This is part 3 of a 3-part interview featuring Steve King, creator of the Green Geek Blog
BILL: The majority of readers here are interested in learning more about aspects of financial freedom and how to become independently wealthy. In your opinion, how does what you’re doing at Green Geek fit in to that objective?
STEVE: My philosophy towards technology and social sustainability inherently revolves around efficiency; cost savings is a side effect of this. With many of the actions for property owners, such as replacing light bulbs with CFL?s or replacing entire appliances, the up front cost seems high but the energy savings outweighs this cost in the long run. Conservation is a very important philosophy in financial freedom, as it equates directly to reduced expenses. The benefit of these technologies is energy and cost savings, with absolutely no loss of comfort or function. After all, the less money you’re spending, the more money you’re able to keep. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”
BILL: In your opinion, what changes need to be made both in the short and long term?
STEVE: In the short term, it will benefit us all to reduce our energy consumption by doing things like replacing light bulbs, draft proofing, and applying common sense such as shutting off the lights and the TV if you’re going out for the night. Buy organic food where available, locally produced if possible. If you’re buying a new appliance, look for an Energy Star rated one. Put your computer into auto-hibernation mode so it shuts itself off after a period of disuse, without you even thinking about it. Drive a hybrid car, carpool, ride a bike. In upcoming elections, vote consciously. Learn the issues, and vote for what’s best for the planet. In the long term, we need to completely get rid of fossil fuels. Our dwindling supplies should take care of that, but it should be a conscious choice to progress beyond it rather than a move forced by necessity. The Building code needs to be changed to adopt LEED standards, and home appliances and devices need to be built to be as energy efficient as possible, as well as completely recyclable. We need to eliminate personal self-propelled vehicles as our primary mode of transportation, and instead focus on creating new sustainable eco-villages that are walkable and connected via a high speed rail system into a beautiful majestic sprawling region that is full of natural green spaces, parks, agricultural areas, all powered by passive and eco-friendly means such as integrated solar, offshore wind farms and geothermal systems.
BILL: In your life, who have been the major influences in shaping your philosophies and views?
STEVE: There have been many people who have inspired me, but one that really stands out is Nikola Tesla. His work wasn’t specifically related to environmental topics; rather he was focused on finding better ways to do things. Another influential person I encountered in my life was one of my professors in my first year of school. I started school studying electrical engineering, inspired by Nikola Tesla. I decided to minor in biotechnology, and at the time I was acting with the belief that anyone who was opposed to genetic engineering and biotechnology must be a closed-minded religious fundamentalist. Luckily for me, I happened to get a fantastic professor for a bioethics class, and rather than just teaching us from the textbook she also showed us other perspectives of the issues. It was during this class that I discovered organic agriculture and the dangers of chemical pesticides, both the promises and the tremendous risks involved with gene splicing to create “better” organisms, and the potential for natural systems. The professor loaned me a book, which I read in 1 night and then promptly purchased my own copy the day after. That book was John Todd’s book From Eco-Cities to Living Machines. I decided to switch majors to environmental engineering the following year, and was very successful with my new studies, graduating near the top of my class with an honours diploma. Recently, I’ve been very inspired by the writings of Steve Pavlina. His perspective on the field of personal development has really made an impression on me, because he’s done such incredible things using a unique blend of technology (blogging, podcasting, and programming) and spirituality. Finally, it’s somewhat clich?, but my family has also greatly influenced my philosophies and views. My personality is a blend of my father’s strong intellect, logical thinking and a desire for lifelong learning, and my mother’s creativity, spirituality and compassion for other people and for the planet. I’m driven by the belief that the planet must be saved for us and for future generations, but at the same time I’m tempered by the question of how it can be done.
BILL: I would be very interested in working with you in coauthoring some informative articles relating to health, eco-awareness and the financial advantages stemming from that. Would you give me that honor?
STEVE: Absolutely, it would be my pleasure to introduce more of these concepts with your readers!
BILL: I’m quite taken with the notion that adopting a healthy lifestyle can equate to massive long-term financial savings in regards to reduced cost of health care. Perhaps that can be our first joint writing project.
STEVE: I am excited about the possibility to reach your readers and develop some material that will hopefully make a positive difference.
BILL: Thank you for being with us for this short while, Steve. And good luck with the Green Geek Blog.
STEVE: Thank you as well, Bill. Best of luck to you with your website also.
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