There has been a massive increase in the uptake of renewable energy solutions. Solar panels are conspicuous by their absence throughout much of the developed world. Wind farms appear all over expanses of land and in many cases offshore as well. Progress in the more efficient application of geothermal energy is being made at an excellent rate.

However the majority of the energy we use comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Nuclear is definitely a major component of course, but oil and coal still appear to be the main providers.

So how can individuals and organisations really make any impact on the current massive amounts of pollution being thrown into the atmosphere every second? Do we sit around and wait for solar to overtake oil as our main source of electricity? Should we immediately trade in our private vehicles for electric cars and pushbikes? Or simply unplug everything right now?

Well there are a number of options open to us. And they might not be as obvious as you may think. Here is a short list.

  • Install motion sensitive lighting throughout your home, place of work, etc
  • Make sure thermostats, heating and AC are used properly
  • Support the increased rollout of Pavegen technologies
  • Establishing low-energy lighting as a legal requirement except in exceptional circumstances
  • Investigate efficient options to everyday tasks and implement them immediately
  • Be a social champion for recycling, energy-efficiency and responsible resource use
  • Educate our children in frugal living, concern for the environment and best practice
  • Walk. Run. Lift. Do something physical as much as you possibly can
  • Learn a little about agriculture. Understand how food gets to your plate
  • Vote for better public transport. Lift share or carpool with friends and colleagues in the meantime

I am entirely unapologetic about being “that guy!”

You know the one. The guy who constantly turns off lights which are obviously not being used. The guy who unplugs phone chargers when the devices are fully charged like it’s a religion. The guy who coasts downhill (carefully) and manually had stop-start in his car before it was even a thing. The guy in a suit who knows how to till a field, sanitise water or skin a rabbit if necessary.

These are not things which we must all do right now. Instead, see them as a starter for ten. Can you imagine what type of world we would live in if every single person on the planet implemented just half of these measures?

Renewable energy isn’t going to go away. And whilst that is great news, it doesn’t mean that we can sit back and continue to do the things we have always done and let someone else fix things. We can all do something to help, now. Look around you. Do you really need to leave that charger plugged in?