If you caught my roundup post from Friday, you probably read that I was saying adios to civilization for the weekend to go camping in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Well, this inexperienced camper made it out of the woods alive with only a few bug bites, scratches, and a pair of very sore feet.

If you weren’t roughing it like I was, hopefully you caught the 14th Annual National Solar Tour, a massive “open house” event on Saturday where 5,000 solar-powered homes in 3,000 communities and cities across the US opened their doors to the general public. The American Solar Energy Society-hosted event was a big day for both generalized real estate looky-loos and for homeowners curious about investing in photovoltaic and solar thermal systems in their own homes.

Ed Begley Jr., celebrity environmentalist and co-star in one of my favorite early 1990s comedies, She Devil, had this to say about the event

Sustainable living is not only good for the planet, it's good for our wallets. The National Solar Tour offers families an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with friends and neighbors who are reaping the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency each and every day.  It's a great way to get an up-close and personal perspective on how easy it can be to live the green life -- and how rewarding.
If you missed the National Solar Tour this year, don’t fret … it takes place annually on the first Saturday in October. You can also check out this map that lists all the tours across the country that went down this past weekend. Through the map you can find handy contact info for various community-based solar organizations and companies and info about some of the homes that were open to the public. 

For those of you who made it to a local open house — there were an estimated 150,000 participants — did you tour any homes that changed your feelings about solar power? Or are you still on the fence? 

And, of course, if you’re in the Washington D.C. area this month, be sure to stop by the Solar Decathlon on the National Mall and root for you favorite collegiate, solar home-building team. 

Via [Inhabitat]

Photo: sanityfactor

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.