21st July 2024

Meet Mark Curtis. Mark is a traditional man, dwelling the American dream. He married his school sweetheart, Becky, who he met at a keg get together as a freshman at Michigan State. He and Becky began an organization in customized software program and consulting, and ran the corporate for 30 years earlier than retiring just lately.

Mark is a local weather warrior. He began driving an EV 12 years in the past, a Nissan Leaf with 75 miles of vary, and has pushed electrical completely since then. He now drives a 2016 Tesla Mannequin S, which has 110,000 miles on it. In response to Mark, “I’m lucky to have free supercharging for the lifetime of that automotive and reap the benefits of that for Tesla Highway journeys. In April we loved a 3,000 mile highway journey to hike within the Nationwide Parks in Utah (free electrons!).”

The workplace constructing, with free EV charging for workers, which resulted in lots of workers shopping for EVs!

Mark and Becky owned a 7,000 sq. foot workplace constructing for 16 years, promoting it just lately. They used the workplace to advertise clear power and electrical autos. The workplace constructing is 100% electrical. In early 2012, Mark and Becky added an 8.Four kW photo voltaic array to the roof which vastly decreased their month-to-month electrical energy payments, resulting in an Eight yr payback interval. In response to Mark, “It has been ‘free photo voltaic electrical energy’ since 2020.”

Mark stated, “Over a lunch with my crew in late 2011, I went to the white board and diagrammed the fee benefits of proudly owning an electrical automotive. I supplied so as to add automotive chargers to our constructing and supply free electrical energy to the workers. Over the subsequent few years, a dozen of the crew members purchased or leased electrical vehicles! We added Four Clipper Creek degree 2 chargers, that are nonetheless in use. For a few of the workers their EV was basically ‘free’ when in comparison with their earlier ICE automotive prices which have been averted (gasoline being the most important of the prices averted).”

Mark then showcased this success to associates, who he says just about all drive EVs now.

Defender of democracy

The Washington Put up has a tagline that “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” That is an homage to the significance of an unbiased media ecosystem that may expose corruption and hold society working by and for the folks. If you concentrate on it, there are few different industries or establishments which have this functionality, and lots of of them are governmental, and subsequently topic to inner corruption and defunding at a dictator’s whim.

Just lately, I wrote a bit concerning the media business, which is in hassle. Noteworthy is the shuttering of stories divisions together with Buzzfeed, MTV Information, VICE, and extra, in addition to the layoffs throughout many media firms, together with the LA Instances, which laid off 15% of its workers a month after profitable a few Pulitzers.

The pool of promoting cash is drying up, because it has began to move towards influencers on social media. Faux information and AI to generate it’s ubiquitous now. And usually, there are a lot, rather more worthwhile companies than media retailers, so normally, the brightest minds in entrepreneurship steer clear … I’d wish to suppose Zach and I are shiny minds, however perhaps we’re not so shiny in spite of everything…? I’m in fact kidding — Zach is a whiz, as you realize. However the problem of doing good journalism and monetizing it isn’t to be underestimated.

Our aim right here at CleanTechnica is to speed up the cleantech revolution. However the aim of different media retailers is strictly the other. I inform the story typically of how Tucker Carlson bought a $Three million examine from a coal baron to fund his media startup, which, not surprisingly, did nothing however solid doubt on local weather science and scare folks about local weather options like photo voltaic, EVs, and extra.

Mark wrote in after studying my article, suggesting just a few issues we might do, and providing to pitch in a couple of bucks a month if we might transfer away from the clunky system we have been utilizing with PayPal and get to one thing that was straightforward to make use of a bank card with. We discovered one, thanks to a different reader who wrote in, named Ryder. It’s appropriately referred to as “Fund Journalism,” and one way or the other, it had by no means crossed my desk previous to Ryder’s suggestion. It’s a lot simpler than what we had beforehand for our month-to-month contributors, which was clunky and unreliable.

So now, because of Ryder, we’re off and working with a brand new contribution web page, the place readers (like Mark) who need to assist us speed up the cleantech revolution can achieve this with only a bank card and arrange a month-to-month contribution of any quantity they select, and cancel with a click on or two at any time. Mark pitched in $10 a month to our publication, and we recognize it a ton!

Try our month-to-month contributor web page, and should you can, chip in a couple of bucks.

Reader feedback are tremendous useful to us! Extra on the backside about that.

So, what’s up for Mark, the conventional local weather champ and defender of democracy, now that he’s retired?

It’s time to spend time in his off-grid log dwelling. The couple constructed the house in 1994, however had to determine energy the 5 bed room dwelling and outbuildings, on the time, utilizing a 10 kW propane-fired generator, a 4,000 watt inverter, and a pair of,200 kilos of lead-acid batteries.

Later, as cleantech superior, they greened it up. “In 2017 we added a 7.Four kW photo voltaic array positioned in a sunny spot 650 toes from the house,” stated Mark. “The 24 panel array is mounted on 2 poles to maintain them away from the deep winter snows. The snow slides off the panels when the temperature is 32 levels or increased, so we by no means should clear the panels ourselves. The solar energy decreased our generator use from 1,200 hours a yr to 200 hours a yr. The photo voltaic addition has an Eight yr payback.”

Thanks, Mark! You’re the change we need to see on the earth. Thanks for being a frontrunner, and a reader of CleanTechnica.

And, take a cue from Mark — should you see one thing that may assist CleanTechnica thrive and proceed to develop in a troublesome media business, hit us up!

Images courtesy of Mark Curtis


I do not like paywalls. You do not like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Right here at CleanTechnica, we applied a restricted paywall for some time, however it at all times felt unsuitable — and it was at all times robust to determine what we should always put behind there. In concept, your most unique and greatest content material goes behind a paywall. However then fewer folks learn it! We simply don’t love paywalls, and so we have determined to ditch ours. Sadly, the media enterprise remains to be a troublesome, cut-throat enterprise with tiny margins. It is a unending Olympic problem to remain above water and even maybe — gasp — develop. So …

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