Just my little household here in Portland, Ore., avoided 10,166 lbs. of CO² from being spewed into the air last year. That's because all of our energy came from renewable power. Our local utility, Portland General Electric (my former employer), makes it easy to choose the renewable power option. In fact, you can pick from three different programs that offer solar or wind options, or one program with both (the one I have). A postcard from the program says we purchased 7,585 kilowatt-hours of renewable power in 2015, the equivalent of 11,347 miles not driven. This isn't to crow too loudly about our little contribution. After all, global climate change is a pretty overwhelming issue, and our part is just a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done. Still, what's important is to add up all the little contributions. In fact, just from my utility alone, 125,000 customers chose renewable power options and offset more than 1 billion lbs. of CO² in 2015.

It feels good to make that little difference.