National Day of Action: We #PutSolarOnIt, You Should Too!
Three years ago, my husband and I went solar. We were the first people in our historic town—the oldest town in West Virginia—to put solar panels on our home. It was one of the best decisions we've ever made, and it continues to have ripple effects that we never could have imagined back in the spring of 2011.
This Saturday, June 21, the Sierra Club is joining with allies around the country encouraging everyone to #PutSolarOnIt. We're turning the Summer Solstice into a national day of action to rally for more solar power, which can turn our homes, schools, churches and businesses into home-grown solutions to climate disruption. If our story is any indication, every time we #PutSolarOnIt, we're not only creating clean energy and reducing our electric bills, but we're also unlocking creative new ideas and economic opportunity, even in the most unexpected places.
After we put up our solar panels back in 2011, lots of neighbors started asking questions, and the local paper ran a front-page story about the project.
We held an open house and so many people attended that they were spilling out our back door. Since then, a half dozen of the families who attended have gone solar, and the town planner has taken to calling our block the "solar district" of our small town.
Now, one of our historic churches in town—Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church—is working on going solar, in what would be the largest crowd-funded solar project in West Virginia history. The project is poised to create a model that could allow nonprofits across West Virginia to go solar—check out the awesome new West Virginia non-profit Solar Holler and Solar Holler's Dan Conant:
The Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church project is the first of what Conant hopes will be many projects across West Virginia that will allow nonprofits and governments to lower their electric bills by installing solar panels.
He said a number of other organizations, including libraries, schools and affordable housing groups, have approached Solar Holler asking for help.
"We wanted to make a program that was not just going to work in Shepherdstown or in other fairly well-to-do places across the state; we wanted to make a system that could work for any community, any county, and any organization in West Virginia so long as they've got community support," Conant said.
Just think—all this started when one family decided to #PutSolarOnIt. Imagine what could happen in your community!
Join us in this push to #PutSolarOnIt! What do you want to put solar on? Imagine all the places solar could be. Share your ideas by commenting or adding your own photos on our Facebook page, and let us #PutSolarOnIt. We'll post the winning entry Saturday, June 21. Bonus points if it's funny and feasible!
Beyond June 21, connect with your local Sierra Club chapter to see how you can help get a program in your community and/or educate your neighbors about existing opportunities to get a share in community solar.
- Singapore Will Plant One Million Trees by 2030 - EcoWatch ›
- Australia to Build the World's Largest Solar Farm to Power Singapore ›
- Giant Water Battery Cuts University's Energy Costs by $100 Million ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tara Lohan
In 1999 a cheering crowd watched as a backhoe breached a hydroelectric dam on Maine's Kennebec River. The effort to help restore native fish populations and the river's health was hailed as a success and ignited a nationwide movement that spurred 1,200 dam removals in two decades.
Transmission lines from the Churchill Falls generating station in Labrador. Douglas Spott / CC BY-NC 2.0
Atlantic sturgeon were brought to the brink of extension in the 20th century and are now are listed as an endangered species. NOAA
Near Happy Valley-Goose Bay on the Churchill (Grand) River downstream from Muskrat Falls. Douglas Sprott / CC BY-NC 2.0
Construction of the Site C dam in British Columbia in 2017. Jason Woodhead / CC BY 2.0
The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island is the first U.S. offshore wind farm. Dennis Schroeder / NREL / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.
The excess carbon dioxide emitted by human activity since the start of the industrial revolution has already raised the Earth's temperature by more than one degree Celsius, increased the risk of extreme hurricanes and wildfires and killed off more than half of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef. But geologic history shows that the impacts of greenhouse gases could be much worse.
- Earth Is Hurtling Towards a Catastrophe Worse Than the Dinosaur ... ›
- Are We Doomed If We Don't Curb Carbon Emissions by 2030 ... ›
- Humans Release 40 to 100x More CO2 Than Volcanoes, Major ... ›
By Teri Schultz
Europe is in a panic over the second wave of COVID-19, with infection rates sky-rocketing and GDP plummeting. Belgium has just announced it will no longer test asymptomatic people, even if they've been in contact with someone who has the disease, because the backlog in processing is overwhelming. Other European countries are also struggling to keep up testing and tracing.
Meanwhile in a small cabin in Helsinki airport, for his preferred payment of a morsel of cat food, rescue dog Kossi needs just a few seconds to tell whether someone has coronavirus.