It's Time to Take Charge

By Allie Astor
Energy Efficiency Campaign, Associate

Much like many other Americans, the thought of waste makes me cringe. Wasting money, wasting food, wasting my time -- no thanks! So imagine my shock when I found out that a majority of the energy we produce in America goes to waste. To add insult to injury, our wasteful energy practices make the lasting damage to our planet, climate and health caused by our dirty energy mix.

From drilling and mining, to refineries, to pipelines and coal trains, to harmful air and water pollution, climate-altering carbon pollution, our production and consumption of  for energy creates pollution from cradle to grave. And, energy waste only makes it worse.

You’d think that something so costly to our environment would be used more carefully.

Today, we join together with hundreds of other organizations, businesses and civic leaders to celebrate Energy Efficiency Day and focus on the important role that energy savings and efficiency play in creating a healthier, more sustainable future.

As we celebrate the progress we’ve made on energy efficiency, it’s important to realize the opportunities we have to continue our fight to reduce our energy waste—and subsequently fight to protect our planet, climate and health.

Clean energy from the sun and wind can provide for our energy needs without the global consequences of pollution. Electric cars and busses can transport us without releasing toxic chemicals into our atmosphere. We have new smart technologies that give us the power to control our home energy use from our fingertips. The future is here—but we’re living in the past.

The good news is we can make a change. America can reduce our overall energy use 40 to 60 percent below current levels by mid-century, simply by using better technologies and eliminating waste.

So it seems pretty clear. We can have healthier lives right now and a livable future for generations to come—but that means a major effort by all of us to conserve energy and eliminate waste, coupled with a steady transition to clean, renewable sources of energy.

And that effort can start right at home.

Environment America has published a Citizen’s Guide to Reducing Energy Waste in honor of Energy Efficiency Day. From small changes, like changing out all your light bulbs for LEDs, to large changes, like buying an electric car, this guide empowers each of us to take charge of our energy consumption.

And you know what they say about power in numbers. Encourage your neighbors, family and friends to make changes as well. Join together with your community to demand better programs to help us all save energy. What is your state doing to address energy waste? Your city or town? Demand that our local, state and national officials to do more.

It’s great to celebrate Energy Efficiency Day once a year, but in reality we should always celebrate energy savings and efficiency-- our cheapest, easiest climate solution. We have the resources. We have the technology. We have the power to protect our planet, our climate and our health.

There is a better way. It’s time to take charge.