Thanks to the antiquated Electoral College the popular vote did not match the voting result in the recent presidential election (Nor did the 2000 election for that matter). This results in the US going in the wrong direction on fighting climate change at a time when aggressive action is needed.
But we have a more effective way to vote, that is more straight forward. Voting with our dollars is a way to show our values and make a real difference. Voting with our dollars can effectively give our Grandkids a vote and a voice in determining their future.
We still have a choice when we spend our consumer dollars. We can boycott companies and products that do not meet our values.
When purchasing a major item we need to consider the environment impact over the life of the product.
Also consider durable products that will last rather than throw-away products that are designed to be replaced in a relatively short period of time.
A vehicle purchase has an associated carbon footprint that is locked in for a decade or more. Admittedly all vehicles have a carbon footprint associated with their production, however the variable is the carbon footprint associated with its operation. An EV can have a useful life of several hundred thousand miles with a greatly reduced operational carbon footprint. The total cost of ownership of an EV is significantly less than the cost of ownership of an equivalent internal combustion vehicle as well.
CCE (Community Choice Energy) although a great idea, is now hamstrung by the utilities’ ability to actively market against CCEs thanks to a recent decision by the CPUC. This action also lead to San Diego County’s recent decision to defer considering CCE to some future time. Deferring action to the future is a threat to our Grandkid’s wellbeing. But we already have an interim option to choose 100% clean energy. It is called Arcadia Power and you can choose clean power today using renewable energy credits.
The dollars we spend on groceries also have an influence on the environment that our grandkids will inherit. Studies conclude that animal agriculture has a bigger negative impact on the environment than the transportation sector.
The theme of many environmental groups has been to divest from investments in fossil fuels. If we are successful in reducing our use of fossil fuels those investment would prove to be financially bad investments.
Installing Residential Solar Panels can provide local clean renewable energy while yielding an effective return of 10% or more. And it is good for the economy.
Impact Investment is a popular term for socially responsible investment. It means investing in companies and products that are good for a sustainable environment.
Some examples are:
- Solar Mosaic – Direct investment into small renewable energy projects
- Wunder Capital – Invests in solar projects
- Green Backer – Green bond fund
- Open Energy – Innovative debt financing solutions and unique marketplace lending model opens the door to attractive investment opportunities.
- Clean Capital – Solar project investing can be a safe and effective investment that provides predictable yield each year.
- ETHO and SPYX – Are index funds with No Oil Exposure.
We are starting to realize that waiting for government policy to become favorable for clean renewable energy takes so long that it is effectively inaction. Favorable energy policy may never happen considering the current political environment.
We can personally take action that will benefit our grandkids. Voting with our dollars can start today with no delays.
Article by STAY COOL member Dennis Griffin.