2 Ways to Fight Climate Change Here in Portland, Oregon
Climate change, the shift in average weather patterns, has taken center stage for many people over the past decade. More than ever, our actions impact the Earth’s atmosphere and wreak havoc on the environment and weather patterns.
From raging wildfires to harsh weather conditions, we’ve reached a critical point that requires drastic changes in our behaviors if we hope to slow the progression. Our industrialized world has contributed to global warming and climate change and brought both to a breaking point that threatens all life on Earth.
Fortunately, there are two powerful things you can do to fight climate change in Portland, Oregon. Swap out your fossil-fuel car to drive an electric vehicle and switch to solar power! Read on to learn more about how these changes can do wonders for the climate and your wallet.
Global Warming, Climate Change, and Greenhouse Gases
Before you can take steps to offset greenhouse gases, it may help to understand some key terminology. Though many people use global warming and climate change interchangeably, they are slightly different concepts.
Global warming refers to the Earth’s heating over time, primarily since pre-industrial times. The burning of fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases that fill the Earth’s atmosphere and trap heat, causing the planet to warm up. As humans industrialized and burned more fossil fuels, we saw a significant increase in global average temperature that has had a ripple effect.
Climate change refers to changes in average weather patterns over time. Again, the greenhouse gases contributed to significant changes in the global climate and typical weather patterns, like volcanic activity and rising sea levels.
We clearly see the effects of global warming and climate change around the world and close to home. The Oregon Global Warming Commission provides regular updates to the state legislature about greenhouse gas emissions, including things to do to fight climate change in Oregon.
Method 1: Drive an Electric Vehicle
Unfortunately, transportation emissions remain one of the most significant problems for Oregon. Offsetting transportation emissions is a key focus area and one of the easiest things you can do to fight climate change in Portland, Oregon.
Vehicles that burn gasoline, a fossil fuel, increase carbon levels in the atmosphere and contribute to heating the planet. Switching to an electric vehicle (EV) means you can reduce gasoline use and those harmful emissions. Plus, you can expect a smoother, more comfortable ride!
- Electric Cars Mean Long-Term Savings
Powering up with electricity is generally cheaper than gasoline. Even better, you don’t have to worry about oil changes, spark plugs, or other components that gasoline-powered motors require. An electric motor doesn’t need those routine maintenance tasks!
- Improved Technology To Recycle the Batteries
Some detractors argue that the lithium-ion (LiOn) battery used to operate electric vehicles could be problematic. However, new technology emerges every day to recycle hazardous materials to make them cleaner and more efficient.
- Electric Vehicles Equal Less Pollution
Another concern is the power issue. A dirty grid, meaning one reliant on fossil fuels to produce electricity, still leads to some emissions. Currently, PGE (Portland General Electric) and Pacific Power use a mixture of coal, natural gas, and nuclear to create electricity. While there is room for improvement, Oregon has just passed a clean energy bill to improve solar energy capacity by 2040.
However, even if you charge your car through a coal-dominant power grid, your EV still emits less pollution than fossil-fueled vehicles. Of course, you have several alternatives for cleaner power, which leads us to the second thing you can do to fight climate change in Portland!
Method 2: Go Solar-Powered
One of the most significant issues with fossil fuels is that they aren’t renewable; once we burn through them, there are no more. While some people pursue more pockets of natural gas and oil, others work drawing renewable energy.
- Solar Power Is Clean, Renewable Energy
Solar power is one renewable source that also happens to be clean energy. Harnessing the sun’s power to create electricity isn’t a new concept, but it used to be too expensive. However, with modern technology, we can convert the sun’s power into electricity in a clean, efficient way.
Some communities have solar farms in open fields that can power entire neighborhoods. Of course, you probably don’t need anything that massive to support your needs. Rooftop panels don’t detract from space in a community, but they can create enough power to charge your car and keep your home running independently.
- Save on Your Power Bill
What does your current electric bill look like? Given that the average cost per kWh from PGE or Pacific Power is $0.12/kWh, it’s probably more than you care to spend. If reducing your electric usage isn’t an option or not having the desired impact on your monthly bill, it may be time to look at solar for savings.
Though solar power has some upfront costs for the panels and installation, it can mean notable long-term savings. Over the life of a solar system, you can expect to pay an average of $0.07/kWh with good sun exposure. Imagine how much money you could save in fifteen years, twenty years, or more!
Applying those figures to charging an electric car makes solar even more impressive. You can fully charge a Tesla Model X with a 100 kWh battery for only $7! When was the last time you paid $7 at the pump? To use fossil fuel in a similar-sized SUV would probably cost upwards of $50 to $60. That means solar provides almost ten times the savings!
Reduce the cost of installing solar panels with solar incentives in your respective state:
Drive Electric and Commit to Solar Power
Choosing an EV and solar power are two powerful things you can do to fight climate change in Portland, Oregon. You can offset your carbon footprint and feel good about your contributions to your community. Embrace clean, efficient electricity provided by the Sun and do your part to combat greenhouse gases! Schedule your free quote!