What Exactly Are We Doing?

I get that question a lot these days, especially from my parents.

Last year Nick and I had an idea. What if we found an older home, updated it for our family’s needs, and built-in as much energy and water efficiency as our budget would allow? And what if we wrote about our journey, sharing our findings with all who are interested? And what if we could provide meaningful feedback to Long Beach and other cities that would encourage more people to consider chasing Net Zero in a cost-effective way? After all, if we are ever going to make substantial progress towards energy and water independence, targeting new buildings is just the tip of the iceberg. With homes consuming 40% of our nation’s electricity and Long Beach being a completely built-out city full of older leaky homes, energy efficient remodels are a major opportunity. So why isn’t the green remodeling movement more mainstream? Well that is exactly the question we want to answer.

We are calling our project the Net Zero Nest, knowing full well we may never hit the ideal zero energy target. We will make choices that make sense financially, with reasonable costs and payback periods. Because this is our family’s “forever home,” we will also allow ourselves a few splurges. If it were up to me there would be many splurges, but my husband is unbelievably frugal. We also hope to create a healthy home, choosing low VOC furnishings wherever possible. We could be crazy, but we hope you’ll follow our journey.

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