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Your Actions Really DO Matter

6 October 2008

I sometimes hear people scoff at the Minnesota Energy Challenge’s goal of engaging individuals in energy efficiency and conservation.  “Changing your lightbulbs won’t change the world,” say the scoffers.  The Wall Street Journal begs to disagree.

It’s easy to mock little efforts to save the environment: reusing grocery bags, buying a Prius, putting an energy-efficient refrigerator in an energy-eating mansion. The big gains to curb greenhouse emissions, the argument goes, will come from controlling big industrial companies that spew millions of tons of heat-trapping gases every year.  But consumers — especially American consumers — have more influence over climate change than they might think.  U.S. consumers have direct or indirect control over 65% of the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions, according to new statistics tallied by consultant McKinsey & Co. Link

Obviously fighting carbon emissions must be a partnership between consumers and industry – but one of the most powerful votes we have is the vote we make with our money.  Look at the surge in the use of the term “Green” in marketing recently – companies recognize a buzzword when they see it and are stretching the limits of greenwashing to appeal to consumers with “environmentally friendly” products.  It’s worth it to research what really is more earth-friendly or uses less energy.  And when you reduce, it has a real, significant impact.  Visit the Minnesota Energy Challenge to find out no-and-low cost ways to reduce your costs and carbon footprint through easy, efficient actions.

:: Wall Street Journal

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