Our society’s energy usage should be on everyone’s mind. Energy is necessary to heat our homes, fuel our automobiles, and keep our economy operating. The problem is that the energy source that we have been relying on for decades (namely fossil fuels) has taken a major toll on the earth and our environment. The excessive use of electricity and fossil fuels emits a significant amount of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases) into the atmosphere. These greenhouse emissions trap heat which warms the planet. The release of these gases into the atmosphere is considered the biggest culprit of global warming. Continual warming of the earth’s surface will set off a chain reaction of environmental consequences that have already started to have a negative impact on our environment, water supply, fish and wildlife, and our food sources.
The notion of shedding our dependence on fossil fuels in favor of green energy sources is alluring and growing in popularity as we explore new energy sources and technologies. Fortunately, more people are taking notice of our current energy situation and making a concerted effort to promote cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy sources. Green energy includes sources that have little or no waste output such as solar, wind, and hydro energy. The good news is that advancing technology is making it more feasible to use these green energy sources both on a large scale and even in our homes.
Developing a standard of using green energy technology has both long- and short-term benefits in the form of better water and air quality, lower energy costs, and improving the condition of our planet.
Better Air Quality
The energy source that our country relies on most is electricity. Unfortunately, electrical power plants are the biggest generator of environmental pollutants. The use of electricity releases pollutants into the atmosphere that cause acid rain, mercury poisoning in lakes and rivers, and global warming.
If we reduce our dependency on electrical power, our overall health will drastically improve. We will significantly lower our risk of life-threatening diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia. We will also boost our body’s ability to fend off respiratory infections and cardio-pulmonary issues that can lead to early death.
Lower Energy Costs
Naturally, everyone is interested in saving money. It’s a painful reality that the cost of heating our homes and fueling our automobiles continues to go up. We rely heavily on commerce to keep our economy up and running. However, when the bulk of our discretionary income goes to energy consumption, we have less to help sustain our economy.
Green energy is not only better for our environment, it’s cheaper to produce and use. Some of the economical benefits of using green energy include lowering our utility costs, reducing the costs of health care in treating pollution-related diseases, and cutting the costs of transportation and travel.
Preserve the Life of Our Planet
For centuries, the earth has taken quite a beating for the sake of industrialization and energy production. There are many ways that the earth is starting to show wear and tear from all of the abuse. One area in particular is global warming. This warming effect is creating an alarming elevation in sea levels which will ultimately cause a hazardous ripple effect on the environment. The rising water level already has and will continue to engulf shorelines and other portions of land. This affects the ecosystem and decimates plant life as well as fish and wildlife populations. Not to mention the intrusion of sea water will render our ground water undrinkable.
Taking steps now to improve our environment is essential to preserving the livelihood we now enjoy in terms of clean air, fresh water, and healthy food sources. Future generations will appreciate the efforts we make now to ensure that the earth remains inhabitable using cleaner and renewable sources of energy.