SEEDS Intern Paranoia

July 14, 2011

Hello reader,

During our first week here the man training us had a 70 page powerpoint that contained all the information that we would have to know to assess these houses. All I could think was that I was never going to be able to remember all of the little details that I would have to know. Then of course I thought I would ruin a sweet families home, making them homeless. But now that I have done several assessments I find that the things making a home leaky and cold are surprisingly easy to find.

Unfortunately, I am now suffering the side effects of learning all this, a disease I like to call the SEEDS Intern Paranoia. After watching the immense slide show made by our trainer, I am now constantly aware of how much energy a building is losing. And after a particularly informative and rather startling video about the danger of mining, in which a mountain exploded every time a light flip is switched, I have become borderline ECO OCD. I find myself sitting in dark rooms, reading by flashlight and weirding out the people I talk to. Because, unfortunately, the mother I babysit for does not really care that a better fireplace cover will prevent air bypass, when I’m holding her 5 month old baby. Nor does my mother understand why the lights are off in the room so that when she comes in I scare the bejesus out of her or she trips on things.

The good news about my new condition is that I have found several things wrong in my own home, and plan to remedy them soon. Such as the absence of aerators on our faucets, low flow toilets and rain barrels on our gutters, all of which are important water conservation techniques. Also, our basement is in need of insulation and a dehumidifier. After a bit of research I found out that the air slipping through the gap between the chimney and the ceiling could be the reason my parents room is always so cold. When I told this to my father he responded, “why are you standing in the dark?”