Although part of me feels like I should be doing more activism, I really don't like dealing with lots of different people. I'm actually happiest reading interesting research and trying to figure out solutions to physical problems.
If I had some more confidence (and some workspace) I'd probably enjoy building interesting stuff.
Like the idea of buying a house, I would of course try and implement all the various tricks I've found to keep the inside of a house cool to minimize the use of an air conditioner. If I actually kept records and monitored the changes accomplished by such projects, that project produces data useful for others interested in improving their energy efficiency. (which produces a whole host of environmental improvments).
So basically how can someone with a shy engineer/scientist personality type get in on coming up with a more sustainable life? Is it effective to just improve upon what I'm good at--research and development? And leave the stuff involving getting people to cooperate and change behaviors to someone else?