Thanksgiving is about the meals. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are about the deals. All across America, families are packing into their cars, trucks, and SUVs to make their way to shopping malls and department stores. Some camp out for hours, waiting for the sliding glass doors to part. Once inside, it’s a race to find the best savings on the hottest new games, electronics, and appliances. For those who want to get the goods but avoid the lines, Cyber Monday offers all the benefits of Black Friday shopping, but from the comfort of their couch.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great for both families and businesses. Shoppers get access to savings they wouldn’t normally find, allowing them to stock up on holiday presents or bring home something nice for themselves after a hard year’s work! Businesses benefit from the boom all the extra traffic brings. For many segments of the economy, the fourth quarter, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, represents an oversize portion of yearly profit and revenue. Unfortunately, all this shopping also contributes an oversize portion of the year’s carbon emissions. Thankfully, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) provide a means of reducing your carbon footprint so you can enjoy all the fun and still be environmentally-friendly.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions
All the increased business activity on Black Friday and Cyber Monday isn’t as beneficial for the atmosphere as it is for the economy. The extra traffic on the roads on Black Friday emits more greenhouse gases than on normal days and many of the big-ticket purchases, such as televisions, computers, and entertainment systems, require significant amounts of electricity once in use.
Cyber Monday also comes with increased energy use. Not only do people consume electricity as they shop on their computers, tablets, or phones, the enormous delivery apparatuses that bring their purchases to their homes emit considerable amounts of fossil fuels. Airplanes consume far more fuel than automobiles and release more fumes. The extra freight shipped by air after Cyber Monday, therefore, produces a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas. Of course, regular truck traffic is also increased, as is the electricity demand of shipping hubs and warehouses. All told, the increased economic activity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday generate a sizeable carbon footprint.
Renewable Energy Credits Offset Fossil Fuels in Power Production
As a conscientious shopper, you may find yourself a little worried about this environmental impact. Fortunately, there are ways shoppers can benefit from seasonal deals while lowering their energy footprint. Whether you purchase your goods in a store or have them delivered to your home, a plane, train, or truck had to bring it there. One way or another, that transportation releases carbon emissions. However, by choosing to shop online instead of driving to a store, you can avoid contributing your own car-related carbon emissions to the mix.
You can also reduce your carbon footprint another way: by switching to an electricity plan with Renewable Energy Credits. RECs are a way to make sure that the carbon emissions you are responsible for creating through your home energy use are offset by renewable energy. With a REC plan, for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity you use, your energy supplier ensures that an equal amount of electricity from a green power source, like wind or solar, was generated and put into the electric grid.. As the use of RECs increases, less energy needs to be produced by power plants which emit greenhouse gases, like coal or natural gas.
By switching to a REC plan, you’ll offset the emissions produced by your online shopping spree. In addition, you’ll offset emissions from your new television, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, or gaming console throughout the year. If you happen to have an electric car, Renewable Energy Credits will offset the emissions created by charging it at home. Then, you can drive to the store on Black Friday and be entirely carbon neutral the entire time.
The Affordability of Renewable Energy Credit Plans
If you’re a budget-conscious consumer, you might be concerned about the cost of a Renewable Energy Credit plan. While energy suppliers don’t offer Black Friday sales on their electricity plans, the price of green energy has gone down substantially in recent years. Now, when you switch to Renewable Energy Credits, you’ll only pay slightly more than you would for less environmentally-friendly energy. And as more green capacity comes online, more efficient power plants are designed, and the price is anticipated to drop further. Although it remains slightly more expensive to purchase Renewable Energy Credits, the difference probably isn’t as large as you might think. More to the point, each extra cent you spend on Renewable Energy Credits goes to a good cause—helping wean our economy off of fossil fuels and onto clean, renewable energy.
At Liberty Power, we like saving money and we like saving the planet. That’s why we’re happy to offer Renewable Energy Credit plans, helping our customers go green every day of the year. Renewable Energy Credits are the ideal way to offset your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, greener future. If you’d like to make the switch to RECs, we can help you get started.
Photo Credit: Liberty Power