Green Energy Times staff
We at Green Energy Times are working to save the planet. Sometime the most important thing we can do is to get the word out. We let people know about the needs we see and the solutions we believe are the most important. For those messages, we try to cover everything we know of.
As individuals, we find ourselves making the decisions in our own lives intended to help the environment, just as others do. When we do that, we try to act in ways that are consistent with what we know is best for the environment
Different people have different opportunities to support the broader changes we need to do to. Some of us can improve insulation in our homes. Some can switch to solar panels to provide us with electricity, and there are many ways to do that. Some switch to electric vehicles, install heat pumps, or do other such high-tech things. Some turn the thermostat down and wear a sweater.
The list of opportunities seems endless. And so does the list of things people actually do.
Not long ago, Nancy Rae Mallery, our editor, decided that it might be a good idea to ask those who work or volunteer for G.E.T. to tell people about the things they do to reduce their impacts on the environment and promote sustainability. So, for a couple of months, we have been collecting the responses we have received. We will share these, and one or two will be in each issue for a while. We will have two in this issue.
Sally Bellew – G.E.T. volunteer distributor (White River Junction and West Lebanon, NH regions)
I have 16 solar panels in a nearby community array. These have generated enough clean energy to cover my heating and cooling, thanks to a heat pump, and my transportation needs for the past two years. My electric bills have been about $20 a month, year-round, for the past two years. My plugin hybrid is getting 999.9 mpg because I make use of every conceivable opportunity to recharge it. So far, I’ve gone 3000 miles on one-eighth of a tank of gas. Obviously, I’m borderline hysterical about the climate collapse I see all around.
Everyone should take a look at the facts in this case. Sally does distribution for us, but she has powered her car, heated her home, and provided herself with other electricity at a cost of $20 per month. The money-saving potential of renewable energy sources and efficient use of electric power is so clear here.
For those who burn fossil fuels in their cars and at home, we might ask a question: If you add the costs of fuel for your car, fuel for heating, and electricity, would you rather pay that sum each month, or would you rather pay $20? For any among us who may wonder when, or whether, the cost of renewables will be low enough to save money, clearly the time is now.
Sally is a champion, and we are proud of her.
Joanne (and Paul) Coons – G.E.T. volunteer distributor, writer, and event representative. Co-lead in New York region
We (my husband is my partner in crime and we are a team) have solar photovoltaic (PV) for electricity, batteries for storage, PV thermal for domestic hot water, ground-source heat pump for heating and cooling, heat recovery ventilator for ventilation, only drive electric cars, induction range and buy only energy star products, bike as much as we can, use rain barrels for irrigation, compost to enrich soil and reduce the energy it will take to cart this valuable resource away and waste the energy it took to produce this waste in the beginning, low carbon footprint building materials, no chemicals in our garden and landscape, no fossil fuel engines such as lawn mowers, weed whackers etc., and grow as much food as we can. Every electron and calorie counts. The best way to save energy is not to use it. A little story. I bake a lot of cookies, and I scrape the bowl each time and squeeze out one more cookie. If I do that just once a week, that is 52 more cookies in a year. Would you want to waste 52 cookies?
Our readers will doubtlessly recognize the names of Joanne and Paul Coons, which often come up in our by-lines. We suggest that readers visit page 24 to read an article Joe Parsons wrote about a house Joanne and Paul renovated for themselves, “Historic Home in New York Goes 100% Renewable Energy.”
In our next issue, we will bring our readers more about how those who work to G.E.T. the word to you, and who work to sustain and heal the planet for a safe and comfortable future.