Local group says going green is easy

Local group says going green is easy
By: Holly Brantley

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Both locally and nationally you hear more and more people talking bout taking care of our environment. Saturday was National Day of Climate Action. In honor of that one local group wants you to know that going green is actually pretty easy.

According to folks with the Southeast Missouri Climate Protection Initiative, all you have to do is stop and think about how much energy you use and how you can reduce it. A member of that group took the idea one step further by building a passive solar home.
From the outside, and inside, the home of Kathy Conway and Alan Journet looks like any other. "It's a passive solar home," said Journet. "What we're doing is using the best design feature we can in order to maximize the use of the sun in winter and avoid the sun in the summer."
By design, the house faces south. Overhangs make the most of the sun when they need it, and keep it out when they don't. They have central air, but with the use of the sun and a an efficient stove, they almost never use it.
Journet says they aren't perfect, and they don't expect others to be, but if their philosophy catches on, it might help save the environment. "When we think about what we do we try to minimize energy consumption," he explained.
Take a closer look at the home, that's not siding, it's actually concrete. The deck is a product made of recycled paper bags. "Our carpets are recycled soda bottles we say recycle but close the loop," said Journet. "I think some of the things we've done are things anybody can do."
Journet and Conway recommend using energy efficient appliances, or fluorescent light bulbs.
Journet says the home probably cost 5-10 percent more to build. However, they save quite a bit on energy bills over the long run. He says when it comes to conserving energy all you have to do it reflect on what you use, and find ways to reduce it.