In 2009, about a year after we'd moved into our house in Emporia, I decided to get a home energy audit so I would know what improvements would be cost-effective. The nearest firm was in Topeka. The auditor was very friendly and asked about my Web work, which I was doing all from home. He said that I should consider getting into energy auditing because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds were about to hit the state, and Kansas was going to go big into energy efficiency programs, and because the work would make a nice change of pace from sitting at my desk at home.
Planning an economical/simple/green wedding is easier said that done. Some parts of that have been easier than others. We are by no means experts at this but we are giving it our best!
Here is what we have accomplished so far:
Last Thursday we got a home energy audit from a service called IAQ Solutions, part of Blue Dot Kansas. It would have been good to get the audit last fall, but the waiting list was quite long. The fees were also quite reasonable: the cost of the audit itself is paid by a grant, so we just have to pay for the auditor's transportation from Topeka, which will be about $125, but we haven't got the bill yet. In any case, the recommendations he made should pay for themselves in a year or two.
What my sister calls the "marital industrial complex" has been rightly criticized for its environmental impact. When you're planning a wedding, there are simply too many things to think about without worrying about ecology as well. I'm sure my college friends would be shocked to find that Jessie and I will be using disposable dishes, for example.
A friend of mine was looking at this site a few days ago and commented that while the back yard is torn up, it would be an ideal time to install "geothermal" -- a ground-source heat pump. I see where he's coming from: he's had his house for years and has probably already done all he can with insulation and so forth. But we're not there yet... we're still at the efficiency stage.