• wildcatrussell

Marian and Steve



Steve (he, him) and Marian (she, her) are a retired couple, ages 71 and 66, respectively, living in an all-electric single-story 2,300-sq-foot ranch-style home on 2½ acres in Valley Center, CA.


Steve and I were both lucky enough to grow up in areas close to nature, Steve in Minnesota, and I in Southern California. Steve would spend hours exploring the wilderness near 9-Mile Creek https://www.ninemilecreek.org/, which was close to his home, and would often on the weekends be gone from just after breakfast until just before dinner. Lunch would be what he could forage, mainly wild gooseberries, crabapples, and wild plums, growing on the banks of the creek.


I grew up in an area just north of San Diego that was still very rural back in the 1950s and ‘60s. Our small tract home development was surrounded by canyons and open fields, where I would spend as much time as possible. I vividly remember being so excited when, in the spring one year, I discovered that the big puddles of water in the open field behind our house had small fish swimming in them! I ran home yelling, “There’s fish in the fields!” I learned later that they weren’t really fish, but fairy shrimp and other tiny freshwater crustaceans that had hatched from eggs that had lain dormant in the dirt. Now, sadly, these vernal pools are endangered. http://www.chaparralconservancy.org/projects/vernal-pool-preservation/


So, fast forward to decades later when Steve and I met and had started our family. We both wanted our kids to have the same experiences we had growing up, so we moved to a rural (now semi-rural) area in the northern part of San Diego County nestled up under the foothills of the Palomar Mountain range. Our kids are now raising their families in the same community.

Steve, an engineer, has been interested in renewable energy, especially solar, since the 1970s. My interest in creating a climate-friendly home came out of the awareness that if we don’t act now on the climate crisis, the beautiful natural world that we both love so much, and the futures of our children and grandchildren whom we of course also love, are at risk.


While we have already taken several steps to lower our carbon impact, using the Climate Action Maps is enabling us to monitor how we are doing and what we need to be focusing on next. We also hope that the experiences and knowledge that we have gained will be of value to other like-minded people who are looking to take personal action to help mitigate the climate crisis.


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