I have talked before about being part of a local group called the Skills Exchange, where we exchange our skills for ‘gems’ instead of buying in services. As well as being economically friendly we also aim to help the environment. Our skills exchange programme is borne from an initiative called Transition whereby a community learns to become less reliant on oil as a fuel should the prices rise to an unrealistic point. It’s a remarkable project which has created several sub-projects which continue to inspire me. The main drive is about coming together as a community and sharing what we have to build a better future. To put less importance on travelling far and wide to ‘buy’ in what we need.
The local Transition project has created other great schemes that support local and independent retailers, encouraging the local community to buy locally. There are garden sharing, fruit picking and allotment groups that all volunteer to provide fruit and veg for those that need or want it. There’s a car sharing scheme and an energy saving scheme, all run locally to promote community living.
Where I live solar panels are commonplace, probably more so than in a lot of areas and the Transition project is mainly responsible for this. Sponsors from both the private and public sector contribute to a local group of students who evaluate the suitability of properties for their photovoltaic potential. Many properties have roofs which face the sun and can produce power for the grid as well as a good income for the occupants.
It is true that we must find alternative sources of energy for the future. It’s imperative that we do this for our children and future generations. Solar energy is there and ready today and we should seriously consider it for our homes. I love the fact that enough solar energy reaches us every 15 minutes to power the world for an entire year. Isn’t that astounding? It is clean, sustainable and renewable and an ideal choice for both homes and businesses.
I’ve heard people in the past say solar panels aren’t attractive to look at but I do think this has changed in recent years. And there is now lots of choice from companies offering installation services. Take solar panels from Trina Solar for example, who also have a commitment to responsible and sustainable manufacturing. They carefully monitor the manufacturing emissions as well as carbon footprint of their product and in the last 3 years have reduced their electricity and water usage by 60%. Impressive stuff.
So, we can all do more to help the environment where our homes are concerned. Consider sharing your skills with a group of like minded local friends or setting up a car sharing scheme, or even look into installing solar panels. It’s worth it.
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