Admittedly, these experiences are like one's first experiences with learning how to paint - finger painting and messy but with much larger existential consequences and no actual paint.
So it's more like "Baby's first handgun?" Let's hope we survive our first "test" here.
"But at a solar/green event I went to, I use so little electricity that only after mentioning that was it *maybe* worthwhile for me."
This is a very good point. Homes, individually, don't take too much power, so powering each one of them with it's own generator (solar or otherwise) is redundant and expensive. Maintenance, too, is a pain for the average home owner. So centralizing power generation is great, for the most part. At least until you start factoring in transmission loss. What ideally will happen, and this will take time thanks to the cooperation it requires, is that district power plants will spring up. That a commercial building can produce so much power that it can sell the rest to local houses. You're starting to see this happen, and in the future, hopefully it will happen more. There's other benefits to this approach as well. Say, for instance, you run a massive server farm. This farm produces a lot of heat, and if you can capture this heat, you could use it to power your building and perhaps other neighboring buildings as well. It's an idea that's catching on in Europe and a few places in the US. So maybe solar power on your home isn't going to become viable, but that doesn't mean solar won't be in your future.
Fun fact though, they've used the same technology to monitor the fields generated by the lights in a room, so you can actually gain a picture of movement in the room based off of only the flux in the lights' power draws. Again, this is very low resolution, but you don't always need every system to be high res.
As for demolition - buildings are gutted before demolition. There's a lot of scrap material that can be recycled or reused. There's also a lot of material that you don't want being blown out of the building when the charges go off. So a good portion of the demo work is stripping the building down to its structure. Blast proof material would be removed for many reasons, but in particular, you wouldn't want to mess with the precise calculations that go into dropping a building straight down.
... Scientists discovered jogging?