Friday, July 20, 2007

Location Matters & Other Ways to Save Energy

This letter was submitted by Mary Barnes, resident of Ellis County, Kansas

Location, location, location.

This phrase is frequently used among Realtors and business owners. When a real estate agent is attempting to sell a parcel of land or home, the prospective buyer is enticed with a prime location, whether it is next to the children's school, place of employment, a beautiful park or the hustle and bustle of a shopping district. When a business owner wants to move their business into a new building, again it is all about location and whether or not it will draw customers to make the most profit.

But when those of us who may be forced to live among the turbines are protesting the conditional-use permit, we are told we shouldn't worry about the location.

Location seems to be of critical importance to CPV/Iberdrola. These industrial wind developers are locating their efforts to the U.S. because Europe does not want them any more. Adverse impacts to our landscape and health can no longer be denied.

Yes, location is of equal importance to many homeowners. We are called NIMBYs because we don't like the location.

No, I personally don't want them in my backyard, frontyard or anywhere else in Ellis County.

As far as the $600,000 per year payment in lieu of taxes goes, we were all doing fine before and we will go on being fine after this project is blown out of Ellis County. Ellis County is a nourishing county that is a great "little county" with quality and heart.

We don't need CPV/Iberdrola in our community to destroy what we have come to treasure.

Simple steps are truly green.

If we are concerned about dependency on fossil fuel, greenhouse effect and general well-being of our natural resources, I ask you HDN reader: What are you personally doing to help these energy issues? There are many things we as concerned citizens of the earth can do if we are willing to do them to be earth friendly. For instance:

* Use high-efficiency energy light bulbs.

* Turn your thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter.

* Ride bikes whenever possible or walk.

* Barbecue or use a crock pot or microwave instead of using the stove or oven.

* Use cold water to wash your clothing; cold-water detergents work effectively.

* The next time you buy a vehicle, make sure it gets the best gas mileage you can afford; don't buy just because you like the looks.

* Turn lights and TVs off when you are not using them.

* Hang clothes on a clothesline instead of using the dryer.

* Use fans and ceiling fans instead of turning on the AC at the first sign of heat.

* Turn heat down 5 to 10 degrees at night during the winters when you are not home or sleeping. Use thermal blankets to keep yourself warm.

* Recycle. Kansas is the worst state in the U.S. for its contribution to recycling. Many products that are made from non-recycled items use much more CO2 to manufacture than the same products made with recycled items.

* Stay at home or in Kansas to vacation, instead of driving or flying across the U.S. or to another country.

* Carpool to work whenever you can; children can take turns carpooling with neighboring friends.

Maybe you can do 10 or even more of the suggestions. Perhaps you have other ways to save energy. These are not threatening to our well-being, physically, mentally nor monetarily. Get everyone in your family involved in energy conservation.

Let's all pitch in to make a difference. We can save more energy than the 140 plus turbines could ever produce. We all must do what we can to quench our thirst of fossil fuel and not depend on a select few to carry the burden. If we would all be a little more saving of our energy, in the long run we would not be tearing apart our community and friendships.

Mary Barnes
615 Munjor Road
Hays, Kansas

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