Sun Goddess by Jody Hewgill
In high school, having been exposed to the idea of recycling and Earth Day, I had thoughts of single-handedly changing the world. Now, I face the more daunting task of changing myself, realizing it is truly the only way to change the world.
I start at home. Beaufort County is one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S., and with sunshine on our side, I am bewildered by the lack of solar technologies offered to interested consumers. With all of the area’s advertising efforts to highlight the construction industry and its purveyors, I have yet to find a builder, developer, or any such company working to integrate sustainable building techniques and philosophies here in the Lowcountry. Savannah has a few wonderful and interesting programs developing, but Savannah is not Bluffton, and the closest solar panel provider is 2 1/2 hours away. What are the factors keeping a region so rich in resources, including abundant sunshine and wealth, from developing alternative building strategies?
For starters, South Carolina is one of the few states in the nation that does not offer financial incentives or green loan programs to people or businesses wanting to explore alternative energy resources. Without either, solar is still not a cost effective means of generating electricity. So where do we begin, as a community, to effectively implement a shift in thinking about the way we are doing business as usual?
I hope to answer this question, and many more, on Friday while attending a workshop entitled Real Strategies for High Performance Buildings in Savannah. This will be the beginning of a very long but welcome path I intend to walk towards a goal of self-sufficient, earth friendly living. Setting forth an effort to live a sustainable lifestyle using viable, alternative methods and helping to bring them to this community can only increase Mother Earth’s ability to sustain us all.