Green energy is a hot topic for discussion. With a new President headed into office soon and many companies wondering what he will do, the subject has taken on a deeper tone. However, this subject material is not new. Communities have been concerned about how we use our non-renewable resources for quite a long time.
Green energy refers to the use of alternative energy sources rather than the current system of non-renewable resource use that could deplete our resources. Alternatives such as windmills, solar panels, and hydropower have been researched for centuries in an attempt to protect our non-renewable natural resources. You’ve probably seen some of these alternatives while traveling. Many states are turning towards windmill farms as alternative energy sources, though there is a great debate about this method.
While some see these alternatives as a waste, historical evidence shows that these methods of alternative energy have been used for many centuries. In addition to being used, they have been used effectively, which is the key to any argument about renewable energy use. Perhaps you’ve seen the movie Don Quixote? The beautiful Dutch windmills featured in that movie are a great example of alternative energy. These windmills powered a variety of buildings from water wells to grain mills!
It is not too late to make a strong shift towards Green energy. In fact, it is the perfect time to do so. Our Earth’s resources are not limitless. Every day thousands of tons of coal and other materials are blasted from the ground, slowly depleting resources that required thousands of years to produce. Think about how long it takes for a volcano to form. Or how old dinosaur bones are stated to be. This is how long it has taken for the Earth to create these materials and we are using them at a more rapid rate every year.
By making the shift to solar, air, and hydropower now, we can effectively cut down on the use of our non-renewable resources. Although many big corporations make the argument that these alternative energy sources are not going to make enough impact, this simply is not true. Sure, on a smaller scale, the impact would not be noticeable. However, a large-scale shift would create an immediate and eye-opening impact which is something the big power companies do not want you to see.
Craft breweries, both old and new, are making a shift towards alternative energy sources. While some are slowly changing over to solar power where possible, others are looking into water improvement and other great innovations to lessen their carbon footprint. In areas where it is available, many companies are turning to hydropower. This is becoming more prevalent along the coasts, with some very interesting new technology appearing each year. For example, did you know that Chile is looking into a solar AND hydropower structure in their driest desert?
Craft breweries have a great opportunity to help their communities by switching over to Green energy. As they are often very involved in the communities around them, this is great! With green rooftops, water usage alternatives, solar power, windmills, and so many other alternatives at their fingertips, they are changing the future of their local communities.
The truth is, one community will not make a noticeable impact on the entire world. We all know that. However, have you looked at how many craft breweries exist in the world today? As of 2015, there were over 10,000 in the entire world! Over 4,000 of those exist in the U.S. alone. Now imagine if every one of those breweries were to introduce solar panels. Can you imagine the impact on energy use?
Let’s go beyond solar energy. How about half of those breweries introducing water recycling technology to their operations. Many breweries either have or are planning to do this already. The impact on water treatment facilities is substantial and the lowered amount of water coming from our water tables is noticeable as well! That means more water for the community and lower water bills overall, due to a lowered cost for the water treatment facilities.
Craft breweries are taking the initiative to turn to alternative energy sources and we should too. While we realize that the concept may appear large or expensive, there are plenty of ways we can help. Whether we simply turn off the light when we leave a room or make a conscious effort to use less water, we are helping to make an impact. It is everyone’s job to help keep our community green. Next time you look out your window, think about how that view would look if we didn’t have companies working hard to keep our world clean and healthy. Then think of ways you can help to do the same. The effort is worth the effect.