From the start of their book, Who Turned Out the Lights?, Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson address several reasons why the United States needs to “get its energy act together,” but followed these points by saying that many people are waiting for a simple solution.
There is no simple way to end the energy crisis, but there are many ways to make sustainability and green living accessible to people not just of the U.S. but across the entire planet.
Team First Light traveled 8,750 miles from their New Zealand homes to the Solar Decathlon where they shared their take on sustainable living. The team’s house, based off the traditional Kiwi holiday home the “Bach,” is a perfect example of green living; not only does the house produce as much energy as it uses, but it is also an attractive and livable home that stands true to New Zealand’s values.
Representing the first country to see the sun every morning, Team First Light showcased the sun by using 28 polycrystalline photovoltaic panels to convert solar energy into electricity within the house. The technological standout, however, is the Bach’s dryer, operated by water, as much of a contradiction as that is. The team pumped hot water through rails within a drying cupboard, causing clothes to get dry within a couple of hours.
With their bright ideas Team First light also had bright attitudes. Everyone I spoke to really believed in the idea that sustainability is attainable and accessible if people realize what they can do to achieve it. Several of the people who walked through the Kiwi Bach made comments of wanting to live there, which was exactly what the team wanted to hear.
– Samantha Stone