Making a difference

Making a difference means working better with the buildings, food systems and gizmos that we currently have – and adding some good stuff as well! Good. Not necessarily new, but better!

Strategies — reducing environmental footprint through adopting monitoring and management

Much of the buildings and infrastructure we’ll live with and pay to operate over the next 50-80 years already exist. The task is complicated, but clear:

  • make the best of what we already have… and
  • add good bits along the way!

Refits (or retrofittting) can be big. They can be scary. And very, very costly. But needn’t be so. Assessment of what we have, understanding room for improvement, and the impacts of possible changes will guide the steps forward. I prefer to grade the options into three types:

  • No brainers
  • ‘Let’s think about that’, and
  • ‘Say that again!’

No brainers just make sense. They address a clear need. Are of low or no cost, and have measurable impact – go for it!

Let’s think about that. Will benefit from some analysis and second opinions. For these we’re talking ‘return on investment’, modelling of up-front cost and near-term savings. Getting these options sorted can be complicated and/or time consuming, but worthwhile. Think: solar panels, switching off natural gas, double glazing etc…

Say that again! These generally need special support: grants, report on long-term financial benefits, or even providing moral or ethical benefits. ‘Support’ might involve applications, subsidised loans or deep consideration of life goals and aspirations. If you always yearned to go off-grid — that’s going to need some serious contemplation. And analysis. And patience.

I’ve done a fair bit of the first two. Advised on the last two. Invested in one example of the last one… Probably as it should be! I’d like to explore these and share the thinking and the experience with you. First steps generally involve measuring. Sharpening your knowledge on what you’re trying to change.

I’ll take a shot at power monitoring next time. Power’s costly, generally essential and (now) easy to measure!

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    A card-carrying science nerd — PhD in biological science. Successful creator of an award winning sustainable business. A lecturer, teacher, innovator and now builder of information tools for agriculture — I seek to provide informed approaches and making low resource consumption easy and understandable.

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