One of the things we learned from the recent fire
is how truly dark it can be outside when the power goes
off. My dad who was far ahead of his time
taught me the virtues of solar energy when he
was able to power our whole house with solar panels twenty years ago.
Unfortunately there are less options for renters although we keep trying.
When we tried these small solar path lights a few years
ago they did not last very long. But these days they
have small LEDs in them so they last all night this time
of year. So we replaced all of our landscape lighting
with these and some nice spotlights on the plants.
Next time the power goes out we'll at least be able to
get around without falling over all our plants.
I'm sure it's wonderful for the environment too, but
personally I'm not convinced that buying a bunch of stuff
just to save energy is a terribly responsible thing to do
unless the things you are replacing have outlived their usefulness
and need to be replaced anyway.
I'd rater telecommute and keep my old jeep that I drive about
10 miles a month, than buy an overpriced hybrid that had to be
manufactured somewhere. Personally I think a large part of the current
save-the-world movement is an excuse to make you feel good about
buying things... eco-consumerism! Save the world with your credit card!