That's a good question, and we're seeing all kinds of solutions from wind turbines, nuclear energy, solar energy, and fuel cells, to reducing the speed limit to 55 MPH or advocating for E85, which some view as the automotive fuel of the future.
Some or all of these ideas will be commonplace someday, but in the meantime we can make a difference in small ways like the students at Hartland High School in Michigan have.
Last fall, [Sarah] Gow and her classmates at Hartland High School drafted the Michigan Green School Bill (HB 5554), to create a program whereby the county or intermediate school district designates schools that engage in certain environmentally friendly activities as "green schools."It's nice to hear that our public school students care about the environment and oil dependency. Their ideas may not cut 1M barrels of oil a day from US consumption, but we have to start somewhere.
The bill lists 20 possible activities, and schools would have to participate in at least half. Generally, these activities include recycling materials, improving energy efficiency and having educational programs on plant and animal habitat. By following the requirements, a school could save at least 5 percent on its energy costs. [Emphasis mine.]
The bill would have no fiscal impact on state or local governments. [...]
Among the recommendations are recycling paper, printer cartridges, cell phones and batteries. The Hartland students also are raising awareness about how turning off unneeded lights and computer monitors, and installing electric outlet covers and window films can reduce energy usage and net environmental and budget savings.
Media teacher Kris Moffett said awareness of the environmental and financial savings go hand in hand in today's economy.
"People are surprised when they realize that a computer monitor left on can burn through $16 of energy a year, or that unplugging the lights in a pop machine can save $100 a year," Moffett said.