My name is Lily McBride, the new office manager at Ecohouse Solar, and I grew up an hour north of Columbus. Our founder, Kevin Eigel, likes to say that all environmentalists grew up on a creek but for me it was with a river at the bottom of the hill. I grew up spending my summers swimming in the Kokosing, biking and hiking all the trails in the area, and building forts in the woods behind our house.

Ever since I can remember, the great outdoors was a magical place, which as I grew older, translated into actively respecting and preserving nature. I studied music composition and performance at Kenyon College along with coursework in topics such as  political science and photography so I didn’t exactly plan to end up working in solar energy installation. It was during college, however, that I really became more attuned to national politics and started to realize how far we have to go as a country in not just environmental policy, but in issues of social justice, gender equality, and healthcare access (to name a few).

Four years under the current administration have made it even more clear to me how vital it is that individuals take part in the fight against climate change. In times like these especially, we can no longer remain passive observers. We have to change our own behavior and commit to voting in every election because our political representatives must protect both our interests and the larger health of the world in which we live. And even if we are doing our part, we need government officials to hold big businesses accountable.

Being a part of Ecohouse has been really rewarding so far because each and every day I get to be one small part of contributing to the growing world of clean energy. Every installation is a step towards a cleaner environment. When I started, I definitely faced a steep learning curve (and still do!) but it’s been exciting to continue learning about renewable energy.

One thing that’s always drawn me to music is its ability to connect people and as I’m starting to discover – solar does that too. With every customer who makes the decision to add solar to their home or business, or with every crew member who helps install a new system, another person is added to the ever expanding community of those passionate about our environment. It’s been so recharging in a year of intense social isolation to meet customers and fellow employees at Ecohouse and to connect on this issue. When I was first introduced to my coworkers at Ecohouse, we had a (socially distanced!) staff meeting, going around the room to introduce ourselves and to explain how we ended up in this industry. Hearing about everyone’s unique trajectory and why they’re excited to come to work everyday made me feel extremely lucky to be where I am. I’m excited to continue learning and to continue the fight for universal renewable energy. Here’s to a greener 2021!