When we started building our new home, we saw in it a chance to start from scratch. We had heard a lot about environmental issues, and ways to minimize our own impact on the environment, but it was all theoretical to us. We decided to see what it would take to put those theories into practice. What started as a small decision soon turned into a major project, with hundreds of options to consider; but, with each new decision, we thought “since we’ve come this far, why not make it even more eco-friendly!” The result is a “green,” energy-efficient house that pushes the limits of what is possible. We hope that others may be inspired by it.
Of course, nothing exists in a vacuum, and a project this big could not have been accomplished by one or two people acting alone. Our work on this house has involved contractors (obviously), but also our friends, neighbors, students at the nearby Stanford campus, and others. It is more than just a house, now; it has brought us closer to the community around us, in ways we could not have foreseen.
Climate change is perhaps the single most important issue facing the world today. The carbon dioxide level in the earth’s atmosphere has risen from 380 ppm in 2006 when we started thinking about this project, to 384 ppm by 2008 when construction began. Now in July 2011, it is 393 ppm, and still rising! Carbon dioxide level is such an important measure of our planet’s health, that the website www.350.org was founded to organize, educate, and push for change to bring the level below 350 ppm. Scientists say that 350 ppm is the maximum safe carbon dioxide level, and Project Green Home is helping to make it happen.