Archive for January, 2017

Jan 2017 Resolution Thoughts

January 1, 2017

Using the analytic categories from 2015 about reducing my carbon footprint, here are things I’ve done in 2016 and my next steps planned for 2017.


The Prius was new to us when I wrote last year and now after its 100K tune-up the milage improved closer to 50mpg (get some data)


Last year I was thinking about replacing my white ’89 Toyota wagon (22-25mpg) with an all-electric Nissan LEAF for in-town driving. Mid-May I accomplished that. The 2910 miles in the table below were charged at home with renewable power via Avista’s Buck-a-Block. I pay a couple dollars a month premium on my electric bill (a voluntary tax, which helps incentivize my conservation).

The other replacement activity was to remove the natural gas works in the cooking stove in the Peterson Barn and convert the stove to a dual burner induction cooktop.

A natural gas water heater and clothes dryer in the Peterson Barn are also on the list for replacement with electric.

Car mileage log.

 Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Krista’s car (red) 7927 6313 7370
My car (white) 5241 2336 4472 4107  1880**
My pickup (blue) 1059 2078 1576  966  935
Prius (silver) 7318  9756
LEAF (red)  2910*
totals  14227  10727  13418 12391 15481

* Partial year. Sold white car for LEAF 5/16/16  **estimated
TOTAL of White+LEAF = 4790
Prius includes RT to Glacier Park est 700 miles & 2 RT to Seattle


Late in the fall I started a project to install 10 solar panels (KW rating?) on the Cookhouse. We put up the rails for 15 panels, but currently the use of that building does not justify more panels. As the kitchen gets more use and the upstairs gets finished, it may be that more panels will be warranted.  I’ve also opened a conversation with Avista about “combining” meters (Cookhouse + Barn) which would increase the demand and justify more panels.

I made a little progress this year on finishing the solar hot water pre-heater in the Cookhouse. It is my intention to get it completed in 2017. The concept is to warm water en route to the conventional electric hot water tank. City water enters the building around 40-50F. My hope is to warm maybe halfway to the final use temperature. If that is successful I might consider a demand water heater or super insulation to reduce storage losses from the conventional tank.


The 2910 miles represents about 120 gallons of gasoline not consumed in 2016. The 9756 miles on the Prius at twice the milage of the old Subaru is about 200 more gallons conserved.

Finishing the cookhouse, both the gardens and hardscape as well as the construction and water pre-heater are priorities because in Aug Krista and I celebrate 30 years of marriage and I want the party here and the Cookhouse to be a model of a renewable building.