All of us can have a large impact on moving the planet towards a greener future simply by paying attention to the choices we make every day. You would be surprised how much can happen if every one of us made a few small changes in our day to day routines.
Canadians are the largest consumers of energy consumption. We consume more energy on a per capita basis than any other country in the world.And that’s not all… we are the second largest producer of green house gases, with the United States leading the way. Energy is expensive environmentally, with negative consequences to the planet and to our pocketbooks. If we can reduce our consumption, we will save money plus have a major effect on helping to keep the planet green.
USE LESS ENERGY
Reducing emissions that cause climate change can be achieved by simply cutting back on the use of home heating fuels and electricity. Program or manually turn the furnace down at night or when you are not going to be home fora while. Consider supplementing your existing home heating system with heaters that solar heat air or alternatively heaters that use solar energy. Consider investing in a geothermal heating system or installing solar panels on your home to produce energy, the initial cash investment will translate into lower long-term monthly energy bills. Turn off the lights when you leave a room and switch to high efficiency light bulbs. You can get plenty of information from your heat and hydro providers. Check their website, for all kinds of energy saving tips. Not only will you be helping the environment, you will help to reduce your bills.
If you can afford the upgrade, switchingto energy-efficient appliances is another way to reduce your energy consumption. New refrigerators now use 40% less energy than their predecessors manufactured just 10 years ago.
Buy yard tools that are not electrically or gas powered. The savings accrued from a manual lawn mower will more than pay for a gym membership and you will be less likely to need one.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT….AND SO IS THE EARTH
Food consumption is another area that can have a considerable negative impact on the environment. Food production can cause pollution of our air and water, and affects the loss of soil and reduced biodiversity. Simple changes in the way we purchase and consume food items can greatly effect our impact on the planet, such as choosing to purchase locally grown organic foods and seasonal foods. Plant a garden in your backyard for summer eating; even planting herbs in containers on your apartment balcony, provides less expensive and healthier options to season your food and less waste. The less distance products need to travel to market means less fuel consumption used. If you have space, composting all of your organic waste is another way to reduce garbage and provides the ability to put healthy nutrients back into your soil.Many communities have great recycling programs available in which you can recycle all your plastic, bottles, paper and cardboard. By making some small efforts and taking advantage of these programs, you can help to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which are generated by land fills.
CONSIDER LOWERING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT WITH YOUR FEET
All of us have places to go and things to do, which means we rely heavily on our daily modes of transportation. Whether you need to drive your car, take a bus or subway, or areflying to another city, transportation creates almost half of all noxious air pollution. It contributes toa quarter of all common air contamination, a third of greenhouse gas emissions and a fifth of water toxicity. The biggest polluters are our automobiles, which produce the most carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as well as traffic congestion and pollute our water and air through exhaust and road runoff.
Choosing not to drive your car to work every dayis not an option for all of us, but if you are able to carpool with a few others who live in close proximity, that can take one or two cars of the road five days of the week. Small changes can make big differences.
When it is time to purchase a new vehicle, why not consider shopping for something more fuel efficient. It is worth checking with the local government’s Auto Smart Ratings, where you can find valuable information on fuel efficient and low polluting options. Did you know that the average SUV uses almost twice the fuel and releases almost twice the emissions than that of a modern station wagon, and yet they both seat the same number of passengers?
Even small changes in your daily routine can have impacts over time. Pick one of your regular destinations you visit each week and ride your bike or transit once a week just to see how convenient it is not having to gas up your car or pay for parking, or walk there, because every step, is a step in the right direction.
Air travel is increasing more and more each year, and jet fuel is a major pollutant. Next vacation plan a staycation and explore your own city on bike or travel a shorter distance by another mode of transportation.
All of us would prefer a shorter commute to work or school. It’s not always easy or affordable to live where you want to, but if you are planning to move, consider neighborhoods that are closer to your place of work. Many neighborhoods are being developed in which people can live, work and shop within them, and walk to most of those destinations. Not only will you be healthier by walking more places, but by reducing the use of your vehicle you will belowering your greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Start becoming part of the solution!
