Welcome to my first blog post! My name is Su and I’d like to welcome you to my thoughts that I have written down just for you. A little bit about me? Well, the most important things you should probably know are that I am obsessed with sunsets and sloths, if I’m not at work I’m probably trying to hike to the highest peak of a
mountain, and I always try my best to be the person with the most energy in the room.
In college, I dedicated a lot of research to the topic of “environmental justice.” Environmental injustices are defined as unequal distributions and disproportionate burdens of environmental ills on communities of lower socioeconomic status and minority groups. I learned that when crafting potential environmental justice solutions for a certain community, one must consider its background and historical contexts. What do people in that community value? What is vital in their culture? How do they personally interact with their surrounding environment? What is culturally significant? Scientific quantitative data is important, but this type of qualitative data and sociological understanding is the key to successful solution implementation. After college, I knew I had to extend from just learning about these topics in classrooms to actually applying them in the real world.
When I talk with people about renewable energy, it always interests me to hear what their first reaction is to it. Some will say, “It’s a great way to combat pollution,” or, “Well, why don’t more people just put solar panels up—that’s the easy solution,” or even, “Well, I don’t like the way solar panels look, but I think they’re great.” Renewable energy fascinates me in that it is such a multifaceted topic. There are economic, social, cultural, scientific and architectural factors to it, and all of these factors have both individual and intersectional impacts.
What inspires me the most about inourhands.love is the way we want to make use of these intersectionalities. Our team wants to immerse ourselves in the communities we work with. We want to know who the people are, their opinions, stories, pasts, presents, needs, and goals. Our intention is to never solely put solar panels in a community and leave. When our team first started talking about IOH way back in the beginning, we had discussions about what a community could do with the revenue it generates from the solar panels we install for them. We thought, “Oh, maybe the community could use it to help fund that new elementary school they have wanted or create the community garden they have been trying to raise money for.” Or how about this? If we were working on two projects at the same time, let’s say, one in New York City and the other in South Dakota, what if we could establish a community exchange program where kids from NYC could go to South Dakota and vice versa? They could become engaged in a community so different from their own. Just think about the things they would learn and the relationships they would build. Creating these types of programs could have a significant ripple effect for these kids who will be the future leaders of our country. All of this just from solar panels? Now, these were the discussions that got me the most excited about IOH. I mean how could you not get motivated to be a part of this?!
“What inspires me the most about inourhands.love is the way we want to make use of these intersectionalities.”
There is no one way to think about renewable energy. Sure, it may be one solution to one problem, but it can be so much more than that. Yes, though the price of renewable energy has significantly decreased over the past few years, the difficulty in getting renewable energy is still an environmental injustice. Only a few people have the option of using fully clean energy due to the high price of installation and other factors. So, IOH is here to address this problem. We believe that everyone deserves access to clean energy. Because, just as I mentioned, access to solar panels does not just mean you get clean energy — we know it can be so much more than that.
So, I welcome you to the start of our journey and to join us as we try to reshape the way we think about renewable energy and the ways it can influence and create a better tomorrow. There are no limits to what we can accomplish with this. It just begins with the desire to want to do it.
I am so excited to get to know all of you as we begin our adventure.