Sustainability Section :: Page 3

  • Village homes to be featured in national solar tour

    Pat Brown's solar home, featuring ten solar photovoltaic panels, will be on display this weekend as part of the national solar home tour. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

    Four homes in Yellow Springs homes are being featured Saturday, Oct. 2, and and Sunday, Oct. 3, as part of the national solar tour, including two new listings.

  • YS team innovates efficient skylight

    Two insulated skylights with automatic ventilation were installed at Yellow Springs High School last month. Here contractors guide the skylight, manufactured at Millworks, into the building's third floor. (Submitted photo by Ted Donnell)

    While many skylights waste energy, two local building experts have designed a skylight that actually saves energy by ventilating, providing daylight and generating solar power. The patent is pending but the results are already clear at Yellow Springs High School, where two skylights were installed last month.

  • A chicken farm to save the planet

    The chicks on New Liberty Farms on Mosier Road live in kid-size swimming pools lined with wood shavings and chirp sociably under warming lamps. (photo by Lauren Heaton)

    When local resident Kat Krehbiel hatched the idea for a local food farm, chickens were only a small part of the plan.

  • CSAs for good food, local focus

    Doug Christen plants summer squash seeds at Smaller Footprint Farm, a certified “naturally-grown” farm that supplies vegetables for 30 local families. Farm shares, which cost $425 for 20 weeks of fresh produce, are available for the 2010 season. (Photo by Aaron Zaremsky)

    Both Smaller Footprint Farm and Heartbeat Community Farm have thrived since going into business in 2006 by growing vegetables directly for their members using a model called Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA for short.

  • Lawyers offer foreclosure support

    For at least one Yellow Springs homeowner, the past year has been unforgettable. In the fall of 2008, his mortgage company granted him a three-month forbearance on the monthly payments for his home in the village. Having no steady income due to an ongoing health issue, the homeowner received a second forbearance in early 2009, and then was told in the spring that unless he could begin making his monthly $1,000 mortgage payments, the lender would begin foreclosure proceedings on his house.

  • New economic position filled

    Sarah Wildman was hired by the Village as economic sustainability coordinator.

    At the Nov. 16 Village Council meeting, Village Manager Mark Cundiff announced that the Village has hired Sarah Wildman as its new economic sustainability coordinator.

    “She has a great deal of experience in economic development in a small community as well as a background in the arts,” Cundiff said in an interview on Tuesday. “She’ll bring a lot of energy to the job.”

  • Take a tour of the village greens

    The retrofitted Dayton Street home of Bob Brecha and Kaethi Seidl and their children, Regina, left, and Francesca Brecha includes the same green technologies as three other village dwellings included in this Saturday’s National Solar Tour, a nationwide event to help people learn about living with energy-saving technologies. For more information, go to www.greenenergyohio.org.

    Can a home be built to absorb enough of the sun’s heat so that it requires no heat source — other than the presence of people and the heat they produce by inhabiting space and cooking? Can an old home be retrofitted or remodeled with the hopes of realizing the cost of investment through monthly energy savings? Does making more sustainable decisions about energy use have to mean being less comfortable?

  • Council tackles sustainability—Economic dialogue continues

    Should Village economic development efforts focus on strengthening local resources or working with regional partnerships? Should the bulk of money earmarked for development be used to pay a staff person, or instead to develop local resources? Is transparency appropriate to the economic development process?

  • Saving the planet, a house at a time

    Local residents Bob Brecha, right, and Dan Rudolf, second from right, are starting netØhome, a new business that provides home energy audits. Shown at left is Mark Campbell, who will do the audits, and center, Libby Rudolf, who handles graphic design and support services. The business kicks off with a celebration this Saturday, April 18, at 7 p.m. at The Emporium.

    Most people want their homes to be more energy efficient, Bob Brecha and Dan Rudolf believe, but they just don’t know how to make the needed changes. “People don’t know where to start,” Brecha said in a recent interview.

  • Creativity keeps contractors afloat

    Illustrating how money circulates through small economies, area contractors can often be found downtown on early weekday mornings and around the lunch hour. When local property owners support local contractors, the contractors in turn support downtown merchants, whether it’s a few extra parts from the hardware store or lunch from the deli.

    Amidst a national economic recession that has led to job loss, lower housing values and less-accessible consumer credit, all contractors surveyed in recent interviews were looking at creative ways to stay afloat. While many felt Yellow Springs is spared of the gravest economic fallout, each has encountered economic ripples in some aspect of their business.

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