Journey back in time keeps us looking forward

As 2010 comes to a close, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick run back through this year’s Green Living column topics, to reflect on where we’ve been and perhaps get a glimpse of where we might be going.

The first column kicked off 2010 with a look at home appraisals and the need to properly value the high-performance aspects of homes that are energy efficient or that use renewable energy, for example. It brought attention to some upcoming educational seminars aimed at home appraisers and Realtors.

The next topic touched on the unsustainable practice of meat-based diets and the ethical use of products derived from questionable sources, in this case, animal fat being used for car lubrication. We choose a mostly meat-free lifestyle, a very green choice according to most experts.

February columns examined the practice of heating our homes with natural gas and the hidden impacts of fracking, followed up with information on residential solar hot water systems and new rebates.

In March there was an update on SolarGenerations, NV Energy’s rebate program. I then issued a challenge for us to become the first carbon-neutral state in the U.S. I still think we can do it if we get serious. Deep green home retrofits were covered in April with a focus on a project that turned an older home into a new gem. Earth Day was the next topic with a mention of Bill McKibben’s book “Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.”

May was about reducing our need for oil through green community development. We also covered a great product that provides a great showering experience while also reducing water consumption. The shift in home-energy production, delivery and use was discussed in June. The next column focused on indoor air quality, its effect on our health and how to improve both.

As the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster continued to unfold in July, we took a look at the role of plastic in our homes and the effect our choices have on the world. Then the focus turned to the importance of home libraries and the powerful impact a good book like “The China Study” can have our lives. July wrapped up with a piece on solar cooking, one of my favorite things!

August topics included a look at green jobs and the many resources available to those interested. A special treat for the hot summer was all about getting out of the house for a visit to Atomic #7, a healthy, vegan-oriented local business serving up delicious desserts in an interesting way.

September was all about right-sized homes and the Southern Nevada Solar Home Tour.

October was Energy Awareness Month so we looked at energy from a unique perspective to see just how much we use, and waste. Then it was onto smart meters and the impacts of real-time pricing for electricity.

In November, we looked toward taking the high road in favor of home-energy audits at the time of sale. Unfortunately, our decision-makers have since chosen a lesser path. We wrapped up the month discussing living buildings, an even greener way to build green.

December brought a special column on the value of gifts from the heart and how making them can be the greenest choice of all while also providing so much meaning. The most recent Green Living column was about our one true home, this little spaceship Earth.

That’s where we’ve been this year and I’m excited to see where we go next. Green Living is a journey, not a destination. I hope we’ll be travelling together, continuing to learn how to live lighter on the planet – as if we intend to stay. For those interested, all of my columns are conveniently archived at

Happy new year!

Steve Rypka is a green living consultant and president of GreenDream Enterprises, a company committed to helping people live lighter on the planet. For more information and links to additional resources relating to this column, or to reach Steve, please visit

Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
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