#thepowerofyou
The Power of You
In partnership with Earth X

It only takes one person to fight climate change.

earth

Our Earth is warming.

The average temperature has risen by 1.5˚F over the past century and is expected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6˚F over the next 100 years. Climate change affects the earth, our water supply, energy, and our cities in an interconnected way. Small changes in your everyday life can make a difference in our battle against the warming planet. Taking steps at home, at the office, or on the road can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of these steps can even save you money or improve your health.

The power to fight climate change starts with you.

Sustain our Earth

Sustain our Earth

As human beings, we have an obligation to take care of and protect our collective home — the Earth. Human activities have resulted in increased environmental degradation that affects plants, animals, and their respective ecosystems. By reducing your carbon footprint, you can help preserve the planet for future generations.

Sustain our Earth

Clean Water for All

Water is a vital resource for every living organism. You can be sure to find life wherever water is — from the tiniest of microbes to giant trees and gargantuan creatures. Unfortunately, human activities have polluted waterways, creating water scarcity for not only us, but all ecosystems.

Sustain our Earth

Clean Energy for All

We’re lucky enough to have access to energy at our fingertips. However, because it’s so accessible, we tend to overuse, which can increase energy bills and cause strain on the power grid. There are many ways you can conserve energy and shave dollars off your electricity bill.

Sustain our Earth

Clean Cities for All

Just like the animals and plants in our neighborhood, we belong to our own version of an ecosystem — cities! Whether in a dense urban metropolis, sprawling suburb, or on rural farmland, your actions, when combined with those of your family, neighbors, and larger communities can have huge impacts on the environment.

Sustain our Earth

Find Climate Solutions

Scientists have determined that the warming of the Earth is caused by the expansion of the “greenhouse effect”— warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth towards outer space. Human activities have contributed to this phenomenon, especially the burning of fossil fuels.

Earth Day 20201

Green Careers Dallas

Workers installing solar panels on a roof.

Green Careers Dallas is a non-profit organization that provides solar installation training to residents of South Dallas with particular focus on the most disadvantaged zip codes. Their goal is to empower South Dallas residents by creating innovative economic opportunities in underserved neighborhoods through the building of green infrastructure. The training they provide connects individuals to valuable and relevant career opportunities within the fast-growing green economy.

Currently, Green Careers Dallas is focusing their efforts on the “Stella and Denley Corner Project,” in partnership with two other organizations: Oak Cliff Veggie Project, and More Than a Roof Dallas. Together, these organizations aim to transform an underdeveloped lot with tools for training and skills building.

This lot is located in the zip code 75216, which is considered an underserved neighborhood in Dallas and has low access to living-wage work opportunities. By repurposing this corner, members of the community can learn valuable life skills that can better position themselves for living-wage jobs in the green infrastructure sector.

Sign up to become an Octopus Energy customer during our Earth Month exhibition, and we’ll make a $50 donation on your behalf to Green Careers Dallas. Referral code: EARTH21

To learn more about Green Careers Dallas or make a direct donation, please visit: greencareersdallas.org.

The Power of Art

Jessica Bell is contemporary sculptor and socially engaged artist based in Dallas, Texas. Her work focuses on identity, race, environmentalism, and education. Growing up as a biracial child with white parents in a small rural town in upstate New York, Bell navigates multiple spaces and identities throughout her work. Using coded visual language, her objects are rarely what they seem —- often containing surprising subtexts and histories that reflect her own journey towards reconciling her multiple identities. Bell’s work is visually arresting, playful, seductive, and sumptuous in its use of materiality. Bell seeks to subvert and comment upon the expectations of black female art in America.

Jessica Bell is thrilled to debut her piece, Glossed, at the Galleria Dallas. The piece focuses on the everyday environmentalism that viewers can practice themselves by reducing, reusing and recycling the materials in their lives. As a contemporary sculptor and ceramic artist, waste is a natural part of Bell’s creative process —- a vase cracks, the color of a stain doesn’t come out quite right, etc. Over the years, Bell has saved imperfect pieces from her art instead of throwing them away. For this piece, Bell used these forgotten and discarded artworks to create a colorful, eye-catching installation that inspires viewers to consider what they can save from the landfill through creative reuse.

