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
NOTE: This COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL is
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see the main EcoGirl
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!)
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
- 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
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.)
Your Transportation Footprint (The Gulf, part 1 of 2) (June
- 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
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.
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!)
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!
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!
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.
OTHER PRINT ARTICLES I'VE WRITTEN
ON THIS THEME
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,
MORE OF MY PRINT ARTICLES
* 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
- * North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on
these topics for the Bohemian's Green
* 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.
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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
- 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