Tag Archives: Solar Energy

7 Telltale Signs You’re A Hardcore Greenie

max-R Outdoor Recycling BinGoing green is a great way to show your love for the environment and to promote a sustainable lifestyle that really helps the planet. It’s also incredibly addictive, so after the first few steps you might find yourself engaged in an increasing number of green activities. You know you’ve become a seriously hardcore greenie if…

You Look for Recycling Bins Instead of Trashcans

Recycling is one of the easiest, most essential ways to go green. It only takes a little effort, it’s great for the environment, and it’s becoming much more widely accepted. If you’re becoming a hardcore green-friendly person, you likely start looking for recycling bins before you ever look for trashcans, because you realize that practically everything is recyclable. Whether you’re out shopping or visiting a friend, you’re loathe to throw away your paper cups, soda cans, or newspapers, and secretly you feel a little appalled when you discover that there aren’t any recycling bins available.

Your Have Reusable Bags Hidden in the Car

You can’t remember the last time someone at a store asked you if you wanted paper bags or plastic ones because your reusable bags are always at hand. You’ve been known to turn around without shopping if you arrive at the store and realize you forgot your fabric bags. To avoid that in the future, you started squirreling reusable bags away in your car.

People who carpool with you (of course you carpool—it’s better for the environment) are likely to find cloth bags in the side pockets of the door, the glove compartment, the trunk, under the seats, and in the hidden cubby console between the front seats. You now use them for everything, from carrying around your gym clothes to carrying your shopping. In fact, you have enough reusable bags that sometimes you lend them to people at the grocery store who insist on using plastic bags.

You Unplug Without Thinking

Many people don’t even realize that their appliances and gadgets still suck up energy even when they’re turned off—but you do. You’ve long suspected that your electricity bills are high and your appliances are wasting energy even if they’re turned off, because they’re still plugged into the wall sockets. Now that you have proof, unplugging is second nature to you.

When you’re a serious greenie, your routine changes. Where once it was enough to simply walk through your home turning off the lights in empty rooms, now you go around unplugging those big energy vampires. You make sure to unplug your computer and all of its components because you know your favorite tech-toy is one of the biggest culprits. You gleefully unplug kitchen appliances, especially the microwave, and you always pull the plug on the TV too.

Of course, if you’re really green, you likely have smart power-strips as well, to save energy even when you’re using your favorite devices.

You Take Marathon Showers

People waste so much water every day! Long baths and showers aren’t special treats saved for stressful days, they are daily occurrences. But you know better. Not only do you turn off the faucet as you brush your teeth so you’re not needlessly wasting water, you’ve turned showering into an Olympic event.

You’ve timed exactly how long it takes you to do everything you need to do in your shower. You don’t waste one single second—or a single drop of water. In addition to installing a low-flow head for your shower and a shower timer, you’ve equipped every faucet with an aerator to conserve energy, water, and heat. You know, as you get all clean and fresh, that you’re doing your part to save water.

You Wanted Solar Energy for Your Birthday

After long dreaming of using solar energy, you finally decided that was all you wanted. You saved up, looked around for the best deals and the most quality work, and decided that solar panel energy was the best choice for you. That’s because you know how efficient solar energy really is. You understand the joy of relying on the sun to give you heat, power, and even hot water. While your panels were your biggest birthday present, you still insisted that anyone who got you a present used recyclable paper, of course.

All Your Gadgets Are Solar-Powered

It wasn’t enough to install solar power on your roof, though. You want everything powered by solar energy because, again, you realize how powerful the sun is. So your kitchen is fully outfitted in appliances powered by solar energy. The fridge uses solar power and all of your other appliances are completely energy-efficient. You’ve got a solar-powered watch and the charger you use for your phone, tablet, and other mobile gadgets is also solar-powered. All your friends are jealous of you when the power goes out because you’re still connected. How cool are you?

You’ve Got the Best Compost Pile on the Block

If you’re a hardcore environmentalist, you’ve been composting since long before it was cool. You’ve discovered a way to compost almost everything. As a result, your grass is lush and all the drought-tolerant plants in your garden thrive. You can easily sustain yourself on the food you grow and you routinely share with your neighbors because you want them to eat healthy too.

Composting is part of your routine. Almost everything that comes out of your home either gets recycled or composted. You try to reuse everything for a good purpose and it works for you. Not only do you know you’re doing your part, but you help to erase your carbon footprint every single day. You even offer to start compost heaps for the neighbors who compliment your lifestyle, your commitment, and your gorgeous greenery.

If you’re a serious greenie who takes the eco-friendly life seriously, then you are unquestionably awesome. You’re kind to the Earth, to your family, and to your neighbors because you know that what you’re doing matters.

