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Reasons to hire a green renovation expert


Joanne Ciccarello/Staff/The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) There are many decisions to take when renovating an old house. Alexandra Marks and Martin Sheridan check out the possibilities for environmentally friendly heating systems at Silverio Mechanical in Old Saybrook, Conn.

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I ended my last post with the conclusion that hiring a “green expert” would be too expensive and so I would not hire one, but would do the research about various green building techniques myself (which I will then share with you).

In that way, I concluded, Martin and I could make informed decisions about which technologies to use based on our limited budget and save the money we’d use on an expert.

Even as I was writing that last sentence, I knew that I had not done due diligence.

I’ve been blessed in my life to know some remarkable people. One is Rick Schwolsky, the current editor-in-chief of EcoHome Magazine.

That’s impressive enough, but, from my perspective, his real claim to fame is that back in 1979, at Jimmy Carter’s behest, he helped install solar panels on the White House. (These are the very panels that Ronald Reagan had removed in 1986, not wanting to be reminded of the energy crisis.)

Rick’s then-wife-to-be, Mollie Beattie – who became the first woman director of the National Fish and Wildlife Agency, sat with him there on the parapets above the Oval Office writing out their wedding invitations. (Please, forgive my name dropping, but I am gifted to have known them both. And what a great story, eh?)


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