All of us can make an impact, even by making only one or two simple changes in our daily routine. If every single one of us took a little time and thought about the impact we have on the environment every day, and made the effort to make a ‘change’ for the better, imagine what the effect could be globally! It really doesn’t take much…but
it all starts with you. Talk about it, tell your friends, be part of the solution. We all benefit from a greener, healthier planet.
In today’s world, non-renewable resources including oil, gas and coal are being consumed at an increasingly alarming rate. The world can no longer exploit these resources at this rate and expect the planet to replenish itself. However, there are other alternatives available, that we can utilize, including solar, wind and geothermal energy.
Many countries have started to utilize solar energy, but their challenge is producing enough of it to meet their demands.
What is Solar Energy?
Solar energy refers to that energy that is produced from the sun. The sun has been producing energy for billions of years and is the most important source of energy required to support life forms. The advantage is that the sun is a renewable resource, unlike fossil fuels. Solar energy technology harnesses the power of the sun to produce energy for lighting, heating air and water and generating electricity.
The main advantage of solar energy is that it’s clean. In fact it’s one of the cleanest sources of energy we have.It’s very low maintenance, relatively easy to install and best of all, it’s renewable. But it is not completely without limitations. Solar energy is dependent on the amount of sunlight available, location, time of day and time of year, as well as varying weather conditions.
Solar energy systems can require a substantial investment. Which is one of the primary reasons why it is not being used on a large scale. But there is reason for optimism. Corporations like Shell have predicted that 50% of the world’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2040. And in recent years, manufacturing costs for photovoltaic cells has dropped by 3-5% per year and government subsidies for solar projects have increased. Trends show that it is possible that in the next few years millions of households in the world may be using solar energy. Aggressive financial incentives in Germany and Japan have made these countries already global leaders in the deployment of solar energy.
Interesting facts about Solar Energy
Below are some basic, but very interesting facts, to help explain the importance and power of solar energy.
Solar energy is abundant and relatively easy to access, from practically anywhere on the planet. Considering the sun is 90 million miles from our planet, it only takes less than 10 minutes for light to travel from that distance.
Solar energy has more than one use. By means of photosynthesis, solar energy is converted by green plants into chemical energy which in turn produces the biomass that makes up fossil fuels.
Solar powered hot water heating systems utilize solar energy to heat water. In certain areas, 60 – 70% of water used domestically for temperatures as high as 60 degrees Celsius (140 F) can be produced by solar heating.
Solar energy can be used for making potable, brackish or saline water. Without the use of electricity and chemicals, waste water can be treated. Creating sea salt from sea water is also one of the oldest uses of solar energy.
Solar energy is being recognized as the future of alternative energy as it is helps combat the greenhouse gas effect on global climate change, generated by fossil fuels. It is non-polluting and has no known negative effects on the environment.
Space missions launched from a number of nations have all used solar energy to power various types of space craft.
The earth receives approximately 1,366 watts of direct solar radiation per square meter.
Solar panels are virtually maintenance free as their batteries require no water or regular service, and they can last for years. Once solar panels are installed, there are no recurring costs.
Solar power is quiet. There are no moving parts and there is no additional fuel required to produce power.
Clouds and pollution prevent the sun’s rays from reaching earth, which limits the effectiveness of solar power.
Solar energy is measured by the kilo-watt hour. 1 kilowatt = 1,000 watts.
Solar power can significantly lower your electricity bills. Many government agencies now offer tax incentives and rebate programs to motivate people to choose solar power alternatives. Save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
What Is It?
Kevin (from This Old House) shows the guys a large plastic rectangle with a fan at the top, and the guys try to guess it’s intended use. Is it for tanning, Is it for cooking? Is it a mega phone? No one guesses the right answer- a portable solar room heater.
Watch the episode segment here at 11:06.
Solar Infra Systems Portable Solar Heaters are available at your local home center or online.