Solar energy dates back to the beginning of time. Its uses are incredible, then and now. In 700 BC, there were sunlit fires. In 214-212 BC, Archimedes discovered a heat ray by using several mirrors aimed at the sun, while the reflection set the enemy ship on fire. Fast forward to 1954, when sunlight converted to electrical power lead to the solar cell. Today, with its use, we can cut our carbon footprint tenfold by using alternative energy, saving us money, and most importantly saving our planet.
Cost Savings in the Home
Use the motto, “switch it off, and then unplug”. Most households have over 70 items plugged in at one time. If it isn’t our cell phones, iPods, desktops, TV consoles, or coffee makers, it is stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, and more. Be smart, unplug seldom used items, buy smart power strips that cut power to other devices not used, and set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode. Be sure your refrigerator is set to 38-42 degrees and the freezer to 0-5 degrees. If you have a newer model, turn the power saver switch on. Any little effort creates a better tomorrow.
Cost Measures with Appliances
Some very simple changes with appliances have a huge impact. Check the gaskets around the refrigerator or oven; test it by using a dollar bill. If it slides in easily, change the gasket. Don’t preheat ovens or keep opening the door. In the process, you’ll lose the stored heat each time you do. Wash clothes in cold water saving 50 cents per load. Finally, hang your clothes on a clothesline and take in the fresh clean smell. By the way, dryers use about 20 percent of the nation’s energy. Appliances over 15-20 years old need replacement with ENERGY STAR-efficient items.
Use the Sun, It’s Free
Solar energy is renewable energy with no carbon emissions. Today, the use of solar panels on a home is cheaper than ever. The styles have changed and the number of panels used is more efficient. You might wonder how much you’d save by installing panels; the answer is plenty. SolarCity has sleek and attractive solar panels with high performance and top rated manufacturers. Many systems are installed in as little as one day and the systems start saving you money immediately.
Review the cost and savings for the size of your home to make a smart decision, and get started as soon as you can. There are several options available when it comes to looking at solar panel costs. Many states also offer 0 percent financing and no money down as an incentive – don’t forget the tax considerations.
Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce
Reuse, recycle, and reduce the amount of carbon you use in a year. Reuse things again and again such as finding a new purpose for that glass Mason jar, as well as buying more durable goods. Stop junk mail, change your driving habits and keep your car maintained. Have your kids come up with their own ideas. Buy local and ride your bike to work. Take every measure possible to create a better planet for you and our children’s future.
The Future of Alternative Energy
According to Forbes, clean, efficient and distributed energy are the three major areas of focus in the future. But first, we must find ways through research to cut our current fossil fuel usage. Utilization of the sun for energy is already in place as well as the Apple Electric car, Apple solar-powered MacBook, sugar powered batteries, flying wind farms, and more.
What you do today will make a huge difference tomorrow. Start with the small things, change your energy lifestyle by changing light bulbs to LED’s or compact fluorescent bulbs. Use weather proofing strips around doors and window panes, and buy programmable thermostats. The ordinary person uses over 50,000 pounds of carbon a year. Let’s do our part now to make a better tomorrow by implementing the growing energy needs of the future.