Workers installing solar panels on a roof.
Artist Jessica Bell

Glossed has been curated by Gossypion Investments, and sponsored by Octopus Energy in collaboration with Earth X.

Here are some things you can do to make a difference:

Constantine doing figure 8s
Two Tiny Homes

Keep learning

EarthX facilitates the world’s largest environmental gatherings that bring together industry experts, educators, nonprofit organizations, corporations and government agencies from around the globe in pursuit of more sustainable solutions for our planet. Take classes or attend events with organizations like EarthX to stay current on developments in sustainability. Continuing education about the latest developments is key to fighting climate change.

Ocean full of plastic.

Use less plastic

Plastic bottles and bottle caps rank as the 3rd and 4th most collected plastic trash items in the Ocean. Conservancy’s annual September beach cleanup that take place in more than 100 countries. It takes 450 years for a plastic water bottle to completely degrade. And only 30% of plastic water bottles are recycled in the US. Try using a reusable water bottle, it’ll save you money and divert plastic from landfills!

Paper origami tree.

Go paperless!

Did you know that one paper bill and one statement each month uses about 0.7 pounds of paper over the course of a year? It also uses 8 gallons of water, 0.1 gallons of gas, and releases about 3 pounds of CO2. Multiply that by say, 10 bills, and your bills account for 30 pounds of CO₂ emissions, alone. Switch to paperless billing to save water, trees, and lower your footprint. Plus, it’s one less thing in your mailbox!

Veggies

Eat locally

Many will say that you should eat locally to reduce your carbon footprint. But, transportation doesn’t actually contribute to CO2 emissions in a significant way, with one exception. While only 0.16% of foods are air-freighted, they emit 50 times more CO2 emissions than foods that are transported via boat. How can you tell if a food is air-freighted? Stay away from foods that have a short shelf life AND have travelled from afar. Check out your local farmers markets for fresh produce grown within your local community.

Running SHower.

Save Water

According to Boston University, the average person in the US uses 25,300 gallons of water per year. That’s 69.3 gallons of water daily. You can help reduce that waste by shortening your shower time. If you were to cut your showers by two minutes, you’d save 10 gallons of water. You can also save up to 8 gallons of water by turning off the water while you brush your teeth. That’s 2,920 gallons of water per year!

Leaf clogged drain.

Keep storm drains clear

Storm drains collect the water and immediately route it to creeks, rivers, and other large bodies of water. If a storm drain becomes clogged with leaves or debris, the excess water can flood the property and easily become contaminated. Keep leaves and debris away from storm drains; add them to your compost bin or yard waste bin!

Service Engine Soon light.

Maintain your car

Surprisingly, vehicle maintenance can play a huge role in helping keep waterways clean. Any oil leaks from your car can travel into storm drains and contaminate natural water resources like rivers. Make sure to regularly maintain your vehicle and if you do see a leak, lay down a disposal sheet to catch any fluids; then dispose of it through your municipal trash collection.

Wetlands wildlife

Protect wetlands

Wetlands are a vital component of the Earth’s ecosystem. The makeup of this unique ecosystem functions as natural water-quality improvement, flood protection, and shoreline erosion control. They also provide opportunities for recreation and aesthetic appreciation and natural products for our use at no cost. One of the best ways you can help protect wetlands is to reduce, reuse and recycle. Trash can seriously contaminate this resource, which could result in catastrophic consequences not only for this particular ecosystem, but for cities built near wetlands.

Plugs that have been unplugged.

Unplug unused devices

Did you know that plugged in appliances and electronic devices use energy, even when you’re not using them? The National Resources Defense Council states that the energy used from these inactive devices translates to $19 billion a year — about $165 per U.S. household on average. Unplugging your appliances or using a surge protector with an on/off switch can save you up to 25% on your electricity bill.

A smart thermostat

Use a smart thermostat

One of the best ways to cut costs on your monthly heating and cooling costs is by using a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats allow you to create programmable and automatic temperature settings set to your daily schedule, the current weather conditions, and heating and cooling needs in your home. Not only that, but smart thermostats can reduce energy bills up to 23%, while simultaneously reducing demand on the grid.