 

Image via Flickr by max-R

4 Green Technologies That Are Actually Selling

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People are becoming increasingly concerned about their carbon footprint. However, just because we are concerned about this as a society does not mean that all green technologies are selling as well as they should be. In fact, too many of them have gone by the wayside. Luckily, there are still green technologies that are actually selling.

Hybrid Cars

The price of hybrid cars keeps coming down, and the demand keeps going up. As the price comes down, more people can afford them. When buying new cars, one of the biggest things families look at is the gas mileage. The next thing they look at is the overall price of the car. So, if they can get a car that is relatively inexpensive but will give them great gas mileage, they are going to jump on it. This is the biggest reason that these vehicles are selling extremely well.

Cleaning Supplies

Have you walked down the cleaning supplies aisle at the grocery store lately? Take a look around; you’ll see that there’s a lot of “green” products. That’s because these things sell like crazy. No one wants to clean their home with harsh chemicals. Instead, they want to get things clean, but do it as environmentally friendly as possible. Companies that create cleaning products have noticed this and now make green cleaning products that fly off the shelves.

Home Solar Panels

As the solar panel technology is getting smaller and more easily available for home use, it’s also becoming more popular. People are buying solar panels to put on their roofs to power their homes. Some use these to supplement their power, while others bring in so much from their solar panels that they are able to sell back to the power company in their town. In addition, many new homes come pre-installed with solar panels. This is a technology that is becoming almost as common as high-speed Internet in homes – it’s not quite there yet, but give it a few years.

Windmill Farms

One of the biggest sellers for cities and states is the wind technology. In fact, many areas are setting up windmill farms. These expanses of land literally have windmills set up on them, and that’s it. They harvest the power of the wind and use it to produce power. That power takes the place of more traditional power creation methods, lowering the carbon footprint of the city. Plus, many cities that do this are able to sell the excess power they create to other cities or even other states. In addition to larger entities doing this, some individuals are able to set up windmills on their own land. Sometimes the land is rented to larger organizations for the power creation.

There are a lot of green technologies out there. Some have come and gone without much stir in the community. Other technologies have yet to be tested on a larger scale. What are your thoughts on the green tech industry? Do you see potential for economic growth and job creation through these endeavors?

Why Choose Solar Energy?

Solar energy is a tried and tested power source that is already being used around the world for numerous commercial, industrial, government and domestic applications.  Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the Sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies.

Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the Sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies.

For every change in the world, one being had to advance lead the others joined. Even if you anticipate you cannot change the bearings all by yourself, do not worry. When humans acquisition you adequate the abundant advantages of application solar power, they will chase your example.

Solar panel is apple-pie and does not could cause any pollution. It does not bankrupt the earth’s accustomed non-renewable assets of energy, appropriately allowance to conserve the eco-system. Using solar ability can accomplish the apple a cleaner and bigger abode to reside in.

Solar panels may crave an ample bulk of amplitude area they can be set up, and added so if there are an amount of solar panels, the after-effects can be actual rewarding. You can save up to 90 percent on your ability bills.

Once you complete the accession aspect of a solar ability unit, you can eventually go absolutely off the filigree and never accept to pay ability bills. You can adore charge less and ceaseless ability after annoying about the costs.

Solar energy is not acclimated alone for electrical ability generation. It can as well be put to an amount of added uses that are as abundant important. You can use solar energy to fry food, light solar bulbs, heat water, run solar buses and solar trams, run a centralized cooling or heating arrangement and abundant more. Appliances like solar powered calculators, attic fans, etc. are as well added examples that appearance you the advanced ambit of use for solar power.

Solar energy can change the atmosphere of your home into a cleaner and safer one.

Want to Go Solar? Cut Your Energy Use First

One of the most common complaints about “going solar” is that the upfront cost is just too high. The primary reason a solar power system can be a high ticket purchase for many solar power shoppers is because of the customers’ bad energy usage habits. The majority of solar power shoppers don’t realize they are energy hogs until they start shopping for solar power, when they are forced to understand and analyze their electric consumption.
 
So how can solar power shoppers instantly get a deep discount on their solar power system? The answer is simple, “reduce then produce.” Focusing on energy efficiency, and implementing lifestyle and product changes can greatly reduce the upfront cost of a solar power system. It is always more cost-effective to reduce your consumption through efficiency than it is to produce your own power.
 
Think of it this way, the more you can save through energy efficiency, the fewer solar panels you need to cover your electric usage. It’s that simple. But most solar power consumers get frustrated seeing high upfront costs of going solar and think there are no alternatives to bring the cost down.
 
How do you reduce your energy consumption?
 
