Week 4 Assignment 2
Sustainable Living Guide Contributions, Part Four of Four:
Sustaining Our Atmosphere and Climate
Renewable energy sources that are most common include, wind, water and sunlight. Bensel-Turk (2014) state, “Renewable energy sources offer numerous benefits, including that they can be produced domestically, they never “run out,” and they are virtually pollution free” (pg. 8.1). Renewable energy ties into this week’s theme of atmosphere and climate issues we are currently facing, and will continue to face in the future. With the amount of power usage in the world only increasing, the need to shift the majority of our power supply to renewable energy that is safer for the environment is very apparent. An example of the importance of searching for and using new sources of energy is the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. “As many as 100 different DNA modifications have been identified after exposure to ionizing radiation” (Anzai et al, 2011, para. 15). This accident has had and will continue to have long term effect on the population, environment, and many different ecosystems in the area for generations to come.
Creating environmental sustainability, while having our energy needs fulfilled with the least impact on all living things and not destroying our physical world is our ultimate goal. Focusing our efforts on energy efficiency, renewable energy and reducing the impacts energy has on both the climate and the environment will help achieve this goal. There are several technologies that we are developing which have improved greatly in recent years, such as solar, and wind turbines. Zero energy buildings are a new goal that many private companies are looking into which is helping promote renewable energy. “Achieving zero energy is an ambitious yet increasingly achievable goal that is gaining momentum across geographic regions and markets” (Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, 2019, para. 1).
On an individual level home owner can do things that make their home both energy efficient and closer to the zero-energy level. Replacing old incandescent bulbs with new LED lights, replacing windows, investing in insulation for walls and roofs. Setting outside lights on timers or motion detectors so they do not stay on all night, turning the thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter and choose to wear warmer clothes while inside. These are all things that can be done if you are a home owner or renter. Installing solar panels is a great option but is really only an option for a home owner rather than a renter. On a community level you could put issues of home efficiency on the agenda for the next city hall meeting. Request that new city ordinances be voted on that require all new homes built in the city to be designed with energy efficient designs and appliances. Renewable energy is a very important topic and one that needs to be taken seriously. Developing clean power sources and investing the time and resources to make these large changes need to be soon before it is to late.
Anzai, K. Ban, N. Ozawa, T. and Tokonami, S. (2011). Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: facts, environmental contamination, possible biological effects, and countermeasures. Journal Of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, volume 50 (issue 1), 2-8. Doi 10.3164/jcbn.D-1100021.
Bensel, T. and Turk, J. (2014). Contemporary Environmental Issues. (2nd Ed). Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. (2019). Zero Energy Buildings. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-buildings
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