Tulsa Solar Tour

(Cross-posted from House of the Lifted Lorax, because I am too tired to write a whole new riff here.)


I think our hens may have been even more popular than our solar panels this afternoon as we led tours of the House of the Lifted Lorax. They certainly made a big hit with my young neighbor, who has been watching them from afar (or at least from across the easement) for months. He wasn’t comfortable with the idea of petting them when we took them out of the chicken tractor, but he definitely liked watching them through the chicken wire. When his mom and grandma got ready to leave, we had to coax him inside with the promise of a cookie (oatmeal-cranberry-chocolate-chip, made with honey and eggs from our backyard).

Between 20 and 25 visitors from all walks of life stopped by to see the house and yard. We had some old friends show up, we made some new friends, we got to know a few of our neighbors a little better, and we had a surreal but utterly wonderful moment shooting the bull with a pair of self-described “old hippies” who could have been us in 20 years.

One of our visitors told us she’d come more for the chickens than anything else, and one couple on the tour walked out to the backyard to see the solar array but shifted their focus to the chicken tractor the minute they saw it. As it turns out, they’ve been thinking about keeping chickens but weren’t sure how to start, being city dwellers. I think our feisty, funny Bond Chicks offered them as much encouragement as anything I might have said. I hope they’ll post and let us know how they’re doing when they get a flock of their own.

Our bees were a big hit, too, and several people were interested in the LED “lightbulb” in my desk lamp, which isn’t the brightest light in the world but is pretty whizbang nonetheless.

If you missed the tour, the organizers are already planning to do another one next fall. I am also hoping to get a hand free in the near future to put together a kind of virtual tour to give you a sense of what’s possible … and in the meantime, you can
click here
to see a copy of the flier we handed out, explaining the various things we’ve done to reduce our ecological footprint.

I’ll leave you with one more dose of cute:


Have a good weekend, and go do something nice for the environment.


Almost time!

Two hours to showtime. I’m just about ready, too … just a few last-minute touches to take care of in the next couple of hours (like getting Ron up so I can make the bed), and we’ll be good to go.

One last time: If you’re in the Tulsa area and need something to do today, the Tulsa Solar Home Tour starts at 11 a.m. and goes to 5 p.m. You can start at any of the three participating sites and visit them in any order you like. You can find a flier with directions and details here.

I’m really looking forward to this event. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about living lightly on the earth — people always seem to think you have to spend a lot of money or live like Laura Ingalls Wilder to reduce your environmental footprint, but that just hasn’t been the case for us at all. You can do some expensive (solar panels) or labor-intensive (organic gardening) things, but most of what we’ve done here is simple, inexpensive stuff that anybody could do with a minimum of effort.

I hope we get a big turnout, of course, but even if just one person shows up, sees what we’re doing, and gets inspired to install a few CFLs or turn the thermostat back a few degrees this winter, it will have been worth the effort.

It’s going to be a good day.