An Interview with Chris Prelitz on Green Made Easy

Green Made Easy  

The Everyday Guide for Transitioning to a Green Lifestyle 


1. There are already dozens of other “green” books on the market. What makes this book different from all the rest? 


Green Made Easy isn’t about theory or statistics. It’s full of stories and easy, simple ways that I have discovered to walk more lightly on the planet and save money at the same time. I made lots of mistakes on the way to creating a home where I get a credit instead of a bill from our power company. I want to help others avoid the mistakes I’ve made. 


2.  What credentials or experiences make you the right person to write a book on going green? 


I’m accredited with the U.S. Green Building Council and I have served on environmental committees for cities and states. But I think 25-plus years of actual hands- on experience is much more valuable than any of that. The experiences of living off-grid and on just what we could grow in our garden, building one of the first permitted solar powered homes back in the early 90’s, and driving an electric car powered by solar have taught me much more than I ever learned in school. 


3. You have a section in which you say that solar panels are the last thing you should do. Yet you run your home, office and car off solar. How do you explain that? 


Yes, we’re on solar, but I made everything in our home very efficient first. It’s so much easier and cheaper to save energy than to make it with solar or even wind. An analogy would be like trying to turn a powerboat into a sailboat. You can’t just bolt on a sail. It won’t work very well. First, you have to make the boat streamlined and efficient. 


It’s the same with buildings. You need to be efficient first. Here’s an example. Replacing just ten standard incandescent bulbs with energy efficient lighting that uses only 1/3 the energy will cost between $20 and $50. And, you’d save about $30 each month in electricity. A solar electric system that would generate that same $30 of electricity each month would cost about $4,000. 


4.  Regarding content, you barely mention global warming or climate change, and you have a whole section on the history of fossil fuel and peak oil. Tell me about that. 


As important as climate change is, I wanted to share information about our energy future that I don’t see much in the media. Peak oil is a pressing issue. Communities around the world are realizing that we have entered the second half of the oil age and we would be wise to plan for thriving in a post petroleum future. Sweden has committed to be off fossil fuel and use only clean renewable energy by 2020. Many world cities are doing the same. We’re seeing oil prices rise virtually daily and that affects everything from gas to food and even our pharmaceutical products that are derived from fossil fuel. 


So, a big part of going green is to start the transition from fossil fuel. 


5. Wow, that’s a pretty tall order. Do you really think we’ll run out of oil? 


I don’t know if we’ll ever run out, but we will run out of cheap oil that’s easy to get to. And most probably fuel prices will keep going up. Masdar is a new city being built near Dubai. It will house 50,000 people, and it will be completely solar and wind powered. The head of development there has said that even with the Middle East’s vast oil reserves, they know one day it will be gone. And, it’s just smart planning.


6. How much time do you think we have to prepare for peak oil? 


I don’t know that either, but it’s probably not a coincidence that ancient indigenous cultures such as the Mayan predict great shifts for our planet by the year 2012. Even the U.S. military is starting the transition. The largest solar plant in the U.S. was installed at Nellis Air Force base in Nevada. 


7. Part of the message of the book is that we are heading into some very different times, but you claim that this is all perfectly natural and it’s nothing to be afraid of. 


Yes, history repeats itself, and change is the only constant. In the 1850’s, whale oil was our main fuel source. But in just seven years, 90 percent of all whale oil was replaced by fossil fuel. Even the current slowing down of our economy is a natural process that is making room for the emergence of what’s next. Green companies are thriving. We are seeing a slowing down of only the outdated ways that aren’t in harmony with the natural laws of the universe. 


8. Please explain what you mean by that – the natural laws of the universe. 


On this planet there are natural laws that we’re fairly certain will continue for some time. Such as gravity, and that we’ll see a sunrise and sunset each day, and in certain seasons the earth tips on its axis so that we experience a lower sun in winter than in summer. These are all natural laws that indigenous people knew about and learned to work with so that they could thrive generation after generation without the benefit of electricity or fossil fuel. I’ve included many of these secrets and ways, which we’ve lost or forgotten, about how to work with natural laws of the universe. 


9. Okay, I read where you say that going green doesn’t have to cost extra, that we actually can save money and do the right thing at the same time. 


Absolutely. Many individuals and companies are seeing that by investing in green, you can make money. Even simple steps like investing in a water filter and a refillable water bottle instead of buying disposable plastic water bottles. This can save thousands of dollars a year, and keep the 2.5 million plastic bottles that Americans throw away every hour out of our landfills. 


10. So let’s say that I’m pretty happy overall with how “green” I am. What can your book offer me? 


Time. Give Green Made Easy as a gift to all of your not-yet-green family and friends and you’ll save a ton of time, because you won’t have to spend any expounding the benefits of going green. The book has a “Green Myth-Busting” section that will win over anybody that might still be on the fence or the least bit apprehensive about going green. 


Chris Prelitz

One Response to “An Interview with Chris Prelitz on Green Made Easy”
  1. Wonderful interview, Q & A Structure. Pleasant read.

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