A simple switch for you is a huge switch for the planet. Your local utility company may have a green option – if they do, choose it! Ninety-one percent of all electricity produced in the U.S. comes from non-renewable sources, of which 77% is derived from the burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal). Fossil fuel combustion comprises the single largest category of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the US and worldwide. CO2 emissions contribute to climate change by trapping heat inside the earth’s atmosphere. We can reduce CO2 emissions and their effects not only through energy conservation, but also by using cleaner energy: solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact hydro and others.
Fossil fuels are nonrenewable because, though made in nature, fossil fuel deposits require hundreds of millions of years to form. Oil, coal and natural gas will eventually run out. Replacing fossil fuels and non-renewable uranium used for nuclear power, with renewable sources that are sustainable, will secure our energy future.
Currently, non-hydro renewable energy sources make up 2.4% of the U.S. energy supply, but renewable energy can provide a larger portion of the nation’s energy needs and reduce environmental impacts and risks from using fossil fuels and nuclear power to generate electricity. More than 750 utilities across the nation offer a green pricing option. Alternatively, or in addition, consumers can purchase renewable energy certificates or RECs (also known as green tags), which support green power that may not flow directly to their meter.
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