How We Can Continue to Advocate for Our Climate and a Greener Future In Lockdown Through Clean Energy.
As fear about the scope and impact of the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, Americans are waking up to a new reality— one characterized by self-quarantines, physical distancing, and overwhelmed hospitals. Employers have closed their offices and urged employees to work remotely, and schools across the country have closed, leaving millions of students out of class.
At times, life now feels like being stuck in the midst of a tropical storm with continually evolving new demands like working from home while caring for our children and learning how to manage our household needs remotely. At other times, it feels like life has gone on pause with canceled appointments, postponed dinner parties, on-hold sports seasons, and indefinitely delayed vacations and travel.
At such a moment, finding a way to adhere to our dearly held values can be reassuring. For me, this has led to a journey to find ways to continue to advocate for our climate and for a cleaner, greener future. Here are three easy ways to support clean energy and climate action while you’re stuck at home on COVID-19 lockdown.
Switch to Clean Energy
Times have changed, there is no longer a need for expensive home construction projects, large capital outlays, or complex and time-consuming measures to procure rooftop solar. Today, switching to clean energy can be done quickly and easily from the comfort of your home in just minutes online. Residents in states with deregulated energy markets—those that allow for competition among energy suppliers or retail choice—permit residents to choose their own energy supplier rather than compelling consumers to buy their electricity only from their utility. This means that if you are looking to switch to clean energy during lockdown and you live in a state that allows for retail choice, you can choose to source your energy from wind and solar exclusively simply by signing up with a competitive retail energy supplier that will provide you with clean energy.
Certified B Corporation CleanChoice Energy, for instance, is a leading renewable energy company that empowers people and businesses to cut emissions and live cleaner, healthier lives. CleanChoice purchases wind and solar from within the region where its customers live and— where feasible — from newer renewable facilities in that region thereby encouraging even greater renewable energy development. When customers switch to clean energy, they send a market signal encouraging even more production on the grid.
Because much of our carbon footprint comes from our homes’ electricity usage, each individual who switches to clean energy helps eliminate an average of 7.5 metric tons of carbon-pollution or roughly 15,000 pounds— each year. To date, CleanChoice has helped eliminate the equivalent of more than 4 billion pounds of carbon pollution and provides a quick, easy, and simple solution to go green while at home.
In the photo: Solar panels. Photo credit: Andreas Gücklhorn on Unsplash.
Purchase Carbon Offsets
When it comes to climate change, there are two sides of the equation: How much pollution we emit and how much we are able to sequester. Carbon sequestration works by pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it for years or even decades. Even with all our modern technology, trees remain the best option we have to remove and store carbon pollution.
Trees remove carbon through photosynthesis and then store the pollution in their roots, stems, and leaves. In fact, a single acre of forest can remove up to 7.7 metric tons of carbon pollution per year. The EPA estimates such a reduction would be equivalent to not burning 8,500 pounds of coal or taking 1.7 cars off the road for a year. For consumers concerned about the impact of their home furnace or the environmental consequence of their daily commute, or even those just wanting to do their part to fight climate change, purchasing carbon offsets is a terrific way to help mitigate the environmental impacts.
CleanChoice Energy will support reforestation efforts on your behalf — ensuring that a certain amount of trees are planted, helping protect our natural spaces and mitigating your carbon impact. Interested consumers can learn more about CleanChoice’s Clean Commute program or Clean Furnace program.
In the photo: Trees pull carbon out of the atmosphere and store it for years, offsetting our carbon. Photo credit: Unsplash.
Support Clean Energy Legislation
Making smart choices about how you get your energy is essential if we want to combat the worst impacts of climate change. But individual purchasing decisions alone — while critical— are also likely to be insufficient by themselves. It is essential that local, state, and federal governments move forward with climate-friendly policies as well. Legislators need to hear from their constituents to understand that their communities want them to support climate-friendly solutions. Almost all legislators can be reached by phone, email, and mail and are eager to hear from those they represent — which makes being stuck at home the perfect time to make your voice heard!
Let’s face it, being stuck at home is far from perfect, but it is a perfect time to go green. Take this opportunity to support a more sustainable future with abundant renewable energy and clean air, for us all. If the coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that we are all — truly— in this together.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com.