denmark is the birthplace of the modern wind industry. on an average day 20% of the electricity needs of the country are satisfied by wind power. on a windy night, it's 150%. both numbers are far more than any other country. and we can sleep well, knowing our energy is some of the greenest in the world.
but (you knew there was a but), in my view, it makes us a bit complacent. being able to be this green, without any effort on our part, allows us to rest on our laurels. and i don't see a whole lot of other green thinking going on in denmark. this is partially due to a government with a lack of vision - for example, if you are a private person and you want to put up a 1-6KW wind turbine on your own property, to satisfy your own electricity needs, you have to jump through the exact same hoops and satisfy exactly the same requirements as if you were the power company putting up a bunch of 3.6MW wind turbines for a wind farm. and you actually have to PAY to hook your turbine up to the grid - you have to pay in order to sell the electricity you generate. we calculated the payoff of such a turbine to 15 years! it's just a bad business case. in other words, the laws and regulations actually prevent people from being green on their own property.
so we find ourselves looking for other ways we can be green. we live out in the country in a rather sparsely-populated area, so a car is a must for us, but we have decided we can get along with one car for our household. it's a trade off, because living in the country also means we have plenty of space to have a large garden and room for a chicken coop and even space for a couple of pigs. so come spring, we're going to have those things. i'm looking forward to the day when the garden is producing enough that i can cancel my weekly organic box delivery. i'm also looking forward to gathering the first eggs from my own hens and to feeding our scraps to the pigs, rather than sending them for green recycling at the dump.
elizabeth, jude and i have been talking about these issues and exchanging links to articles of interest for some time now and we decided it was time to take the dialogue a bit more public, hence this blog, where we're going to be thinking out loud about issues of living a more sustainable life - so the planet our children inherit will be one they can actually use.
we hope you'll join in our conversation.