For Editors

For Readers

Published Columns
What's News

Accessing Earth-Friendly Energy (including Solar Energy and Transportation)

For your convenience, I've gathered my Ask EcoGirl print columns into themes, often with additional information.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ECOGIRL, including how she can appear in your publication,
see the
main EcoGirl page.

Building the Electric Highway (July 2012)
As we consider how to better align our activities with the planet's ways and our true shared best interests, a vital but challenging question is how to avoid the harm caused by our petroleum-powered vehicles. One key solution is electric vehicles (EVs), including plug-in hybrids, which can avoid emissions and access eco-friendly energy as it's increasingly put into the electric grid. EVs are finally becoming more available. Learn more about how Sonoma County and California folks are supporting this vision by investing in public charging stations, and thus helping build our electric highway! (Plus EcoGirl is celebrating her 5th anniversary. Woo hoo!)
Reclaiming the Sun as Our Ally (August 2011)
As climate disruption increasingly impacts our everyday lives, and nuclear energy has demonstrated that its risks far outweigh any potential benefits, the question becomes once again: How can we meet our energy needs in eco-friendly ways? A key solution, says EcoGirl, is for us to reclaim the sun as an elemental ally in our quest. Then she offers us a variety of specific creative ways that we can each do just that. After all, the earth receives 20,000 times the energy we use each year, giving us more than enough for our needs. All it takes is for us to put it to use!
Can I Afford to Go Solar? (January 2008)
Most people think solar is just for those with up-front capital. But what if you could take out a loan with payments equal to your current utility bill? Then you'd be converting an expense into an investment! (We love to do that!) And reduce your vulnerability to energy price increases. Oh, and help the planet by supporting our transition to earth-friendly energy sources. Here are the key notions to consider, and the steps and resources for you to determine if this approach is right for your situation.

"Solar financing is a complex topic and you nailed it."
Chris Cone, Writer, Coordinator Green Energy Loan Program

Preventing Future Oil Disasters (The Gulf, part 2 of 2) (July 2010)
EcoGirl describes how we can channel our anger and frustration about the Gulf's devastation into constructive action that creates a better future. She describes ways that we can reduce our individual petroleum use, join with others to encourage wiser governmental policies, and encourage the recognition of the vital truth that our health and financial well-being depends on a healthy earth. (Note: The website version of this article includes lots of great links for more information and action.)
Reducing Your Transportation Footprint (The Gulf, part 1 of 2) (June 2010)
A reader is heart-broken watching the Gulf oil gusher's slow-motion destruction of ecosystems, livelihoods, and communities. So she asks how we can help reduce the country's need to drill in such ecologically-sensitive areas. EcoGirl responds with tangible ways that we can all help avoid such disasters in the future by reducing our oil use for transportation. (EcoGirl will also be offering other action ideas in her July column.) 
Happy Traveling on Public Transit (January 2009)
We've heard that using public transit can be great for both the planet's well-being and our convenience. But how do we get started? This column makes it easy, offering both resources and encouraging stories. By including public transit among our transportation modes, we can reduce our car pollution's contribution to climate change, reduce our shared wealth transfer to oil-rich nations, turn stressful travel time into useful time, and connect more with our community.
Eco-Lighting for a Brighter Future (June 2009)
What's the story with these curly-cue "eco" lightbulbs? Yes, they lower energy use, helping save money and the planet. But they also contain mercury and can't go in the trash. Are we just trading one eco-problem for another? EcoGirl tackles one of the practical questions of eco-implementation with her usual combination of information and inspiration! (Hint: The answer is that, on balance, these CFL bulbs offer significant value for reducing energy use and thus climate disruption, but need to be handled with care. And there are emerging options to support. Read the article to find out more!)
Greening Our Techno-Tools (July 2009)
Our daily lives can be enhanced in many ways by today's technological devices, including computers, cell phones, cameras, TVs, stereos, game players, and more. However, it's vital for us to be smart about our use of these techno-toys, because they do have eco-impacts throughout their lifecycles. Here are specific ways that you can buy, enjoy, and discard these products while minimizing their harm -- and even saving money as well!
Are Smart Phones Green? (February 2011)
Smart phones, MP3 players, and other mobile devices are sprouting up all over the place. But are they good or bad for the earth? To help answer that question, EcoGirl walks through her assessment process for her latest purchase, the iPod Touch. The web version of this article also has additional information, resources, and app recommendations!
Batteries Need Recycling Too (July 2007)
No, household batteries don't belong in the trash! Here's the straight scoop on where to properly dispose of your spent batteries in Sonoma County and beyond.

Return to EcoGirl's Theme Page Index.


* "Climate Healing: Making sense of the current proposed climate change solutions" North Bay Bohemian, Nov. 5, 2008. Includes information about the local Climate Protection Campaign, as well as web bonus information.

* "Sebastopol Peak Oil Report Released," West County Gazette, April 2007.


* My Next STEP newsletter, which has lots of information on toxics and alternatives, plus government and community-level actions. "It's your handy guide to less-toxic living." Look up topics of interest in the The Next STEP index of articles.
* North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on these topics for the Bohemian's Green Zone column. 

* I also cover these topics on my Facebook page and blog.


Ask EcoGirl is written by Patricia Dines, Author of The Organic Guides, and Editor and Lead Writer for The Next STEP newsletter, which gently educates readers about toxics and alternatives. For more information about my work for the planet, see www.patriciadines.info

Sign up for my low-volume writing announcement list (1-3 emails a month), to get emails when my new print articles are published, at www.patriciadines.info/EList.

Connect via Facebook, to show your support for my work, and get inspiring and useful eco-info in your Newsfeed www.facebook.com/AskEcoGirl.

Explore and sign up for my blog at www.patriciadines.info/LTEblog.

I hope that you find this information useful. I welcome your throughts and feedback! (You can email me at info [at] askecogirl.info.)
Editors: Please contact me if you'd like to publish any of these articles in your periodical, or discuss an article that I might write for you.

This entire website is (c) Patricia Dines, 1998-2012. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 12/12/12