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Articles by Daniel Shaw

Daniel A. Shaw has written for numerous publications about the environment, fly fishing, music, travel, politics, and legal affairs -- but not yet all in one story. He and his wife, Isa, live in Woody Creek, Colo., with their two children and an insane dog named Mojo, who was assembled by a committee with some sort of weird axe to grind against their possessions.

Featured Article

Sunshine on my solar panels makes me happy. Photos: Daniel Shaw

In and around Aspen, Colo., incorporating green into the building process usually means wondering, “How much cash can I spend on my house?” After all, this valley sports some of the most energy-sucking but least-used second, third, and fourth homes on Earth. One of them, former Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar Bin Sultan’s 55,000-square-footer, can be yours for $135 million. What are the utility bills? Who the hell cares! Spec homes topping 15,000 square feet are still popping up without a solar panel in sight in a place where the sun shines 300 days a year.

When we decided to build a new house on our property in Woody Creek, a few miles but a world away from Aspen, we knew we were engaging in inherently anti-environmental behavior, so we decided to go as green as we could. We were going to be straw-bale insulated, gray-water recirculating, solar-powered leprechauns. On the grid, but only so we could give power back to it.

Um, that was before we started building. After six months of design and a year and a half of construction, we’re a few months away from moving ... Read more