Concerned about the state of our planet? Words like “greenhouse gases,” “holes in the ozone layer,” “climate change” and “melting ice caps” can make us fear what state the planet will be in for future generations. How can we be better citizens of this earth? What role can we play in preserving our one and only planet?
Being aware of the risks our decisions pose for the planet and making a conscientious effort to minimize those risks is referred to as our environmental responsibility. Unfortunately, Americans are notorious for being among the least responsible citizens of Earth. According to a study done by MIT, on average, even the Americans with the lowest energy consumption – homeless people for example – still double the international average energy usage.
Our culture makes it incredibly difficult to be energy efficient. Our commute to work in our family-safe SUVs, our energy-consuming household appliances, even our occasional, juicy burger may all seem like the norm, yet they tax our planet. Eliminating these things that we have integrated into our lives sounds like a tough, nearly impossible, lifestyle upheaval.
Solar power is one of the most impactful and easiest ways to clean up your carbon footprint. Not only does it produce zero greenhouse gases while powering your home, it also requires nearly zero effort on your part. Even if you made conservation your primary focus, solar benefits may still beat you. Installing solar panels can be as beneficial as not driving your car (and a friend’s!) for a year or planting and growing 185 trees for ten years!
Take action, and feel better about how you’re saving the planet. Maybe build a compost with some of the money you saved from your panels. Now, you’re unbeatable.
“May the relationship between man and nature not be driven by greed, to manipulate and exploit, but may the divine harmony between beings and creation be conserved in the logic of respect and care.” – Pope Francis