I consider myself moderately educated on climate issues. Through Climate Caretakers and other avenues, I’ve come to understand the threat climate change poses and the effect it is having around the world on so many people. I realize that it would be easy for me to ignore it and just do whatever I want to do, but I also feel compelled to act on it when I can. Not so I can feel good about myself or because someone is making me, but because there are people that ARE being affected right now by climate change because of the actions I am taking. I owe it to them to do something about it!
Now I’m not the type of person who is likely to restructure my life completely to minimize his carbon footprint. I’m not going to move into a Tiny House, drive only electric cars, only buy locally sourced foods, or put up a wind turbine in my front yard. While those things are all great…I’m just not committed enough to take steps like that myself. However, I do try to find ways to make a difference when I can. I figure…if I’m not ready to jump in 100%…every little bit can make a difference!
One step I made last year was switch to solar electricity! Now before you go thinking, “I’m not going to buy solar panels to put on my house”…neither would I! Even if I wanted to, there’s no way our neighborhood Homeowners Association would allow it! Our electric company built a solar array last year, and they offer members a chance to lease sections of it. Basically you pay $50 per month for 2 “panels” and whatever electricity is generated by your portion of the array is credited to your account. I didn’t hesitate and signed up right away! I figured it probably would end up costing a little more than normal, but it would be such an easy way to make a difference with no time, effort, or investment in equipment on my part so it would be worth it.
In the winter time (less daylight) I found that we ended up paying about $15 more each month than we would normally have. Although it was too bad that we weren’t SAVING money by doing it, I felt that was a small cost to pay to know that I was doing my part to use clean energy. But then just recently as we’ve gone through the summer months (more daylight) I’ve found that we’re saving around $10 a month! So overall, a good portion of our home electricity is being run by clean renewable energy. It has taken no effort on my part, no change in behavior, and no hassle to achieve it and the cost to me is negligible…and well worth it!
If you’re like me…you want to do something but aren’t ready to change everything about your life…I encourage you to look for small things to start with. Check with your electric company and see if they have a renewable option. It may cost a little more, but would be an easy way to get moving in the right direction.