October 28th, 2011 - The (already happening) negative effects of global warming, the economic crisis and our national dependency on foreign oil underscore the need for us all to get serious about renewable energy and sustainability right now.
Some have been saying this for a while now, others are just starting to see the light; scientists, environmentalists, and increasingly economic and military leaders are telling us its time to move away from fossil fuels (i.e. coal & oil) and towards clean renewable and locally sourced energy. Awesome, but what can the average person do to make this happen?
1) Go Solar: The most direct way to support renewable energy is to use it. If you’re a homeowner in the U.S. and you decide to go solar you won’t only be helping your local community, the U.S. and the world by reducing dependence on fossil fuels, chances are you’ll also be saving yourself some serious cash. To get started check out a company like 1bog, which helps buyers save by grouping them together with other people who are going solar, and negotiating discounted solar prices on the behalf of the group.
2) Support companies that invest in renewable energy: Big corporations as we all know have a lot of money. And with that money they have an opportunity (and I believe moral obligation) to include renewable energy and other sustainable practices in their business plan.
Some companies are already doing this; Google, Intel, Kohl’s, WalGreens, New Belgium Brewing Company, Staples, and REI are just a few that have made a serious commitment to using renewable energy to power their businesses. We should support the companies that are committed to sustainability and renewable energy and call out the ones that aren’t. If we do that, renewable energy capacity will continue to grow, more companies will follow, and the prices of solar and wind energy will continue to get cheaper for us all.
Yes, its true that the most sustainable purchase you can make is the one that you don’t, if you’re going to be purchasing a product or using a service anyway, why not do it from a company that is showing a commitment to the long term health of our planet?
3) Fight the fossil fuel industry every chance you get: Sign petitions, call your congressmen, join movements such as the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal movement, or 350.org’s Tar Sands Action. Do whatever you can to stop oil, coal, and the fracking natural gas companies from drilling and plundering our planet to death. The fossil fuels industry has tons of money and lobbyists so we won’t win every battle (and trust me this will be frustrating), but the more we can slow them down and the more of their resources we can get them to spend on fighting us the less profitable they’ll be and the sooner clean energy and everyone else on this planet will triumph.
Written by: Youness Scally