1.) Change all your light bulbs to LEDs. Lighting can contribute up to 10 to 20 percent of your electrical load. Want to minimize that load? LEDs (light emitting diodes) consume a fraction of the electricity that incandescent bulbs and even CFL light bulbs consume. While LED bulbs cost more than their counterparts, they last over 11 years, and LEDs differ from CFLs in that they contain no mercury, a very toxic element. LED bulbs can fit in standard lighting sockets and only cost a dollar or two per year to run a standard household light bulb. Since LED bulbs operate cooler, the decrease in temperature can also keep your home cooler during summer months.
 
2.) Invest in insulation. Drafty windows and gaps under doors can significantly raise your heating and cooling costs. These costs usually comprise over half of all energy outlays made by homeowners. By investing in insulation, you can lower your energy costs by as much as 30%.
 
3.) Get rid of old appliances. These tend to be less energy efficient. For example, an old coffee maker can consume power equivalent to the output of four solar panels! Purchase Energy Star appliances.
 
4.) If you’re not using it, turn it off! Unplug unused items (they draw energy even if they are plugged in, but not in use). These sneaky loads are called “vampire loads”, and they cost U.S. consumers 3 billion dollars per year! How much are these loads costing you? Smart power strips can help you fight vampire loads by shutting off power draw when the appliance is not in use. Remember to set your computers to automatically hibernate (power saving mode) when they are idle for more than 5 minutes. And most importantly, turn off the lights when you leave a room!
 
Changing the way you consume energy can have a significant impact on the overall price of a solar energy system. Reducing energy consumption can shave off thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars from the final cost of a system.
 
It seems like today, everyone wants to produce their own watts through solar panels and wind turbines. But we need to first produce “negawatts.” Negawatt power is a term promoted and introduced by Amory Lovins of The Rocky Mountain Institute; essentially, the term means that by saving energy, we create a "virtual power plant," thus not having to create a new power plant to increase electrical supply. The direct reduction in electrical demand through energy efficiency is called a Negawatt.
 
Energy efficiency and solar power fit very well with each other. When considering solar power, think about easy ways you can reduce your consumption first – that way you’ll save tons of cash, making the solar investment that much more attainable.
 
Are you doing anything to save energy that I haven’t covered? Please share! 
 
Ready to save the planet? Post your green intent and blog about your green successes and struggles, tagging your posts "greener life." We may feature your post in this series!
 
Deep Patel is the Founder & CEO of GoGreenSolar.com, a leading solar and wind power internet retailer and online community.

Improving Lives Around the World with Solar Panels

Hi, this is my first post on Intent, so I suppose this a good time to introduce myself. My name is Deep Patel, I live in Los Angeles and I’m passionate about helping you get started with green energy. It’s quite ironic that I ended up at the forefront of the green energy revolution since if you literally translate my unique first name, it means “the one who holds the light”, I guess your name has a lot of meaning in relation to your path in life, wouldn’t you agree?

 
Can you believe its 2009 and there’s still billions of people in the world without reliable electricity? Reliable power is what most of us here in the U.S. take for granted. Having a stable source of electricity has not only been a vital part of our economy’s success over the last 100 years but has also given a chance for anyone to live a decent lifestyle. Toady, I want share with you how I’m fulfilling my primary intent to,“help people in urgent need, gain access to clean energy.”
 
Bashoy-Abucot Elementary School
 
Recently, I have helped two non-profit organizations with their solar power projects. Unleash the Power for the People Foundation, has a goal to donate a solar electric system to schools around the world without access to energy. Bashoy-Abucot Elementary School located in the remote mountainous region of Benguet, Philippines, 300 kids had no access to power until the foundation raised the funds to donate a 1.1 kilowatt solar electric system to the school. The solar panels installed on top of the school’s roof provides the elementary school new opportunities by powering a computer, TV, lights and fans to create a comfortable learning environment. These children now have more resources to learn and acquire the skills they need for the 21st century.
 
 
 On the other hand the Mujeres de Maíz Opportunity Foundation a non-profit based out of Sequim, Washington wanted to improve the lives of the lives of the indigenous young women of the Mujeres de Maíz en Resistencia Cooperative in the poorest states in Mexico called Chiapas. The cooperative is a group of seamstresses and more than often they have to sew through the night which is difficult due to the lack of electrical power, which forces the seamstresses to use expensive and dangerous kerosene lamps.
 
