Rural Renewable Energy Alliance: Getting RReal with Solar Energy and Social Justice

First, imagine a Minnesota winter

Now imagine that same winter with inadequate heat in your home and inadequate income to improve the situation. Imagine facing the choice of either heating your home or feeding your family. This is called fuel poverty.

Many families in the northern US face dilemmas like this every winter, a situation that promises to get worse as heating fuel prices continue to rise. Energy assistance programs such as LIHEAP provide essential help, but they are not a long-term solution and basically amount to an additional subsidy for fossil fuels. Low income families, meanwhile, face the same issues next year with already inadequate income and even higher fuel prices.

A Vision for the Long Term Sustainability

Jason Edens (known affectionately as “J”), founder and executive director of the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) envisioned a longer term, more sustainable, more empowering solution to the problem of fuel poverty.

RREAL is Read more…

PlantABillion.Org: Growing a Forest of Change

I’ll always remember the first tree I planted.

It was a Loblolly pine, one of many once given out annually by my old elementary school. As it was my first tree, I planted it in the front yard by the pine trees of two of my brothers. Through the years I watched my tree grow like a mother watches her child.

In Brazil there is a campaign by The Nature Conservancy [whose purpose was recently covered in an article by fellow TSCB writer Laura Istead] to Plant a Billion trees. Trees like the Ice-Cream Bean, the Golden Trumpet, the Capororoca and the Guapuruva  to begin the reforestation of the Atlantic forest. Currently, the forest is at 12% of its former glory and only 7% of that is conserved…

Factors threatening  the Atlantic forest are coastal development, urban expansion, agriculture, exotic plantations, ranching Read more…