Have you ever come to the realization that you believe something without actually understanding why? Every day, we hear so much noise about why this or that type of energy makes the most sense, with the environment playing a large part in the debate. It can be tempting to form an opinion without really becoming educated.

We’ve all heard that solar energy is better for the environment. The best way to understand how is to compare it to the alternatives for powering our homes. In most cases, these are fossil fuels like natural gas or coal.

First, think about the process of obtaining these fuels and how it affects the planet. The extraction of fossil fuels requires digging into the Earth’s terrain and removing something that’s been trapped in the ground for millions of years. Finding, collecting, and transporting fossil fuel is an incredibly costly endeavor that has the potential to throw the planet out of geological balance. We’re often left with destroyed mountaintops, polluted waters, and many other negative consequences. Solar power, on the other hand, is there for the taking, and will continue to fall right into our laps from the sky for billions and billions of years.

After excavating and transporting fossil fuels, they are burned to extract energy. Plugging an electrical appliance or device into the wall might seem clean enough, but there’s a good chance that the electricity came from a very, very dirty plant. There is scientific evidence that the release of greenhouse gases like carbon and methane into the atmosphere is causing climate change that will eventually result in catastrophic circumstances for everyone and everything on the planet. In addition to dirty emissions, we’re also left with massive amounts of other waste. Solar panels are truly clean, generating power without releasing any harmful emissions or waste.

Perhaps the most important benefit of solar power is that unlike fossil fuels, we’re not going to run out of it. This is not only crucial because we’ll eventually find ourselves out of luck. As fossil fuels become more difficult to find and extract, their price is bound to skyrocket. Solar power will continue to arrive on Earth in a reliable and predictable fashion. While solar power might carry an initial investment, it is a much better investment in any span of time other than the very short term, both individually and as a society.

For anyone who truly understands the environmental benefits of solar power, the choice is clear. We only have one planet, so we only have one real option. Now is the time to make the change, and make your home part of the solution in saving the future of the planet.

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