Published July 22, 2012: Updated February 20, 2016
How did I get here? I was raised on the pioneer philosophy of frugality and not being wasteful. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. My dad taught me how to change the oil in the car but then showed me how to bury the oil in the dirt. Recycling? “Bahh, that’s just for freaks and hippies.”
All this changed in 2004 when we received the city recycling bin. I initially thought it would be a complete waste of my money and time to have this county-government mandated recycling bin. But when the bin arrived, it was comparable to a religious conversion to me. Almost everything is recyclable! Just toss stuff into the appropriate bin. It’s so simple.
In that same year, my employment required that I travel to Asia and Europe several times, (particularly South Korea and Germany). My eyes were opened to the world outside of Utah and the United States where people don’t scurry around the paved urban streets in enormous pickup trucks and SUVs in an oblivious race toward excessive consumerism. I finally realized that we really do live on a small, delicate planet with limited resources.
That led to my increased awareness of conservation of resources and energy, including trying to lower my own home's utility bills.
A few years went buy and after considering the limitless energy that falls from the sky, in my own back-yard, for free, I installed some solar panels sufficient to cover 70% of our home's electric needs. Seeing how well that was working, I thought it would be neat to see if we could improve the efficiency of the house enough so the panels could cover 100% of our electric needs. By simple means and very little sacrifice, we ended up saving so much energy that the panels were producing 140% of our electric needs. “Well, that was easy. How much further can this be taken?”
One thing led to another and now the excess energy from the panels (and some additional panels added later) now provide all the energy for the entire home. Everything! Heating, cooling, hot water, lighting appliances and electric cars are all powered, (still grid-tied but literally net zero), from the sunlight collected literally in my own back yard.
Natural gas and gasoline were surprisingly easy addictions from which to sever ties. In fact after being unshackled by them and abandoning them, nobody at home really noticed that anything changed.
My wife and I both drive all-electric cars. They cover 100% of our daily driving needs. Between the both of us, we drive about 1700 miles/month, all from the power of the sun. For the rare and occasional long-distant road trip, we just rent a gas car. I hope to one-day soon have a longer range electric car to take the place of those trips too.
Here in conservative, republican, oblivious, climate change denying, Utah, my wife and I are minorities in our environmental morals and beliefs, which is ironic considering the Wasatch Front has the most un-healthy air quality in the nation during certain times of the year. This is due to the local geography and its uncanny ability to trap the pollution in a weather inversion layer where it can build up for weeks and months at a time.
But other people can do what we have done too. The great fallacy is that you have to give up your convenience and luxury to save energy. That is simply not true. If fact, by increasing the efficiency of heating and cooling your home, your house will be so much more comfortable, your standard of living will actually increase while you are saving money on your utility bills.
Everyone, regardless of gender, race, political party or religious belief could benefit from this knowledge. Energy efficiency is the forgotten source of energy waiting to be tapped.
It is my passion and calling in life to educate the world on how to save energy and money, by increasing the efficiency of our homes, businesses, appliances and vehicles. --John Loveless Sr. 2012
My Day-Job: Electrical Engineer working in the telecommunications and SATCOM industry.
Home: Kaysville, Utah, United States
Contact: me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interests: Electric Vehicle conversions (now retired from that hobby), Solar Panels, Energy Efficiency, Improving Fuel Economy, Applications for Waste Energy Sources, Free/Clean Energy, Innovative and, disruptive Technologies. Sustainable, Affordable yet still Luxurious Living.