From parades, fairs and backdoor BBQs to sporting events, pontificating politicians and splashy fireworks displays, Independence Day is associated with a dazzling display of events celebrating the history, government and traditions of the United States.
“If you’re in the luckiest one percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.” — Renowned investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett
It’s a good time to reflect upon the liberties and unrivaled quality of life we Americans enjoy. An abundance of clean, fresh air; access to water and power; the pervasiveness of amenities like paved, lit roads and highways, good schools, parks and public libraries; a bounty of fresh, healthy food and a mind-boggling array of affordable products make our lives more productive and comfortable. This all serves to remind us that we are a fortunate lot — sure, we’ve worked hard for it, but we also take it for granted.
This quality of life hasn’t come without a price. Well over 1.3 million men and women have given their lives in American conflicts over the last 238 years — or sacrificed their lives in covert and overt operations such as Grenada, Panama, Mogadishu and the Balkans — to protect the freedoms and interests of United States of America. And countless inventors and entrepreneurs have fueled America’s economic engine with a grit, genius and creativity that’s created jobs, improved lives and propelled us to enviable standards of life.
One powerfully-common thread among industrialized society is access to energy. The next pages in this article present snapshots of five unique companies whose products are putting personal energy independence within reach of our fellow citizens here and abroad. Some of them are helping the poor. Some of them appeal to a more affluent demographic. All have created solutions that empower citizens to live more sustainably — a lifestyle choice that spurs a brand of entrepreneurism that ensures a cleaner, healthier world for us all.
Read on to learn more about these personal energy innovators.