It’s a new America, like it or not

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By The Staff

Conservation has stronger connotations these days than ever before. The word is used in conjunction with just about every aspect of our lives.

Locally for example, the water management district tells us to conserve water because Marion County, along with the rest of the state, is experiencing a serious drought.

We’re told to conserve our water usage – don’t water our lawns as often as we used to, and we’re warned to be alert to other ways of conserving water – like fixing dripping faucets.

As a nation, we’re learning to conserve in all sorts of ways.

One big way is the conservation of gasoline. Unfortunately, it’s not so much because we’re such good and outstanding Samaritans who are overly concerned about our natural resources. A good hunch is that it has a lot more to do with higher gasoline prices and our fears about this unsteady and shaky economy.

But, nonetheless, we are conserving. Gasoline consumption has decreased and as a society, we have become more aware of the need to conserve.

We certainly are being much more conservative about spending our dollars. Talk to just about any local business owner and you’ll find that this economic downturn is impacting almost everyone – from the car dealer to the grocer, times are tough.

So as families work to pinch pennies and conserve, a least one good action is emerging. Industry is becoming more involved in finding new resources and exploring new ways to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.

Most recently, Progress Energy Florida is testing an alternative and renewable energy resource, namely biofuel, to determine if it can be used as a potential fuel source. (The sources for biofuel include soybeans, animal waste, wood waste and food byproducts – to name a few.) Preliminary test results from a test done at a Bartow plant were positive, the company reports.