 
The Mujeres de Mujeres de Maíz Opportunity Foundation took an interesting approach to solve the lighting problem for the seamstresses by donating Everlite Solar Compact Spotlights which are basically a highly efficient LED light bulbs with a nickel-metal hydride battery and small solar panel. Now, thanks to the Mujeres de Maíz Opportunity Foundation, the seamstresses have access to solar electricity which replaces kerosene oil, an expensive item for the poor women to purchase. This is a great example of how even the smallest solar panel can make a big impact for some people. Don’t you agree?
 
Here in the U.S. we tend to focus on how solar panels can reduce our energy bills, but there are so many problems renewable energy can solve in developing countries. Delivering energy to the people who have never experienced life with reliable power is the largest untapped opportunity for renewable energy in my opinion. Clean power to the people will change the world as we know it by giving people the same opportunities that we enjoy today. What do you think?

 

Nevada Solar Field Produces Lower Cost Power

 

Greentech Media reports that a solar plant in Nevada is now able to produce power at the same or lower cost as fossil fuel burning plants.

It’s essential to remember that there isn’t one technology that’s going to wean the country off dirty and (when accounted for holistically) expensive fossil fuels, it’s a number of different technologies. Solar is an excellent options for the parts of the world that receive the most sun, wind has its place as done geothermal and on and on. It’s easy to poke holes in any single alternative fuel or energy source, but when looked at as a bloc, we see that these technologies have the potential to be much less expensive overall than fossil fuels, when one calculates the hidden cost of fossil fuels. Hard data such as the Nevada plant shows that continued development is going to produce a true revolution in power sources as the economics become clearer.

 

The Financial Benefits of Solar Energy

Intent’s editor Ebony March and Intent Voices blogger David Llorens attended the same high school in Shreveport, Louisiana back in the 1990s. He was on the debate team. She, on the drama team. The two soon struck up a deep friendship that unfortunately faded when his family moved to Illinois the following year. However, through technology (MySpace), Ebony was able to track Dave down and pay him a visit while on vacation in San Francisco. What she found when she arrived is that her childhood friend had blossomed into a highly knowledgeable and passionate solar power advocate.

Dave, by trade, is now an electrical engineer, and has channeled that work into his current position with NextEnergy Solar ( a solar power installation company located in California’s Bay Area). The two recently sat down to chat about the economic benefits of making the leap from traditional electrical power to solar.

EM: Dave, what got you so interested in solar power as a vocation?

DL: My friend, Dan, in Seattle–he wanted to create a financial company for solar power. He thought these third-party power purse agreements were where it’s at. And I kind of a agreed with him. We began to document our research about the subject and then that documentation there became a blog which actually got a little bit of traction and people were reading our stuff and that was fun for us. So we continued doing it and we created a site where people could go to find free money available in the state that they live in for solar power.

EM: Okay then, walk me through it. How do I go about making the leap to solar energy for my home or business?

DL: So, let’s say you wanna install solar power on your house or you’re considering it as an option. You would poke around on the Internet and hopefully you would find our company. You might call them up and say, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about getting solar. What do I have to do?’ And they would send me over to your house to evaluate it to see whether or not it works.

I would look at your power bills, look at the orientation of your roof–its tilt, if there’s any shading issues, how much real estate is available up there. And then, we’d just try to design a system that meets your goals. If your goals are to knock out your entire power bill, then let’s see if we can do that. And if we can’t, then how much can we do.

EM: That’s good to know. Now tell me this: How much has the industry changed since you first got started? Is there much of a difference in solar from, let’s say, 5 years ago to today?

DL: I don’t have a lot of visibility of what it was like 5 years ago. But when I got into this, I looked at the financial fundamentals of solar power and thought, ‘Oh, you know what? I live in the most progressive city in the entire United States. I bet people are going to be exceedingly receptive to this . And I was very disappointed. People are not–It’s a very long-term investment. And people, I think, sort of assume that it’s not cost-effective. Yet, with the heavy subsidization–especially in San Francisco, it turns out it’s often a slam-dunk.

EM: What’s the biggest downfall of what you do?

DL: People aren’t willing to listen unless they can see, like, the Joneses have [solar power installed]. But if no one else has it, they assume it’s for hippies. People who have townhouses and condos assume they can’t have solar but there’s actually a law that prevents the Homeowners Association [in S.F.] from preventing the solar power based on aesthetics alone. So if you have a townhouse or a condo, you can probably get solar.

EM: Very good. Still, I’m curious. What, in your opinion, is the future of solar power in this country and around the world?

DL: We need Barack in office, basically, and then solar can explode. It’s gonna get bigger. The market is getting bigger. Contrary to popular belief, the technology is not making it cheaper. In fact, it’s getting more expensive. What’s going to make it cheaper is that power is getting more expensive. People’s power bills are going to double and the solar power doesn’t ever change. The sun doesn’t charge you more. It’s always free.

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