If you’re reading this early enough and you want to tune in, you can catch me on Good Morning America around 8:30 this morning. Sorry not to let you all know earlier. There were schedule changes at the last minute. As for all the Good Morning America viewers who watched and are now dropping by, welcome! If you want to know more about the No Impact Man project, a good place to start is here.
Meanwhile, those of you who saw me talking about having no electricity in my apartment in order to reduce my environmental impact may be thinking, “Oh hell, I want to help the environment but I’m not about to do what that wacky Colin Beavan has done!” Well, guess what? You don’t have to. Each of us can only help in the ways that we can, which is why I put together this list of previous posts and links which may help you to figure out your own way.
The first key to cutting emissions is reducing our use of energy resources. Driving less, flying less, using less power is about the most important ways we can each do that. It also links to list of other environmental actions you can take, and explains a little about buying carbon offsets, which is a way of making up for your unavoidable emissions. My favorite carbon offset provider is Native Energy.
Another thing you can do at home is to buy your electricity from renewable sources—like wind, hydro or solar. You can find your local provider of renewable electricity at this Department of Energy website. You’ll be faced with a number of choices. The greenest of the green is generally wind power. It's also good to choose a provider that is certified by Green-e or the Environmental Resources Trust.
If you can't buy green power, you can also find “renewable energy certificates” on the DOE website. RECs work like this: the credit for the green benefits of renewable electricity is traded like a commodity. In other words, wind power, for example, provides two products: electricity and green benefits, which are sold separately. Thus, if you can only buy gas power in your area, but you buy RECs equal to the amount of power you use, you still get credit for using green energy. (complicated but true).
On this blog, you can also read about:
- Consumer choices that most affect the environment
- Saving trees by stopping your junk mail
- Saving wildlife, petroleum use and litter by avoiding plastic bags
- Why personal lifestyle choices are important to the environment
- What you should ask for from your elected representatives
- Links to other sites with more hints for helping the environment
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.