Green Cities

Green Energy- Making Life Brighter

Like good environmental stewards, we all know that the green energy industry is currently one of the fastest growing job industries.  The Energy Collective reports that in 2013, the green energy industry created almost 40,000 jobs in just one quarter, surmounting the number of jobs lost in collapsing coal industries.  For most of us, this is not new information.  However, green energy is now expanding and supplementing entrepreneurs in countries where electricity is not always accessible. In a Pakistani village, a coalition of women have banded together in support of using solar energy to support each other’s livelihoods.  Through the Light a Million Lives program created by the Buksh Foundation, one woman received 50 solar lanterns to rent to other people in a village with no electricity.  The women and men in these villages use the lanterns to increase their working hours, whether that is from continuing farm work f or being able to tailor clothing for sale for a couple more hours. Communities are able to increase their income significantly. This initiative hits a multitude of important topics including green energy, gender equality, and economic development.  In a country where the female to male labor force ratio is about 30 percent, it is important to help these women gain upward mobility in their society.  Additionally, by using solar lanterns, we are supporting sustainable growth and providing an alternative form of energy so these families will not have to rely on kerosene to light their homes. Climate change has the biggest impact on those living in poverty, but green technology like solar lamps can help alleviate poverty and reduce gender inequality.  Green technology has a plethora of benefits and is being widely underused.  If green technology has the capacity to create new jobs, support existing jobs, and potentially alleviate poverty and other social issues- why aren’t we implementing it everywhere that we can? Maurita Obermiller, Intern