Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Inspired by Folks Making Green Choices

I’ve met so many interesting people lately, folks who choosing to do things differently. Some are environmentalists, some have their own reasons. I’ve been interviewing folks about biofuels, pastured livestock, and green housing choices. And about the timber companies around here that are clear-cutting and turning our Southeastern forests into paper. Corporations that are up to no good! But people all over the place are stepping out of line to try to change the system. I’m inspired and honored to meet the good people my research has led me to in the last year and a half.

Last week I interviewed Trip Overholt, who lives in a house whose first floor is straw bale, and whose second floor is made of recycled and salvaged materials. The house is powered by photovoltaic cells in his front yard. He makes his own biodiesel fuel for his truck and his family car. Cool, very cool. Trip’s got it going on environmentally, he’s got it covered from just about every angle.

I also interviewed Gary Phillips, another innovative sort of person who built a rammed earth house. I was amazed at his house, the walls were as smooth as plaster, but were made of soil (plus 5% concrete) that had been poured into molds and allowed to “cure.” The house was beautiful.

I’m a huge fan of Jim Cameron and Kathleen Jardine’s work as designers of passive solar homes in the Triangle area of NC. They’ve integrated so many different features of green design into their houses, in addition to the passive solar aspect. They’ll have a new web site up soon about their work. I’m grateful to them for educating me about green design and energy efficiency in general. Plus, they introduced me to Trip and Gary and several other people making green choices in the Chapel Hill area, all of whom will be featured in our new book.

These are just a few of the folks who are inspiring me lately.

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