Here’s a new twist to the renewable energy and save the planet story: The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham, Kentucky, has recently switched from coal to solar power to help save on operational costs.1
It just goes to show you that the power struggle over power may be better energized by not making it an “either/or” (traditional vs. renewable sources) conflict. Individuals might consider looking at their financial strategy in much the same way. For example, there are financial vehicles retirees traditionally use for income, such as government bonds, Treasury bills, CDs and money market accounts. But given the potential for higher inflation in the future and today’s longer lifespans, there is a greater call for incorporating growth opportunity in a retiree’s financial strategy.
This poses a challenging situation in that more growth potential generally involves more market risk. However, there are alternative options, such as insurance products, that can capture some of the gains of equity markets while protecting your principal from market losses, and we’d be happy to discuss them with you. Like the energy sources debate, a financial strategy may be best served by incorporating a combination of both traditional and alternative solutions.
While recent news for the coal-mining industry indicates a positive turn2, many experts believe that if the U.S. doesn’t continue to make substantial investments in renewable energy sources, we could fall behind in global competition.3 In fact, the global investment in renewable power in 2015 was more than twice that invested in new coal- and natural-gas-fired power generation. China alone represented 36 percent of that total investment.4
Speaking of global efforts, consider some of the ways other parts of the world are going green. For example, German households don’t just separate trash between garbage and recyclables; the average home has five different bins for dispersing paper, packaging, glass, compost and trash.5
And finally, studies in green trends have revealed positive effects on our health, particularly in the health of women. Research by Harvard Medical School found that women who lived among higher levels of green vegetation had lower rates of mortality. The study found that higher exposure to green landscapes was associated with lower levels of depression and increased levels of social engagement and physical activity.6
These factors may have a significant impact on longer lifespans. But it’s also interesting to note the vegetation correlation — plants have been found to remove pollutants, making them natural air filters.7 This may explain why women in the study who were continuously exposed to green environments were less likely to die of a respiratory disease.8 That’s one green benefit that can help you breathe easier.
1 Fox News. April 6, 2017. “Kentucky Coal Mining Museum Switches to Solar Power.” http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/06/kentucky-coal-mining-museum-switches-to-solar-power.html. Accessed April 8, 2017.
2 John Kemp. Fortune. April 7, 2017. “Look for Coal and Mining Jobs to Come Back This Year” http://fortune.com/2017/04/07/coal-mining-jobs/. Accessed April 8, 2017.
3 Nick Stockton. Wired. March 16, 2017. “Clean Energy Could Spark a Trade War Between the US And China.” https://www.wired.com/2017/03/us-china-clean-energy/. Accessed April 8, 2017.
4 Jeff Nesbit. US News & World Report. March 15, 2017. “Clean Energy Is Seeing Monumental Job Growth.” https://www.usnews.com/news/at-the-edge/articles/2017-03-15/clean-energy-is-seeing-explosive-job-growth-dont-let-budget-kill-it. Accessed April 8, 2017.
5 Perfect Rubber Mulch. 2017. “Recycling Across the Globe.” https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5548ed90e4b0b0a763d0e704/t/58e69d90b8a79bf113147752/1491508625841/TheGlobe_by_GiuMagnani-2.jpg. Accessed April 8, 2017.
6 Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD. Harvard Medical School. March 9, 2017. “Time Spent in ‘Green’ Places Linked With Longer Life in Women.” http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/time-spent-green-places-linked-longer-life-women-2017030911152?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=030917&utm_content=blog. Accessed April 8, 2017.
7 Melanie Pinola. Life Hacker. May 20, 2015. “This Graphic Shows the Best Air-Cleaning Plants, According to NASA.” http://lifehacker.com/this-graphic-shows-the-best-air-cleaning-plants-accord-1705307836. Accessed April 13, 2017.
8 Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD. Harvard Medical School. March 9, 2017. “Time Spent in ‘Green’ Places Linked With Longer Life in Women.” http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/time-spent-green-places-linked-longer-life-women-2017030911152?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=030917&utm_content=blog. Accessed April 8, 2017.