Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Here Comes the Sun

Oh brilliant orb within the sky,
My soul and breath to thee do fly.
Thou art the refuge of my speech,
Attainable, within my reach.
Thou art the slayer of my foes,
The vanquisher of all my woes,
Thy light illumines all my sin,
A fortress do I find within.
All illness and disease do fly,
When upon thee I rely.
All weakness and fatigue are gone,
When I discern the brilliant sun.

By H.H. Sri Swami Rama

Last night on PBS, NOVA had this great segment on solar energy called, “Saved by the Sun”. It was very well done and I found it thought provoking. It showed how much and how little progress the US has made since the Carter era in its steps toward using alternative sources of energy. Also they visited the Solar Mecca that is modern-day Germany and spoke to its giant steps in harnessing the sun’s power though incredible incentives for its citizens. Germany is now on its way to producing 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 (its goal was only 20 or 25%). Here in the U.S., we only get 1 percent of our energy from solar and wind power.

Alternative energy is one of the great conversations being had here in Maine (as it is in many, many other states and countries) and one that I have to track in relation to my job. Our Governor is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and by promoting Efficiency Maine programs. It made me proud that my state is taking these steps, but it (coupled with Louise’s many green posts) made me really look at my home and think, “What more can I do?” Currently, I’m trying to insulate my whole house, replace old windows with more efficient ones and have changed out my light bulbs with energy saver bulbs. I watch my water consumption, my electricity usage and have become very aware of how much I drive my truck (and not just because of gas prices). I’m trying to grow my own veggies, collect rain water for garden watering (so I use less from the hose), I’m adamant in my composting and weird as it may sound, every day when I change out my pets water, I collect the excess to water my indoor plants…and eventually for the outdoor plants.

Ideally, I would love to go fully green - set up a solar thermal hot water system (These systems are of the most energy efficient when dealing with hot water heaters), solar panels, create a solarium for fresh fruits and veggies year round…so many things I want to do. So much $$$$ is needed to do this, but I am hopeful!

If this NOVA gets rerun and if you get the chance, I highly recommend you watch it! It made me want to get up right then and there, go outside and get to work on my garden! Do something good for the planet. Buuuuuuut it was 9:00 at night and I was tired and I had to work today and and and…there is always this weekend :^)

Oh, before you go, check out Maine’s Solar House.


lisa s said...

i saw part of that and totally want to add solar panels to our house!

gracia said...

Yay! Three cheers for all things green!
see you, g
(I am slowly catching up on blog reading... how I've missed it... and I am savouring all there is to read.)