This week our Chatting Green Q&A series continues with Tristan Rader, City Council Member for the City of Lakewood, Ohio. Tristan has been an integral part of Lakewood, Ohio’s ambitious plan to adopt 100% clean energy city-wide by 2035.
How is the City of Lakewood progressing with its 100% renewable energy goals?
What is Ohio’s biggest environmental need right now, and how best do we address it?
Local clean energy generation. We know that solar and wind work very well here in Ohio. Unfortunately, political barriers have prevented many of these positive clean energy projects from moving forward. Both wind and solar projects mean clean reliable in-state energy as well as high-paying local green energy jobs.
What environmental issues mean to most to you personally, and what inspired you to get involved?
I’m most interested in a just transition. We know how to move to renewable energy and will make the switch. However, the real questions that are left up to us now are “When?” and “How do we not leave people behind?” I’m very passionate about making sure that all people, particularly those who are historically left behind and are left paying the highest price during such times of great change, are not left behind or otherwise harmed in the process.
I’m very passionate about making sure that all people, particularly those who are historically left behind and are left paying the highest price during such times of great change, are not left behind or otherwise harmed in the process.
How can concerned individuals make the most productive impact with regard to the environment and the climate crisis?
Everyone can and must participate to make our community and earth a more sustainable place. The first and easiest thing one can do is reduce their energy consumption. LED light bulbs, energy-efficient appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers can reduce energy usage significantly. Check with your municipality or electricity aggregator (SOPEC or NOPEC) to see if you can buy clean energy through your utility. It’s not as hard as it sounds. I would also highly recommend planning and budget for rooftop solar, replacing your car with an EV, and geothermal heating, and cooling.