As more information becomes available about energy use and its impact on the environment, it’s apparent that a change is needed in the U.S. and beyond regarding energy practices.
There’s a direct connection between energy use and the environment. As we use energy for common utilities, such as electricity and gas, our homes and buildings emit greenhouse gases into the environment, which are extremely harmful and have led to several complications on our planet. Our energy practices may be geared toward economy, but at what cost? Should our planet suffer because of our desire to produce energy quickly and inexpensively?
The environmentally toxic results of our energy use has spurred a major push toward adopting cleaner energy policies. Other countries have started to do so, and the results are inspiring, showing that it’s possible to use other sources of energy that don’t have a profoundly detrimental effect on the environment.
By switching to clean energy practices — meaning ones that don’t produce harmful emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — we can protect the environment in a variety of ways. Let’s explore two ways that have the propensity to affect the largest number of people and the greatest percentage of the planet.
Alternative Energy Will Prevent Climate Change
By releasing less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we help prevent climate change on our planet. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide cause rising temperatures, heat waves, and abnormal weather patterns. Consequently, areas such as the polar ice caps are starting to melt, causing sea levels to rise. If this continues, several areas of the world will become increasingly submersed, and eventually become uninhabitable. Imagine Venice, Italy, swallowed by 20 additional feet of water, or more.
By reducing energy use and adopting clean energy practices, we can help ensure the situation doesn’t worsen and rob future generations of the opportunity to visit geographies we enjoy today. Coastal cities whose existence we take for granted could become like the legendary, lost city of Atlantis.
Better Energy Practices Will Protect Ecosystems
Many species of animals are becoming extinct or endangered due to greenhouse gas emissions. For example, due to high levels of greenhouse gases, many animals living near the polar ice caps are having their natural habitat destroyed, including polar bears and penguins. If these species became extinct, the whole ecosystem in that part of the world would be in environmental shambles. Why should animals around the world suffer because of our inertia in adopting more eco-friendly energy policies?
By adopting clean energy policies, we can help maintain the stability and sustainability of our planet’s contiguous ecosystems, from the ice caps that crown the Northern Hemisphere to balmy seas that swirl in the climes of the Southern Hemisphere.
Working Together to Preserve Earth
By reducing energy use and adopting clean energy policies, we can curb the deleterious effects of high-level greenhouse gas production. Luckily, as the price of wind and solar energy continues to fall, more consumers are choosing renewable energy options over ones that involve greenhouse gases. Many businesses are following suit, too, choosing to install renewable energy services at their building sites to reduce negative environmental impact. It’s an inspiring step in the right direction!
Let’s work together to preserve our beautiful planet, fighting for more clean energy policies and becoming more resourceful in what we use for energy — and how we use it. Government, businesses and individuals can all work to become more aware of alternatives to traditional utility companies to preserve and improve the environment, from keeping our ice caps intact to saving endangered species.