Consumers can create a secure and clean energy future

Co-op America guide has quick actions for reducing reliance on foreign oil

provided by Co-op America

t a time when many politicians and citizens are concerned about the security of foreign oil supplies and the greenhouse gasses created by energy consumption, we can all play a role in adopting secure and green energy practices in the United Sates. Every American can take action to increase their energy efficiency and promote domestic renewable sources to create a future for the country of abundant, clean power. Co-op America's “Green Energy Future” has the tips and strategies to show them how.

    A mass switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources might sound like a pipe dream, even to the most committed environmentalist. But Co-op America shows consumers that they have more power than they might think to help protect our country's energy security. Co-op America's guide, “A Green Energy Future,” demonstrates how America's 101 million households collectively can make a huge impact if individuals make simple changes in their lives.

    “If we want a more just and sustainable future, it is imperative that we fuel it on safe, clean, green energy,” said Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director of Co-op America. “This valuable guide assembles the information and strategic steps people need to make this happen in their homes, at work, and at the community, state, and national level.”

    For example, included in the guide is the story of how Catherine and Mike Tidwell converted their house to renewable energy and drastically reduced their greenhouse gas emissions on a tight budget – and how readers can do the same. This middle-class family cut their household CO2 emissions almost 90 percent – and have gone renewable on less than $39 per month. This guide shows how every family can do the same.

    The guide features the most effective steps broken down into first steps, medium steps, and bigger steps for energy efficiency and renewable energy living. The average American household spends $1,338 on energy consumption per year according to the Environmental Information Administration. Purchasing energy-saving appliances and lighting, and operating appliances efficiently, can save money and save the environment. These steps show readers exactly how they can help save energy in their daily living – and bring about a green energy future. Steps include information on switching to CFL lightbulbs, turning down the refrigerator or buying a more efficient one, using rechargeable batteries, and buying local and organic food.

    The guide to “A Green Energy Future” also features an article examining the top ways green energy options could create a more just and sustainable world in ways that fossil fuels never could; a section on cool new cars with greater fuel efficiency; a list of resources; and a feature about WindBuilders – a program to help people offset their own CO2 emissions, construct new wind turbines, and support Native American tribes and small farmers for pennies a day.

    Currently, the United States relies on fossil fuels – oil, coal, and natural gas – for 85 percent of its energy needs. This reliance means the majority of our energy plants double as air pollution factories, emitting tons of fine particles, sulfur dioxide, toxic metals, and other harmful pollutants. Energy generation from fossil fuels also produces 60 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming. Co-op America's guide, “A Green Energy Future,” provides practical steps to consumers to learn how to start reversing these trends.

    Co-op America urges consumers to take learn more about how to create a green energy future and take some simple steps in their own homes. Consumers can order their own copy of the guide “A Green Energy Future” for $2.95 (to cover postage) by calling 1-800-58-GREEN or sending payment to Co-op America, 1612 K St., NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C. For more tips on energy efficiency and sustainable living, visit Co-op America's Web site at