Long-buried carbon has powered our factories, cars, and homes since the industrial revolution. In the early years, no one dreamed that coal and petroleum could cause any harm. As humankind experiences the destructive results of using them, however, many are turning away from the consumption of these polluting substances in favor of wind- and solar-powered electricity. Switching to clean energy is not just a lofty ideal; it is a practical one, with immediate effects on a person’s health and well-being. Here are three ways that switching to clean energy will directly benefit your family.
1. Costs Less
Many do not realize that using sustainable sources of energy is actually more affordable than using fossil fuels. This is because few people are aware of just how much prices have come down since the first solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars went on the market 50 years ago. Regardless of start-up costs, homeowners buying solar panels are making an investment that pays dividends in lower electricity bills. Setting yourself up to have lower utility bills and to be less dependent upon whichever monopolistic power company controls electricity in your community can improve your standard of living by making your family more self-reliant.
2. Smells Better
Although the inside of a new car may have a pleasant smell, no one has ever tried to bottle the scent that comes out of an exhaust pipe. Besides the carbon dioxide that insulates and over-heats our planet, burning fossil fuels releases other chemicals. One of these substances is sulfur dioxide, known for its overwhelmingly strong odor. Although colorless and nonflammable, humans are able to smell it at levels as low as 0.3 parts per million. Other toxins released, such as nitrogen oxide, are downright dangerous to breathe. Electric cars, in contrast, produce zero harmful emissions.
3. Keeps Water Cleaner
Even if you filter your family’s drinking water, chances are that the water you use to wash clothes with comes from your city’s municipal water supply. If the water’s source is a lake or river, then it is susceptible to environmental toxins. Mining and drilling create acidic streams, and burning coal results in acid rain. Coal mining also releases poisons such as mercury, lead, and arsenic that cause birth defects and high rates of cancer in communities near mines. Keeping coal-based electricity away from your home is the best way to ensure clean water.
4. Grants Peace of Mind
Most citizens of first world nations such as the U.S. do not live in constant anxiety about finding enough food and water to eat and drink each day, or collecting enough firewood to stay warm at night. Americans do, however, experience high levels of stress. Some of these feelings stem from uncertainty about the fate of the planet, and are exasperated by guilt experienced when considering how their modern lifestyle negatively impacts others. Choosing clean energy helps alleviate anxiety by giving people a way to be part of the solution to the world’s problems.
Although the above-mentioned four benefits are life changing in themselves, they are by no means the only positive effects of using renewable energy. A society without fossil fuels has the potential to halt global climate change, create safer jobs, and bring back diminishing wildlife populations. Government leaders will not be the ones to bring about this change. Instead, it will come as more individuals lead the way by choosing clean energy for their own homes. With more economic independence, fresher air, cleaner water, and a clearer conscience, families who switch to clean energy are in a better place to experience life and concentrate on things that matter most.