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From Gardening To The Grand Canyon

April 9th, 2012 by Alison · No Comments · climate change (global warming), community, energy, home & garden

  • We planted our pathway garden over the  gloriously sunny Easter weekend with our friend Scott Schreiner. He’s a former housemate, the second of  three good people in our lives who have worked for rent. Scott drove his truck across the Cascade range from Bend, where he lives, first finding a carpool partner from Craigslist who shared gas costs and conversation with him. Scott’s good at community :)
  • Mahamudi, our Somalian friend who’s turning 17 this month, also helped build the garden. We and our friends Colleen and Thad paid his family’s green card fees last year, and this spring the family is reciprocating by giving both households a hand with outdoor projects. Mutual benefit! Community!
  • Our solar panels are now up on our west-facing roof. But we couldn’t start harvesting energy over the sunny weekend — the city has to inspect them before the system gets turned on. People are naturally asking about the payback period, so here’s the deal we got: the $5,900 we’ve invested is coming back to us in four years’ worth of tax credits. The actual payback period on our residential solar, though, is shorter than four years, because our energy bills will go down by about 78%. Solar energy reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming, and is also a true investment.
  • And speaking of solar-blessed, sun-drenched places, Thor and I are taking a trip to the Grand Canyon on April 28th. I’m returning for my third visit as an adult, I love this sacred place so much. But it’ll be Thor’s first time. I’m bubbling with the excitement you feel when you get to share something beautiful with someone you love.
  • I’m reviewing Private Empire: ExxonMobil And American Power by Steve Coll, a two-time Pulitzer prize-winner. His publicist sent me an advance copy — the book’s release date is May 1st. I’ll post my review on May 3rd, while I’m at the Grand Canyon. That writing location will surely give me a perspective both broad and deep.

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