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Following the Leader

At a conference today a colleague was telling us about a trip he made to Iceland. He talked about the pure-clean air and how it felt so good to just breathe. His comment compelled me to try and recall the last time I noticed really taking a breath of fresh air. Honestly, I couldn’t remember. Whether it has been that long, or age has affected my memory, is a debate for another time, but that lack oF recognition hit me as profoundly disturbing. We should all be able to wake up in the morning and take a deep, cleansing breath of fresh air.

Iceland may be a country the size of Ohio with a tenth of the population but this tiny country is absolutely kicking our rear-end when it comes to environmental awareness. 80% of the countries total energy consumption comes from renewable resources; hydro-power & geothermal. 90% of Iceland’s homes are heated by natural hot water. Making it the cleanest energy country in the world. Iceland has set the goal to be completely energy-independent by 2050.

Studies show that Icelanders have the longest life-expectancy in the world and enjoy those extra years in great health. Social scientist’s studies also demonstrate again and again that Icelanders rank at the top of every measure of happiness and contentment with life. Maybe this Eden on earth is attributed to the lava rocks or just the laid back Nordic life, but really, wouldn’t we all be healthier & happier if we could stop and take a deep breath?

Now, as I see it, we could all pack up our families, sell our homes and move to Iceland – or we could just do our part here at home. Let the ground under your feet provide your heat in the winter, cooling in the summer and hot water all year long with a ground-source heat pump. Then at the next block party you can boast that yours is the cleanest-breathing house on the street and hopefully your neighbors will follow your lead the way the rest of the world is following Iceland.

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