This one stumps us. We should be an energy independent nation using clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass waste which is municipal solid waste, landfill gas, and biogas, ethanol, and biodiesel. We have an enormous opportunity to generate clean power that benefits both the planet and our economy. Remember your economics class and basic “supply and demand” principles? Purchase power is an effective tool for change. Make changes in your life and your place of work. Grass roots efforts are at the foundation of effectiveness.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, 20% of global wind power is generated in the U.S. and we have over 400 manufacturing facilities that produce various components for wind turbines. The Department of Energy claimed, in 1991, that North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas had enough harness-able wind energy to meet all the electricity needs of Americans. The Alternative Energy Association states that when wind farms are networked, the issue of wind’s intermittence is eliminated and that linking wind farms reduces the effect of windless days.
Solar energy is the largest source of energy. It has the potential to not only lower your energy bill but helps you reduce your personal carbon footprint by cutting harmful emissions and allows you to become more energy independent. The Solar Energy Industries Association site can help guide you to qualified vendors in your area and is a thorough resource.
Check out the US Department of Energy’s tax credits for energy efficiency on geothermal heat pumps, solar energy heat systems, wind energy systems, and fuel cells for new and existing homes.
- 75% of all new cars in Brazil are flex-fuel cars that can run on E-10 or on straight sugar cane ethanol. Brazil no longer has any need to import foreign oil, and has become energy independent.
- Germany has more wind capacity installed than any other country
- CFL light bulbs save money but they are NOT green…they are full of mercury (http://www.epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.html)
- Warm and hot water for laundry uses 90% of the energy for washing clothes so switch to cold
- The refrigerator is the #1 home energy hog and the dryer is #2
- If you get five hours of direct sun per day you can use solar energy to heat your home, pool, and water
Green Parent Association has not been endorsed by any of these experts. We have included them on our page so YOU can rely on them as much as we do. We hope they don't mind us trying to send you to their site!
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Recommended Reading / Watching
- Clean Energy Common Sense, An American Call to Action and Climate Change, by Frances Beinecke with Bob Dean
- The End of Oil, On the Edge of a Perilous New World, by Paul Roberts
- The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy – Revised & Updated Edition, Achieving Energy Independence through Solar, Wind, Biomass and Hydropower, by Dan Chiras
- Green Transportation Basics, A Green Energy Guide, by Dan Chiras
- Serious Microhydro, Water Power Solutions from the Experts, edited by Scott Davis
- Power From the Wind, A Practical Guide to Small-Scale Energy Production, by Dan Chiras with Ian Woofenden & Mick Sagrillo
- Living Green, by Greg Horn
- An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, by Al Gore
- Solar Today Magazine