recycling for plants.

12. Use composting toilets.

13. Eliminate junk mail and strive to purchase items with minimal packaging.

14. Be vegan. Eat local/regional foods . Grow your own when possible. Compost your biodegradable garbage. Recycle everything you can. In Wellesley, Massachusetts, we recycle over 85% of our solid waste.

15. Use public transportation, hybrid vehicles, bicycles and walking to get around.



Thus far, I've done as many of these as I can in Massachusetts, including many IT related efforts described in my previous blog entries Kill a Watt , Some Like it Hot, and A Green Approach to Storage.



I look forward to the opportunity, in retirement, to make green living my lifestyle and my job. I know that I'll never truly eliminate my impact on the environment, but the journey to minimize it will be very rewarding.
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