4:28 am
Wed February 25, 2009

Green Tip 16 - Getting Out From Behind The "8" Ball

Hocking Hills, OH –

Earlier today while sitting under a shade tree on the front lawn, I reveled in feeling the sun's warm rays on my arms and face. In my head, I was saying "thank you, sun". The temperature was in the lower 70's and the sky was blue. There was great peace as I watched my sons and their friends busily and cooperatively build forts out of mounds and mounds of branches. It was wonderful to take a break after two long days of cleaning up our front and back yard of major tree debris from Sunday's powerful and surprising winds that initiated from Hurricane Ike, so far away. Fortunately, our power was restored on Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, thousands of homes and businesses in Ohio are still without power, nearly four days after the blustery day. Losing electrical power when our lives are so reliant on it truly makes for stressful times food is lost, laundry can't be washed, T.V. can't be watched, emails can't be checked, cell phones can't be recharged, school and work are missed, spirits are dampened (just to name a few).

The sun that I finally had some time to appreciate today and the windstorm that plowed through our State sent a powerful message to me that inspired this week's green tip. There are so many green topics that I want to cover. The flood of ideas can be overwhelming at times. With Sunday's major storm, I thought it relevant to lightly discuss alternative energy for this week's green tip.

For more than a few decades it has been suggested that our nation invest in alternative energies to free us from dependence on foreign oil and to free us from dirty and polluting energy (coal, oil and nuclear). With oil and coal historically being cheap and easy to obtain, we have plugged along, doing the same old thing, investing very little research and development, as a Nation, into alternative energies such as solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels. It is my feeling that we have put ourselves behind the eight ball. It is my opinion that we need to get out from behind this eight ball as soon as we can for multiple reasons.

1. To help curb global warming, which is causing drastic changes in weather patterns all over the world (one we just experienced way up here in Ohio).
2. To gain energy independence from foreign places.
3. To have cleaner air, soil and water for all people, plants and wildlife.
4. To have reliable and abundant energy.
The sun, wind and earth are knocking on our doors. They are out there waiting to be harnessed as alternative energy. They are accessible and abundant. Turning to these sources of energy can assist in pulling us out from behind the eight ball, helping to stabilize our environment and our economy.
Ohio is not typically thought of as being the most environmentally awake or aware state, but there are some very positive and hopeful green initiatives going on in our state, especially in Southeastern Ohio that can send a ripple effect through our State and the Nation. We must be proud as Ohioans to have two wonderful companies, both located in Southeastern Ohio (Athens) that emerge as leaders in our state, paving the way and making available alternative energy sources.

1. Dovetail Solar and Wind, www.dovetailsolar.com, (740) 592-1800
A full service provider and installers of renewable energy systems with offices in Athens, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinatti.
2. Third Sun Solar and Wind Power, Ltd., www.third-sun.com, (740) 597-3111. Installs solar and wind power systems.
Check out these businesses. Do research. See if somewhere in the near future you can work alternative energy into your budget and life. While you are coming up with a plan to switch to alternative energy, consider offsetting your carbon footprint. Two credible carbon offset businesses are:

1. Native Energy www.nativeenergy.com
2. Terrapass www.terrapass.com

You can offset your energy used at home, business and when you travel. By purchasing these offsets, you are helping to build and support new clean and renewable sources of energy.

The next time you are soaking up some of the sun's rays or enjoying a breeze, think about some of the wonderful new possibilities that lie ahead.

Byline Bio: Gwen Corbett, Bear's Den Cottages
www.bearsdencottages.com, Green Lodging
Helping Businesses and Individuals to Go Green