Every month we profile a Solar Oregon member to see what they’re doing to fight climate change and why they support Solar Oregon. This month we’re profiling new member Carey Booth
What are you doing to fight climate change?
My main mode of transportation is my bicycle, but when it is raining, or two of us are traveling together, we use our Mitsubishi iMiEV electric vehicle. We generate more than enough electricity to charge it with our 2.7 kW photovoltaic panels on the house roof. We also have solar hot water panels and a heat-pump furnace along with compact fluorescent light bulbs and extra insulation. In the spring and summer, we dry our clothes on a clothesline on our deck under a clear roof.
We put in raised beds to grow zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, peppers, lettuce, spinach, kale, peas, and chard, and herbs. In the side beds we have raspberries, huckleberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries, elderberries, wild strawberries, red currants, rhubarb, a columnar apple tree, and an Italian plum tree. We compost our food scraps and of course do not use any chemicals on the garden. We are Backyard Habitat certified and planted many native plants to benefit birds and other wildlife. All this, plus the house, is on a 25 x 100 foot lot.
I volunteer for Urban Gleaners picking up donated food to be distributed to people in need, thus avoiding food waste.
To disconnect our downspouts from the sewer, we have one 55-gallon rain barrel in front of the house to water the front beds and two 550-gallon cisterns in the backyard that collect rainwater from the back half of the house roof plus the deck roof. We added a rain garden at the base of one downspout that was too small for a rain barrel. I recently connected four of our neighbors with the city program that puts in free rain gardens or dry wells.
I am a Master Recycler and take what could be my curbside recycling to the Metro Transfer Station to avoid having to have it sorted at the material recovery facility. I also take #6 Polystyrene plastics to Agilyx in Tigard when I have another errand out that way. Plastic bags go to Safeway to be turned into Trex plastic lumber. I have recently started buying food in bulk at Winco to minimize packaging waste and using bar soap instead of plastic bottles of body wash and shampoo. With the two of us, plus an Airbnb in the basement, we don’t even fill a 32-gallon garbage can once a month.
I recently bought carbon offsets for a summer flight to Malaysia to visit my 24-year old daughter who is working there this year.
I also vote with climate change in mind.
What encouraged you to become a member of Solar Oregon?
I went solar in 2008 and have been following your newsletter ever since. Sorry it’s taken me so long! Looking forward to the party.