Chris Carnevale finds it easy being green. He plants fruit trees in his backyard, advocates for clean energy by day and, in his spare time, brings like-minded people together with a group he started, the Charleston Permaculture Guild.
He loves plants. And trees. And biodiversity. That love is expressed through his advocacy for wind and solar energy, two increasingly viable industries in South Carolina. Wind power hasn't been a real option here until recently due to our low wind speeds, but the technology is now available to harness what we've got efficiently and our state's first wind farm is in the planning stages now.
“We have a really big wind resource and we have been preparing the ground to make a fertile soil for developers to come in with wind energy businesses. Wind power is by far the cheapest electricity that you can build now,” he says.
Chris' job as a regional organizer for The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy puts him in the role of catalyst, and has him doing everything from giving talks in classrooms to going to the capital to lobby politicians. If he is successful at his job, more people will be enthused about energy efficiency and building solar panels with the goal of saving money, while protecting the planet of course.
The Permaculture Guild has traction too, putting on a 72-hour Permaculture Design Certification course with 20 participants in February. The guild focuses on designing systems to collect and use rainwater to irrigate your own yard, grow edibles and perhaps feed a koi pond, if you're fancy.
Chris' wife is in on it too and is his “accomplice in gardening.” Fighting evil with spades, one plot at a time.