My environmental impact

Climate catastrophe is sound science.

More slowly than I’d like to admit, I’ve changed behaviors in recent years. A resolution of mine for this year has been to do more. I wanted to capture a small accounting of what I’ve done so far and how I think I can do more.

Most prominently, last fall, we installed a 12-panel solar array on our roof. According to projections from our installer Solar States, this should more than account for our electricity usage.

Because of that installation, we replaced our traditional natural-gas hot water heater with a heat pump variety from A.O. Smith. We intend to turnover our other appliances (stove, clothes dryer and furnace) too, as part of electrification. Despite being a home from the 1890s, transitioning all of our home to electricity which can be primarily served by our solar installation will be an important contribution. I’ve happily encouraged a couple friends to follow this same transition.

This is the largest but not the first step I’ve taken.

  • My quirkiness around reusing and repurposing products has long been genuinely driven by a personal interest in reducing my carbon footprint. Reducing plastics usage matters.
  • I am far from a vegan, but I’ve taken steps to reduce my meat usage.
  • Since 2015, we’ve used Bennett composting to compost nearly all of our non-meat food waste.
  • Since at least 2007, my primary mode of transit has been my bicycle — and I love walking.
  • We intentionally live in a walkable neighborhood, and so when we did buy a car, we bought pre-used, with an eye toward gas mileage and limit its use.
  • I do travel internationally, and so (before pandemic) I would take 3-5 plane trips a year. That may something to change.

I am not done, but I do hope to continue to push myself to contribute, as we all should.