Though Obama’s recent jobs speech wasn’t packed full of references to the green economy, clean energy, or energy efficiency, it did hint at the possibility that there could be continued support for green jobs.
- Energy efficiency: Obama calls on Congress to pass a bill that emphasizes investment in infrastructure, schools, innovation, and development. Given that this includes modernizing 35,000 public schools, this likely hints at things like providing energy efficiency upgrades, asbestos removal, and other green improvements, which is good news. The Center for American Progress has said that energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest, most abundant source of energy, as well as a boon for jobs.
- Renewable energy: Obama talked about mobilizing community colleges to provide training for people to work in manufacturing to keep jobs in America rather than exporting them to China or Europe. Manufacturing things like solar panels certainly must be in the mix.
- Transportation: The speech mentioned a $10 billion National Infrastructure Bank that could be used for innovative financing and investment in things like high-speed rail and other energy efficient transportation initiatives.
- Project Rebuild: This could see funds that go toward greening homes, businesses, and communities.
Several nonprofits have come out in support of Obama’s speech.
Executive Director of BlueGreen Alliance, David Foster: “We are especially pleased with the President’s proposal to modernize America’s schools. A green school in every community will be a living symbol of how to put America back to work, improve the health of our children and teachers, and move our economy closer to a clean energy future. School modernization creates jobs for construction workers and demand for the energy efficiency products made in America’s factories.”
Center for American Progress: “Most of the elements of President Obama’s plan are focused on spurring private sector job growth, including through tax cuts for hiring and capital investments. But the fact is that if the private sector could get us out of this crisis alone, it already would have. Coordinated action is needed, and only government can play that role at a time like this. With a substantial commitment to infrastructure investment, school renovations, and aid to distressed states and localities, President Obama’s plan will provide an immediate jobs boost while enhancing America’s competitiveness for the future.”
U.S. Green Building Council: “Energy retrofits especially, and the jobs and innovation embedded in this one activity, are a cornerstone to broader economic recovery in every sector.”
Image Via Flickr: jurvetson
By looking to more energy efficient methods of powering your home and by reducing the waste that your household produces you can help reduce your homes carbon footprint. Choose the appliances that have a higher energy saving rating and change some of your lifestyle habits around your home, which will affect your carbon footprint. Through having a solar panel on your roof you can capture the suns energy which can power your whole home. Installing solar panels for your home will make your household more environmentally friendly and reduce your carbon footprint.
Energy efficiency is key
Contact your energy company and find out if they offer a green choice of energy, such as electricity powered by either solar or wind energy. You can also choose a greener option where you pay slightly more for your electricity and the extra funds go towards developing environmentally friendly power making methods. Choose appliances that have a high energy efficiency rating. When shopping for appliances look for those with a higher number of stars on the ticket. These have a better energy rating and will also save you money in running costs. You can buy washing machines that only use cold water and dishwashers that will retain the water from the final rinse cycle and then use this to give your next load of dishes their first rinse. There are newer and better energy efficient appliances being developed all the time so have a look online or ask your the shop assistant what are the most energy efficient appliances.
Invest in Insulation
By reducing the amount of electricity you use within your home you will help reduce your carbon footprint. By insulating your home properly you will find that you reduce your need for switching on your heater during winter and your air conditioner in summer. Go around your home and block up any gaps or cracks so that the cold air can’t come in during winter. Check your insulation, including inside the roof. As well as having proper insulation in your walls make sure your roof is lined properly too. Use a draught excluder to stop a cool breeze from coming in under your doors and think about having double glazing on your windows.
Unearth better habits
It is easy to reduce your carbon footprint by simply having better habits when it comes to using electricity. Don’t turn on the heater if you feel cold, just put on an extra jumper. Instead of switching on an electric light open the curtains or think about installing a sky light. Rather than switching on your air conditioner try and cool your home down by opening windows and doors to create a cross breeze. Switch off your appliances at the wall when they are not in use and turn off any lights in rooms that aren’t occupied.