Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Play

Massachusetts steps up for Puerto Rico, the White House convenes its first hunger conference in more than 50 years, and hydroponics could be the future of tomatoes in California.

Play

Arizona's Sen. Kyrsten Simema defends the filibuster, the CBO says student loan forgiveness could cost $400 billion, and whistleblower Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship.

Play

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

WA Push Heats Up to Make Homes Greener, Healthier

Play

Tuesday, August 16, 2022   

Washington state wants to make homes for its most vulnerable residents greener and healthier.

It started with a needs assessment from the Department of Commerce on housing energy resilience to figure out what it will take.

Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, policy and partnerships manager for Firelands Workers Action, a group in rural western Washington organizing on issues such as housing, said improving housing will not just make the house more energy resilient, but also remove health concerns lurking inside.

"People have been told by their doctor, 'Hey, the bronchitis you have is caused by the mold in your house. You've got spots in your lungs that will never go away because of the indoor air quality of the place where you live,' " Schromen-Wawrin observed.

Schromen-Wawrin noted about 0.3% of houses in Washington are being weatherized or upgraded each year. The state's goal is 10%. His organization has submitted an application to help the state scale up the program.

Schromen-Wawrin argued making home improvements would not only create healthier, more energy-efficient places to live, but also help the state tackle its growing housing crisis. He explained it is common for older Washingtonians who age in place to stop maintaining their housing out of lack of funds or resources.

"If we lose existing housing, then we're just going to get further and further behind," Schromen-Wawrin cautioned. "We can lose housing through people not being able to maintain their housing. You know, if your roof leaks, you're basically rotting out the structure."

On improvements to save energy, Schromen-Wawrin noted there are a number of options. Ductless heat pumps, for instance, will be important as summers in the Northwest warm up, since they can both heat and cool homes. He added it is important to get a wider perspective.

"Really, we have to think of housing, and the electrical grid as a whole, as something that we all collectively share," Schromen-Wawrin emphasized.


get more stories like this via email
Groups that track disinformation say purveyors sometimes back up their claims by referencing fake "think tanks," or by linking to other pages on their own website. (Feng Yu)

Social Issues

A Nevada democracy watchdog group said social media, blogs, websites and hyperpartisan news organizations are all working overtime to spread …


Social Issues

Education officials in Ohio want state leaders to invest in free school meals for all students. Pandemic-era federal waivers enabling schools to …

Environment

Agriculture researchers say if the U.S. wants more farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices, they will need to be offered some proven incentives…


Researchers say if states required more lighting and reflection on farm vehicles, traffic crashes involving this heavy equipment could decrease by more than half. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

As the fall harvest season takes shape in South Dakota, an agricultural specialist said there are many ways motorists and farmers can avoid crashes …

Social Issues

Massachusetts residents are being asked to step up, just as they did five years ago, to help their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. The …

Nearly 640,000 people were considered food insecure in Washington state in 2020, according to the nonprofit Feeding America. (timonko/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

It's been more than 50 years since the White House held a gathering about the effects of hunger across the nation. In 1969, the White House held its …

Social Issues

By Caleigh Wells for KCRW.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the KCRW-Public News Service Collaboration Wh…

Social Issues

As the midterm elections approach, there are concerns about whether Latino voters will turn out as much as they have in past elections. In New York…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021