A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed after a storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl stopped and considered this. And then she bent down, picked up another one, and threw it in before looking at the man and replying, “I made a difference to that one.”
The man looked at the little girl. Then, he joined her. The other onlookers soon followed, and all the starfish were saved.
Saving the world, particularly in a time when we’re fully realizing the potential impacts of climate change, seems an overwhelming task at best. What each of us must remember, however, is that we can only control…ourselves.
We here at Shine Solar aren’t trying to take on the insurmountable task of saving the world. As with the little girl and the starfish, we’re trying to make a difference one at a time.
You don’t have to go big or go home, either. As homage to Earth Day, and in keeping with our “green” company ideology, we thought we’d offer a few ways to save your own hypothetical starfish:
Be mindful of your drive time. We all have things to do, and emergency trips here and there pop up all the time. Try taking a week and making note of all of the driving you do. When you’re really focusing on something, it’s easy to realize what is necessary versus what isn’t. Less time on the road = less emissions.
Be mindful of your intentional energy usage. While raising your thermostat temperature in the summer and lowering it in the winter can give you immediate discomfort, wait it out. The human body is amazing, and the ways it can adapt even more so. There are so many populations that don’t know the luxury of forced heat and air. Even a tiny change adds up over time. Another small change heavy hitter occurs when you replace traditional bulbs with LED counterparts. LED lights don’t put out heat, and they last far, far longer. Even one bulb at a time makes a difference.
Be mindful of your unintentional energy usage. It’s one thing to know that you shouldn’t keep things plugged in all the time when it doesn’t make sense to do so (phone and computer chargers come to mind here), but how many of us do it anyway? If there is no reason to have it plugged in, don’t do it!
Be mindful of your garbage. It’s easy to throw everything we don’t want into a bin and forget about it until trash day. But how much of that is necessary? Save and reuse plastic bags, or donate them to centers that repurpose them for good (sleeping bag liners for the homeless are made of plastic bags, and those donations are ALWAYS needed and welcome for affiliated volunteers and nonprofits). Compost your leftover food, or “donate” it (BIRDS LOVE BREAD. Trust us on this). Slight reductions still add up to big differences over time!
CELEBRATE EARTH DAY! Find a celebration near you. Venture outside of your comfort zone, and learn about this planet that has been so amazing to all of us.
If you have any questions about how you can reduce your carbon footprint, contact us at 844-80-SHINE, or visit us at www.shinesolar.com.