Although wind turbines and hydroelectric power from dams have been used for generations, most electricity is currently produced from coal, oil, and natural gas. Saving energy means conserving these limited natural resources and reducing the amount of environmental destruction that is needed to procure them.
Along with the classic energy-saving tips like turning off the light when you leave the room and unplugging unused electronics, you can buy Energy Star-Certified LED lightbulbs and appliances and use a portable solar cell-phone charger for when you’re out and about. Plug all your electronics into a power strip, so they can all easily be turned off at once. For items that require AA batteries, try these USB rechargeable AA batteries.
PG&E Energy Savings Assistance Program helps low-income households make their homes more energy efficient for free. For those whose homes aren’t serviced by PG&E, other electric and natural gas utility companies have similar programs.
Even if you can’t find a similar program, many companies have options to put a portion of your bills towards renewable energy research (that’s what Emma does!). Even if you struggle to afford and find ways to convert to cleaner energy, there are usually small measures you can take in your community to contribute.
Many people don’t realize it, but you don’t even need to have your own solar panels or wind turbines to power your home with clean energy. For roughly $4 more per month, most Americans can make the switch (see PG&E’s SolarChoice and Regional Renewable Choice programs).
Your appliances, outlets, and light switches will work exactly the same as always, only the power is generated from renewable sources instead.
Some counties even have subsidized programs for renewable power at an even lower price. Most of these local programs source their electricity from within the state, which further decreases the carbon footprint.
Marin County: https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/your-energy-choices/
East Bay: https://ebce.org/residents/
San Francisco: https://www.cleanpowersf.org/
Santa Cruz County: https://www.mbcommunitypower.org/your-choices/
Sonoma County: https://sonomacleanpower.org/programs/evergreen
Puget Sound Energy/Kitsap County: https://www.pse.com/green-options/Renewable-Energy-Programs/renewablesbytype-home
If you live in another county and would like help finding out what your renewable energy options are, please leave us a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help.
Usually, it takes one billing cycle for your utility provider to switch you to your new clean energy program. When your home is completely powered by renewable energy, you can use electric space heaters, electric stoves, and even charge your electric car instead of relying on their gas-powered alternatives. This is a very cost-effective way to go carbon neutral and a wonderful way to show your local government that you care about where your energy comes from.
Check out our Renewable Energy board on Pinterest for more eco-friendly inspiration!
Disclaimer: We receive no financial compensation for any of the products recommended or shared anywhere in this blog.