Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Learning to Live Lighter on the Planet

Last evening visitors to Rainbow Library enjoyed a very informative, multimedia talk given by Steve Rypka, President of Green Dream Enterprises and Green Living columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The most exciting part of the talk, to me, was hearing how Steve and his wife have turned a conventionally built house in Henderson into a net-producer of energy. With a 5000-watt solar photo-voltaic system, they generate about 20% more electricity than they use for all their home energy needs. Steve's goal is for Nevada to be known as The Solar State.

Steve's top recommendation is to get a "home energy audit." A professional audit can show where a house, and especially air ducts, are leaking, costing hundreds of dollars of wasted energy.

As a librarian, I enjoyed hearing that Steve trained to be a Green Living Consultant simply by reading books. He highlighted the Springs Preserve Library as a great resource for anyone wanting to learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Steve also pointed out that the Springs Preserve boasts 7 LEED Platinum buildings. This is likely the highest concentration of Platinum certified buildings anywhere in the country. Platinum is the highest level of certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

If you missed Steve last night, he will be giving the same talk next Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m., at the West Charleston Library.


Steve's recommended reading list from the library collection includes:

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering our Place in Nature by David Suzuki

The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough

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