I spent the last week at home in Dallas, TX with my parents when I got LASIK surgery. Now that I am back to the daily grind, I wanted to share with you just how green my parents are. Behold, the Bishop family wind turbine next to the (tiny, camouflaged) watertower:
This wind turbine replaced the original windmill that was on our property when we bought it. Instead of keeping the rustic one for looks, we installed a wind turbine to harness the wild north Texas winds (a local farmer bought our old windmill). I had to wait until one morning when it wasn't turning to snap this picture, as it's usually spinning so fast you can't see the blades. It's a hilariously modern-looking structure next to the watertower my dad built himself to hold creekwater. He also has lofty plans to build a dam in the creek, put in a water wheel for hydroelectricity, and pump water into the tower for watering our landscape. As of yet, it stands empty -- but his plans always come to fruition eventually.
While I was home, the air conditioning in my room was out. The pump for our geothermal electricity broke and was shooting water everywhere in our attic. We only discovered the problem when our ceiling could no longer hold it in -- think: huge leak. All we needed was the geothermal technicians to come out and replace the pump (and remove the standing water). The process, surprisingly, took only an hour. This was the first setback we've had in the nine years since we built the house -- that's still pretty impressive. Our geothermal units go down 200 feet into the ground next to our garage and I never even knew they were there. The pumps carry hot water up from the ground and back again to power our air conditioner. My dad also plans on installing solar panels to utilize the Texas sun.
Not only do my parents use these green energy sources, they are avid recyclers: our recycle bin is as large as our trash can and is always just as full, if not more so. My mom maintains a landscape of beautiful flowers, and my grandmother gardens in her house next door. Her compost pile is her pride and joy, and at 80 years old, she loves riding the lawn mower on our five acres of grass. I really do have a unique family.
But even though my parents actively support alternative energy, you will not find them watching Gore's An Inconvenient Truth on our (non-flat-screen) TV. They are Texas Republicans to the core, and they bristle at the Democratic connotation of environmentalism and the "green" gospel.
My point is that environmental issues are not Democratic or Republican. The green movement transcends politics even while liberal agendas tend to claim it. It's important that people of all political shades come together to advocate on behalf of the health of our land and, thus, the health of our bodies. (If my mom sends me out for milk, she knows I come home with organic. Only the best for my parents.) Sustainable energy is a necessity no matter what you believe politically. Everyone knows that fossil fuels can't last forever, even if you don't agree with the way we go about drilling or not drilling. I don't care what color you are politically; the earth vote should be unanimous, as green is in us all.