20080514

Alternative energy - attempt # 2

Hopefully I can get my thoughts down today. Without rambling on about something else. :-)

For as long as I can remember I thought recycling just makes sense. I mean, there's only a finite amount of "stuff" out there. Why not reuse things? I mean, from a consumers perspective there has got to be more uses for that milk jug, or old carpet right? Well, since then I have learned about cost and how it is more expensive to recycle, or repair, things than it is to just make, or buy, a new thing. But that's not because it makes more sense, just more cents. I know the markets for recycled products is growing, and this is helping make things more cost effective to recycle. All of this is a good thing.

When I realized that I was going to become a home owner (well, at least the portion the bank doesn't own - I'm working on that), I liked the idea of making my home cost efficient. Like using solar energy to reduce my dependency (or possibly eliminate it all together) on the energy company, and a geothermal set up for my heating and cooling. It makes sense. I mean, how can a heat pump really cool or heat a house when the temperatures get into the upper 90's or below freezing? (Obviously I am not an expert on home systems.) But it is very difficult to find contractors that actually deal with these systems - at least in my area. When I have gotten estimates on purchasing and getting these systems installed the prices was staggering - at least to me. Maybe I am not looking in the right places, but when I take the cost and determine my "break even" point I am looking at a 7+ year time frame. I don't know about you all, but that is a lot of money to put up front, and since I don't have the money, taking out a loan only prolongs the break even time frame.

I currently drive a 2000 Toyota Echo, which I love. The reason I did not go with a Prius was that, at the time, the battery technology was too knew for my comfort level. Since then Toyota (as well as many other manufacturers) has really done some good work in progressing both battery tech, as well as over all engine efficiency. With everyone feeling the pinch of the apparently ever increasing gas prices, I am really enjoying my 8 year old car getting between 35 and 40 MPG. :-) God willing I will be keeping this car for another 10 years or so, or until it is no longer cost effective to keep it. ;-)

I want to say here that I have not bought into the whole global warming thing. The Earth is at least 6,000 years old and we have not really kept track of weather patterns for more than 150 years or so. As few as 30 years ago most of the "people who know these things" were predicting another ice age, and even earlier this year an "expert" was saying that the earth was cooling too. I am not going to try and debate this issue here. I am no scientist, nor do I know much more about the weather than what I hear on the weather channel, or what I can see out my own window. My whole point of my blog today is that God has made us stewards of this world, and we should be found to be good ones.
Verse for today:
Genesis 1 : 27-31, ESV
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

2 comments:

Marie Kadavy, IGSHPA said...

It's great to see you're considering geothermal heating and cooling. If you haven't already, you should check out igshpa.okstate.edu. Using our business directory, you should be able to find plenty of accredited installers in your area. Maybe you'll find one that you haven't gotten an estimate from. Also, although the cost is a bit more upfront, if you're doing new construction, the extra cost on your mortgage each month should be covered by your energy bill savings. I appreciate your effort to be a good steward!

BigMama said...

Absolutely important stuff. Regardless of your position on global warming, I think as Christians we all have a responsibility to care for the earth we've been given. And there are a lot of little things we can all do to help!