It’s that time of year again… time to dust off last year’s resolutions and slap a new title on ’em. No, of course not! To me, the best thing about writing down resolutions is revisiting them in the far future as a sort of diary of where you were in life at that moment. I’ve gone every way – make one and stick to it, make fifty and try to hit as many as possible, and pretty much everything in between. In doing so, I’ve hit on a system that seems to work pretty well in terms of actual achievement: these days, I make as many as will fit on the front of one piece of paper, then post it on the wall of my clothes closet. In the mix are at least two very easy things to achieve, at least one hard one, and at least one long-term carry over from years past. Oh, yeah, and ushering in world peace, which I can only hope will be achieved in my little lifetime!
So what does 2009 bring? The Solarious experiment has been going strong for ten months now, making this the first Jan 01 I’ve encountered here. From a starting posting frenzy, posting has fallen into a few lulls as life business crowded its way into the forefront. So my first resolution is to find a comfortable posting schedule that will allow you to get all the latest info while still keeping food on my table. Isn’t that the great game of life anyway? But on to the good stuff… what’s new here at Solarious!
I resolve to make this site a premier destination for people who are looking to reduce their burden on the planet. I will introduce a monthly interview series with political and environmental leaders and with people who are making great changes in their own lifestyles so that you can hear firsthand how easy taking the green path can be. I’ll also be profiling green (and not so green) cities and communities to show you real-world examples of places taking action against global warming and other such monsters. If there’s someone you’ve been dying to hear from, let me know, and I’ll try to make it happen.
Second, I will be introducing an organic series discussing gardening tips, food purchasing tips, home decorating ideas and interesting low-cost ways to bring organic products into your home. Check back every few weeks for a new installment.
I’ve been reading (and reviewing) books like crazy this year. And until the library runs out of titles, you can expect more of the same in the coming months. Look out for an improved rating system which helps define which titles are good for general info versus one which give you practical tips you can implement now, and also a library page which will allow you to search reviews by topic.
The solar power class is up and running now (check out the Photovoltaic class page), but again, look for improvements such as a searchable list of places offering photovoltaic classes around the country and an expansion into wind and other renewable technology theories. I’ll also be adding a practical projects gallery, complete with photos of completed installations and a rating system denoting how difficult each was to complete and how well it works. The other back pages will be getting more updating love too!
The summer sunshine seems like a distant memory right now after a week of rain, but the solar cooking section will also be getting its own page, complete with recipes and a larger variety of cooker and dehydrator projects for you to complete. I’m hoping to get a few “beta testers” and a rating system for the dishes as well, so that you can get a better idea of how things taste. My cats will be so disappointed to have their job outsourced, but sacrifices must be made in the name of science, no?
I’ve also made a personal commitment to make this blog carbon neutral. Every day, I will offset the carbon used while plugging in to post. Because there’s nothing I want less than to make MORE pollution! If you want to do the same, check out my last post, “making you computer carbon neutral” for some tips on reducing your digital burden.
And the super long-term goal? Well, like many of you, I’d like to completely cut the power lines in life. Having no power at home and having sold the car as outlined months ago, I’m already pretty far along with that goal… but until I get off my butt and install some real solar power, I’m still internet cafeing it (which entails eating some pretty long miles-to-plate meals, no doubt) and using municipal water for basic human needs. So, those activities are on the chopping block as I look for ways to cut back even further. Teaching people about the joys of alternative energy is one way I can reduce this burden without actually making life any more spartan. Every time you implement something you learned here or pass it along to someone else who does, the total planetary energy load is reduced by that much, which makes me so very happy. So in closing, I ask you this: if you see something of interest here and implement it, share your experience with the rest of us or at the very least, tell your friends! Together, we can make 2009 the tipping point for renewable energy and sustainable living to bring both into the mainstream for a brighter, cleaner future.
Blessings to all of you, and thank you for a wonderful year here at Solarious.