If you’re reading this early enough and you want to tune in, you can catch me on Good Morning America between 8:30 and 9:00 this morning. As for all the Good Morning America viewers who watched and are now dropping by, welcome! Today's offering is a list of posts and links about how each of us can make the planet a better, healthier place for all us.
First off, let me say this. To really make a positive impact, we need both to make an effort as individuals and as a culture. Below, you'll find tips for individual lifestyle changes. But to clean up our power generation or to develop efficient transportation systems, for example, we need regulatory and governmental change.
For that we need to elect politicians who make cutting greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental concerns a central part of their platform. You'll find a good guide to where the candidates stand on making our planet better, healthier and safer at HeatIsOn.Org.
As for personal changes, 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.