Green power within your reach, TODAY!

What do the above companies, plus Royal Bank, BMO, Shaw Communications, Kraft Foods, Nissan, Home Depot and Google have in common?  They run part or all of their operations on green power – sustainable electricity produced from renewable sources.

No, they don’t have power plants in their back yards.  They simply buy certified green power from a green energy provider, and have it delivered through the existing power grid.

And you can too, for your home or business.  Just Google “green energy provider” to find a company that offers service in your area, and then sign up.  There are no wires or switches, and no worries about reliability.  However, there is a small premium price for green power, typically a couple of cents per kilowatt-hour.  If you’re keen on green power, hopefully you’ll agree it’s a small price to pay for being carbon-free.  And – by buying green power, you are creating an incentive for the development of more green power, and helping transform the market.  A really good thing!

Here’s a quick overview of how green power works, and here’s a link to a leading Canadian provider (in which I have no personal stake, financial or otherwise).

Choose a better way to get the kids to school

For most of us, driving is one of the biggest parts of our carbon footprint.  And until we have electric vehicles charged by wind or solar power, it’s pretty much impossible to make driving ‘green’ or sustainable.  Every tank of gas equals another 100 KG or more of greenhouse gases emitted.

School’s in this week, and that means many parents will likely fall back into the routine of driving the kids to school – even though most live near enough to walk or bike, or there’s a school bus to collect them.  The US National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that 20-30% of morning rush hour traffic is people driving their kids to school.  At my son’s elementary school last year, the principal counted over 100 vehicles on an average morning – and the school has just 300 students.

Unfortunately, by driving our kids to school, we contribute to inactivity and obesity; we make the streets more dangerous by adding traffic; we waste a fortune in fuel; and we produce tonnes and tonnes of unnecessary greenhouse gases.

As a parent myself, I can appreciate that some parents may be uneasy about letting their little ones walk or bike.  But there are many creative ways – such as a ‘walking school bus’ – to make the trip safe, healthy, fun and eco-friendly.  Check out http://www.saferoutestoschool.ca/ for lots of ideas and resources.