The Public Goods Blog is about health, sustainability and people making an impact. That’s why we seek out and interview amazing people who can share incredible stories or valuable insights. Their wisdom might be the inspiration you need to live a healthier, more sustainable life.
Did you know people can win awards for having a sustainable home? We certainly didn’t, not until we connected with Pablo Solomon, whose house was nominated for the Texas Lone Star Land Stewardship Award. Solomon exemplifies sustainable living, and his work as a renowned artist and green designer has inspired others to care for the environment.
To learn more about his lifestyle and work, we asked a few questions, and he was kind enough to answer.
Public Goods: How have your design and art projects had an impact on the environment?
Pablo Solomon: I hope that doing a poster announcing Earth Day each year for over 40 years impacted people to what they can do as individuals. The combined effects of many people hopefully did more than my tiny efforts. I am also proud that my wife Beverly and I have practiced what we preach and that our various projects here on our 1856 historic ranch have inspired others. Beverly was honored by the state of Texas for her work on ecotourism. None of my design projects have been massive big deals, but the effects of 50 years of designing one tiny project after another has had a cumulative effect. I am also proud that I taught the sciences on several levels, which perhaps inspired future generations to love and preserve the earth.
PG: We saw on your website that in 1997 and 1998 your home and studio was nominated for the Texas Lone Star Land Stewardship Award for outstanding natural preservation and restoration. Why was your home recognized?
PS: I think it’s because we did so many interesting things on a relatively small scale. Our place is just at 50 acres. Up to our nomination, all the projects being recognized were big money projects covering thousands of acres. That was discouraging to small land owners. My wife and I demonstrated that you could do on a small scale with a pick, shovel and wheelbarrow what bulldozers were doing on a big scale. I also think that our restoring a historic home faithfully while incorporating various energy/water saving features showed that one did not have to build a new high tech home to help the environment.
PG: Does the story have any lessons for homeowners who want to positively impact the environment?
PS: Yes, everything you do to save water, save energy, provide shelter and food for wildlife, etc. — no matter how small — can have a positive effect. I always remind people that if each American saved just one gallon of water today, that combined amount would supply a city like Detroit or Miami for almost a week.
PG: What does “sustainability” mean to you?
PS: It starts with the mindset that we are just passing through this life and that we leave things as good or better than when we were entrusted with them. By studying how a balanced environment allows for use and still continues, we can apply those principles of balance and harmony into our space.
PG: Do you have any advice for consumers who are trying to practice sustainability?
PS: Yes, do the best you can under your circumstances. Once you make up your mind that living a life that respects our beautiful world is important to you, the details come one at a time.
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