We currently find ourselves at an existential crossroads. Either we continue to consume products and produce energy in the same way old way we’ve been doing for the past 50 years and face the reality of an uninhabitable planet, or we dramatically change our ways, right now.
Embracing renewable energy will doubtless play a central role in that process. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how we can make a positive difference in the current era of rapid climate change.
Support government policy
First, one of the most significant ways that we can make a difference is by voting for politicians who support meaningful policy changes in the renewable energy area. Staying informed on which parties, both on a local and national level, are genuinely committed to a sustainable future is incredibly important.
Ultimately, when government officials realise that their electorate doesn’t support fossil fuels any more, they’ll be forced to adapt their approach to where we get our power from.
Choose renewable providers
While we can make a difference by voting for the ‘right’ politicians, we can also use our economic influence when it comes to choosing an energy provider. There are plenty of companies that now offer totally renewable energy, often at a similar price or for even less than ‘conventional’ energy providers.
Again – once energy companies realise that consumers have a strong preference for renewable energy, they will be forced to provide people with what they want.
Install renewable systems at home
Some renewable energy systems, perhaps most notably solar panels, can be used on small scale projects as well as big ones. If you’re committed to using renewable energy, and you have enough money to make the initial investment, then you can install a renewable energy system at home. Not only will you be able to create your own energy, but when you have a surplus, you can often sell it back to the energy grid!
While we can get the energy that we do use from sustainable sources, ultimately, we also need to consume fewer material products and use less energy. This means optimising your use of products and space, to reduce things like redundant lighting or heating. It’s a simple concept, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to implement it.
Finally, using less energy doesn’t mean that you need to keep all your lights turned off and your house as cold as a fridge – you should also increase the efficiency of your lightbulbs and insulate your home.
In addition to measures like that, you can ensure that you’re using energy efficient appliances – over time, all of these little things add up to substantial reductions in energy usage.
There are so many ways that we can make a difference, from increasing the efficiency of our homes to voting for climate conscious politicians. There’s no single thing that we can do to tackle the climate crisis – it will take a long term, multi-pronged approach that will need to be tweaked and adjusted as we go along.
A final thanks to the experts at Exagen, who provided valuable insights into the renewable energy industry for this article.