Monday, September 9, 2013

Net Zero

Is it possible to completely remove our impact on the environment around us? Net Zero is the concept of having zero impact.

Even though the concept is simple there are differing definitions commonly used. Each with a different view of what it takes to reduce our impact. 

Energy consumed = energy produced
For each type of energy, consumed = produced
Carbon neutral: the carbon footprint = 0

For our purposes we will be using the concept of energy consumed = energy produced. To me this definition says that atleast in theory its possible to live off the grid even within an urban, on grid location. 

There are many different areas where this equation of balancing resources can be applied. 

Energy consumed = energy produced
Water consumed = water acquired onsite
Food consumed = food produced

When trying to balance out the net zero equation there are really only two variables, either produce more, or reduce the amount used. In general the later is your best option. There are many simple ways to reduce the resources we use. Sometimes it becomes very difficult to produce more. Lets use electricity as our example. It's simple to just turn off the lights, but more costly to add another photovoltaic panel. 

In my families case we are using a house that is attached to the grid, but also are producing energy. At times we are taking from the grid, other times we are contributing to the grid. We have a net metering agreement with the power company. If we can balance our equation then the power bill will be only $5, the fee for being attached to the grid. 

That's our goal, to be completely net zero. For now we constantly monitor the resources we use compared to what we produce. From this we find ways balance our Net Zero equation by first, using less, and second, producing more. 

Please comment with your ideas. 


  1. Sorry to post anonymously, but I do not have any of the accounts listed.

    My thoughts are that the electric grid is expensive to maintain.
    If we all have net metering and achieve net zero, who pays for the upkeep of the grid?
    In effect your present arrangement is requiring others to pay for your free use of the grid.

  2. Unfortunately the question can we have 0 impact on the environment around us is somewhat of a loaded one! the question should be can we reduce or eliminate our NEGATIVE impact on our environment, we all are or should be reasonable adults so it is naive to believe that our actions don't have clear and measurable reactions with our environment. now that said action can either help or hurt us. with the clear and simple assumption one can not journey through life, while never even creating so much as a ripple in the water of life! It is human nature to interact with your surroundings. Jane Goodall witnessed mother nature at work along with evolution as she watched what most would call mere monkeys; found tools to assist them in everyday task this shows a level of sophistication similar to you and I. we are capable ofliving and actually designed to have no negative affect our only greenhouse gas would be a minute amount of methane which could actually in the future be reused; reducing its effect even more. All this however does not take into account of mono cultures and that effect may be the greatest of them all when we take a look at an under publicized story about colony collapse disease(ccd) which the center for disease control has looked into and still no public awareness campaign? If we continue to let big business buy out the little guys ideas we eventually cross a moral line drawn in the sand for human evolution in my belief. we are now to the point of no return where mankind can take not one more wrong step we need to use the reason based technology as well as data and relationship science in front of us to help #plot #plan #predict and #protect the #planet we visiting. With that I will close with my words of wisdom and I ask for personal comments on what your concerns are and I beg to hear where you would really love to see me blog (# #)I have a lot of opinions but most important I like rationalization oF todays relevant problems. I enjoy upholding the scientific method and I have taken a personal oath to always explore every angle of important topics even if the risk is my life. I do this for one reason, your children, my children and all the children of the world to come. In closing again I remind you we are merely passengers aboard a ship much bigger than you have ever imagine so please be considerate of mother nature and lets take the planet back 1 love for all! mother nature is more like the moon, part of her is always hidden away!