As the end of this year approaches, I think it’s a good time to take a moment and consider the future — our own individual futures and that of the world in which we all live and upon which we all depend.
In considering the future, I think it’s crucial that we think about what we can each do to reduce our demand for fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas and coal. The actions we could take are as simple as turning off lights we are not using, turning the thermostat down a degree or two, or switching some of our most often used lights to compact fluorescent or LED bulbs.
As a community, I think it’s high time that Buncombe County and the city of Asheville begin to require that any new building constructed within the county or city limits have a solar thermal system for heating water. This area gets more than enough sunshine to make hot water for a home or other building, and the technology is well proven. Most solar thermal systems have a 30-year warranty, and the energy savings pays for them fairly quickly.
In addition to saving electricity and money to pay for it, solar thermal water heaters help reduce carbon emissions and other air pollution. In the Buncombe County and Asheville area this would go a long way to help improve our air quality.
So let’s work on requiring [these] systems in every new building constructed in our community. There is no good reason not to, and your children and grandchildren will thank you.
— Lin H. Orndorf