Why Americans Need To Pay More Attention To Green Energy

Although Americans tend to travel less than people in other countries and often speak only one language, we have always been concerned with the way the world sees us. Yes, the stereotype of the ugly American is one most try to live down when traveling overseas. But recently Americans have been roundly criticized, as a nation, for their consumption, or really over consumption of the world’s energy. According to the most recent statistics, America is about 4 percent of the world’s population and yet we consume nearly 25 percent of the world’s energy.

This is a particularly embarrassing situation we you consider the fact that many European countries have taken it upon themselves to reduce their reliance on traditional forms of energy, which have been proven to expedite climate change. In fact, the European Union recently announced that they have embarked on an ambitious plan to reduce CO2 levels by twenty percent by 2020. To accomplish this awesome feat, countries that are part of the EU will turn to alternative sources of energy like solar and wind power, which, of course, do not harm the environment. Already countries like Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands have invested billions in these new technologies.

And what was the response from the Americans? Nothing…crickets. It seems that our politicians are too busy arguing over whether climate change is, in fact, a reality to propose any new legislation that might help cut our dependence on traditional forms of energy. But they seem to be missing the point. Even if climate change isn’t a reality, the fact that the United States has 1/25th of the world population and consumes 1/4th of the world’s energy is shameful and embarrassing. It is also true that many forms of alternative energy are more efficient and less expensive than traditional ones.

So in order to change our country and help the world, it’s up to us to make the change ourselves. We have to work together and show all of our politicians that this is the answer. Granted, it’s not going to be an easy task, but it starts with you. When you realize the benefits and see the difference, your word of mouth will spread to others, and eventually we can all consume less energy, save money on bills, and help the environment.

Solar Power – The first option most people turn to is solar power. This definitely makes sense considering our recent rise in electricity costs. While solar power is clean, sustainable, and free, it’s extremely inexpensive to install. Just ask all the individuals already taking this route whether or not there are plenty of benefits. What it comes down to is the majority of your electricity needs can be met with ease. However, solar power doesn’t produce electricity on cloudy days or at night, so some people utilize wind turbines as well.

Wind Turbines – One of the most important things to understand about wind turbines is that they are simply small windmills. Each one of these can produce energy by the use of wind and are like we mentioned earlier, they are often used with solar energy to get the maximum benefits. It only costs a few hundred bucks to install which is a minor price for all the money you will save in the long run. Best of all there isn’t a lot of maintenance either.

Hybrid Cars – While hybrid cars are currently a bit more expensive than average cars, a hybrid owner will quickly realize he made a wise investment when he sees the money he’s saving on gasoline. On average, a hybrid owner can expect to save up to $1500 a year on gas. Think about it! That means that if you drive your car for a decade you’ll save up to $15,000! itself.

Fluorescent Lights – Your average light bulb lasts for about 1,000 hours. Even though you won’t find most of them to be too costly, it’s much better to use fluorescent lights. They offer close to 10,000 hours worth of lightly, help you save a tremendous amount of money on your electricity, and give you the opportunity to recycle them when they’ve run out. All of these are great for helping the environment.

Energy Efficient Windows – Did you know most of the heat you lose during the winter is due to poorly built windows? If you’re trying to lower your heating bill, then this is probably one of the best investments you can make.

In the end it’s all about knowing what’s out there. If each one of us can utilize just one of these options, the rest of the world will stop thinking we’re just ugly Americans. Oh, and we’ll help the environment tremendously.

Author: Jerry Dyess has been in the Electricity business Texas Electric news for many years.

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Originally posted 2009-10-15 15:21:08.

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