It’s weird having kids these days – on top of everything else, you have to grapple with the consequences of having brought them into this environmental mess we’re in. Even weirder is trying to explain it and realising that, to them, it’s just normal – the same way that anti-littering ads were normal when I was a kid in the 90s. Their acceptance of environmental crises as the norm feels almost as disconcerting as my initial visions of them living in fear of the outcomes.
I have to admit that my kids’ attitude, although surprising at first, is quite good for me. It makes me feel it’s possible to engage in problem solving, rather than simply wallowing in a morass of concern for their futures. It also makes it seem self-evidently practical to do certain things like installing solar panels, which means we now have them at our house.
The next step is having a solar array installed at the warehouse. This is definitely a bigger project, but it’s good to have successfully gotten a smaller system up and running first. I’ve been putting it off, but I’ve got to jump on that commercial solar panel calculator that Daryl was talking about, and start figuring out how to do this.
One of the things that’s going to differentiate this system from the one at home (aside from the size) is the relative complexity of energy use at the warehouse. There are many different processes on the go at any given time, so it’s going to be interesting to try and work out how usage is distributed. I’m thinking we might need to think about commercial energy monitoring. Melbourne has summers and winters that are pretty different in terms of the power needs that they create, so it will be interesting to keep track over the course of a year.
In any case, it feels good to show the kids that the solutions they so easily identify are being put into practice. We’re lucky to be able to do that; I realise that not every family has that capacity.