Friday, December 7, 2012

World Changes by Degrees

Maui and the State of Hawaii have been experiencing heavy VOG conditions, drought conditions exist into December, storms are passing by with very little rain or too much in a short period. Despite finally seeing cooler temperatures in the evenings and early mornings, the days remain hot.

A leading news story I came across online was about the the world's temperature rising 6 degrees, and in the Maui News letters to the Editor section, people continue urging the government to get Maui's water infrastructure up to par.

All of this had me reflecting on how putting a shaded area on the west end of my house for my aquaponics has cooled down my house. Even though it's still too hot for me, at least it's better than it would have been throughout this last year.

My water bill is half what it was a year ago and I grew WAY more food than I ever did in my yard. Plus, I have about 100 fish that I could put on the plate for dinner if I needed to. I am too attached to them presently to eat them, but would if needed. Besides, they have a job to do as my fertilizer generators for the plants. 

Looking back over the last year, some major changes have taken place in the world. Both externally and internally from my point of view. Very few were part of any kind of plan or foresight .
So in regard to climate change, here are a few things I would change in my world.

I would improve my home's roof to really cool it down by using the almost ever present tradewinds in a design to promote airflow

Along with a new roof would be a solar system to provide power and deflect the sun from the roof, further cooling it.

Although I have plenty of hot water from a solar water heater installed on the roof 12 years ago, the amount of wasted water is still too high to me. In order to bring hot water to the sinks and showers on the other end of the house, I am wasting far more than I should be. 
That water could be better used in my yard than being piped off to the sewage station. 
So re-plumbing the house to keep water waste to a minimum and a way to redirect gray water that doesn't need to go to the treatment plant would be nice.

One way I was able to conserve water was to put in automatic sprinklers years ago. It's not a big yard compared to many and it holds down the sand. Using the sprinklers I rarely have them set for more than 3 minutes, once a day at 4am. This gives me a green enough lawn, even with no heavy chemicals or fertilizers.

Some people throughout my neighborhood have great lawns, but many spend hours almost every day with a hose or sprinkler on high, watering their lawns. A little in the early morning before sunrise works well for me.

Around Maui it's not unusual to see sprinklers running during the heat of the day, the wind blowing it away evaporating or very often ending up on cement sidewalks or asphalt parking lots. 

Ultimately, whatever the reasons are for our world's climate change and rising temperatures, we all have changes we can make to our personal climates within our own worlds.

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