24 March 2011

Countdown to Earth Hour 2011

The Earth Hour is upon Us

Saturday, March 26, this year's Earth Hour will take place all around the world. To join in, when the clock strikes 8:30 p.m. wherever you are, turn out the lights for an hour.

Earth Hour began as an attempt to raise awareness about global warming. As it marks its fifth year of observation, it is expanding to an effort to do the things necessary to take on the problem.

"Beyond the Hour" is this year's theme. To go "beyond," individuals are encouraged to couple their light-free hour with a commitment to do something that helps the planet (for an idea, see my previous post).

For more about Earth Hour, click here.

23 March 2011

Energy Transfer

The energy of spring is starting to show itself with warmer days and the bustle of nature.

As you welcome spring, consider embracing this shift in energy by changing the type of energy your home uses. No, this doesn't require buying a windmill or putting solar panels on your roof. The great thing is you can use energy from wind, solar, and other alternative sources simply by signing up for green power with your local utility.

To find out if your provider offers such an option, visit the US Department of Energy's Green Power Network.

It does cost more to buy green power, but I propose taking this as an opportunity: See if you can break even by identifying ways of lowering your energy consumption (perhaps unplugging electronic devices you are not using). If you can do this, then you have switched over to cleaner sources of energy and reduced your need for it at the same time.

Buying green energy also shows support for alternative sources, and if enough people follow your example, then hopefully the price will even out with that of traditional sources. That's the power of building energy.

21 March 2011

Helping Wildlife

We're a day past the vernal equinox, and with spring, comes more wildlife encounters.

Often, it's best just to leave the animal alone. This is especially true of young animals because while they may appear abandoned, the mother is quite frequently close by.

However, if you happen to come across an animal that is in obvious distress (perhaps as the result of an injury), try to contact a local animal rescue group. One way to find out if such a group exists in your area is to use The Wildlife Rehabilitation Directory.

The directory asks for your zip code and provides you with a list of animal rescue organizations within a given distance.