Energy saving lightbulb

Change your lightbulbs

Energy-efficient light bulb technology has come a long way over the past few decades. In an incandescent bulb, about 95% of the energy uses is wasted as heat, with only 5% of it going toward light. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) are lit by an electric current that is sent through a tube containing a mix of gases. While these last much longer, and are far more efficient than incandescent bulbs, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs offer the most energy savings for the cost. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by replacing all of your home light bulbs with LEDs. Many of them even work with 3-way switches and dimmers!

Sealing gaps.

Air seal your home

Up to 40% of your home’s energy can be lost due to air infiltration. Air leaks, large gaps, and holes can drive up your energy bills unnecessarily, especially when there’s something you can do about it. Not sure where your home is leaking energy? Using technology such as a FLIR camera can help you find where the air is escaping from your home. Just plug the camera into your smartphone, open the app, and start snapping photos around the house. In colder weather, you’ll see darker shaded spots where the air is coming in from outside. In warmer weather, warmer spots like red, white, and yellow will show you whether hot air is sneaking in.

Couple bike riding.

Drive less, bike more

Researchers have found that by switching just one trip per day from car driving to cycling can reduce an individuals’ carbon footprint by 1102 pounds per year. If just 10% of the population changed their travel behavior, the emissions savings would be approximately 4% of lifecycle CO2 emissions from all car travel. By switching one day a week to biking or public transit, you can reduce mobility-related CO2 lifecycle emissions.

Cactuses

Find lawn alternatives

In most cases, the suburban lawn is entirely unfit for Texas’ hot summers. Lawn care requires extensive maintenance through cutting, which fossil fuels are often used to carry out. Lawn drying out? Consider switching to drought resistant plantscapes instead. Speak with your local nursery about ways you can incorporate drought resistant species into your at-home landscaping. Plus, you’ll likely save some money on watering.

electric vehicle plugged in

Choose a hybrid or EV

Electric vehicles produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change than gas-powered vehicles. All-electric vehicles produce zero direct emissions, which helps improve air quality in urban areas. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) produce emissions when operating on gasoline, however, most PHEVs are more efficient than conventional vehicles. You can also lower your carbon emissions even further by using renewable sources of electricity to charge your EV or PHEV.

A state capitol building

Use your voice

Using your power to choose who to vote for or what to vote for can make a huge difference in your community. Vote for sustainable policies and politicians who make sustainability a central part of their platform.

Someone planting a tree.

Plant some trees

Trees suck carbon out of the atmosphere, far better than any machine. They also help save energy by providing shade, and absorb water from rainfall that would otherwise overwhelm storm drains. Planting a tree is one of the best ways you can combat climate change. Check with your local nursery about the best options for the Dallas climate, and make sure to choose a native species!

A cart overfull in a grocery store.

Don’t Overshop

Approximately 10% of energy use in the US goes into growing, processing, packaging, and shipping food — about 40% of which ends up in landfill. By eating the food you purchase, you’re putting that energy to good use. And you’re saving money, just by using what you already have.

Compost bin.

Compost at home

Landfill gas is a huge byproduct of municipal solid waste collection. These gases are composed of roughly 50% percent methane, 50% percent carbon dioxide (CO₂) and a small amount of non-methane organic compounds. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is 28 to 36 times more effective than CO₂ at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period. This type of waste is the third largest emitter of human-generated greenhouse gases in the United States, and in most cases, the gases are not collected for energy generation. Instead of throwing away your food in the trash, try composting at home! It’ll cut down on carbon emissions and divert more solid material from ending up in landfills.

Wind turbines and solar panels.

Choose renewable energy

One of the best ways to help fight climate change is by switching to a renewable energy provider. Octopus Energy uses renewable sources for their energy — like wind and solar — not only because it’s good for our planet, but it’s good for your wallet, too. Octopus Energy’s app can help customers determine when the grid is fueled by renewable energy and when is the best time to do more energy intensive activities. You’ll likely shave dollars off your energy bill and help reduce carbon emissions.

Sign up for Octopus Energy
Sign up to become an Octopus Energy customer during our Earth Month exhibition, and we’ll make a $50 donation on your behalf to Green Careers Dallas. Referral code: EARTH21