Cutting greenhouse gas emissions doesn’t mean you have to trade in your car for a bike

While greenhouse gas emissions are a problem for global warming trends, there are things we can do as we nationally recognize those leading green practices.

Most of us need a car in a society planned and built around the automobile and trucking. If you have a commute of several miles on suburban multi-lane roads with a bicycle, you’ll be in great danger unless there are special bicycle lanes.  Transportation and electrical power generation are the two highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sectors in the U.S. It means we can’t eliminate the problem overnight – but that doesn’t mean we can’t cut back a bit. 

You know the transportation drill—giving each car in the family stable a day off per week; keeping the speed below 60 mph whenever possible (i.e., safe); taking a bike or walking when the trip is very local and in non-rush hour times, and so on. And more people are purchasing high-gas-mileage vehicles these days since there are more choices now, unlike back as few as four years ago when gas prices last spiked.  

There are other wise energy choices we can make, as most people are well aware, in electrical power usage, such as low wattage light bulbs, energy efficient appliances, cutting back hot water usage and many others. So maybe it’s time to hold off on the preaching.  Instead, I like to look at some of the award-winning “green” companies and local governments and see what they’ve done. 

The table below shows the minimum requirements for electrical power purchase from renewable sources for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partner list. 

Minimum purchase requirements

 Baseload

Minimum Purchase   Requirements

If your annual   electricity use in Kilowatt-hours is …

You must, at a   minimum, buy this much green power within six months of joining the   Partnership

≥ 100,000,001 kWh

3% of your use

10,000,001-100,000,000   kWh

5% of your use

1,000,001 -   10,000,000 kWh

10% of your use

≤ 1,000,000 kWh

20% of your use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organizations purchasing fewer than one million Kilowatt hours per year are not eligible but there is another list with those who purchase 100% of electricity from renewable sources without regard to size.  There are also Green Power Communities – from Alamo Heights, Texas to River Falls, Wis. in which community-wide power usage follows the same guides as in the table.

There are top 20 or top 50  lists within categories, updated quarterly. So, can you imagine the marketing and promotion that, say, Herman Miller, Inc., ReCellular, Print-Tech, Inc., and Dreamscape Multimedia—all Michigan companies on the April 2012 list—can do with this designation?  Can you imagine how this designation might influence a corporate purchaser who can then use the information in its own green marketing?

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