Here comes the sun
As I looked outside my office window this morning and saw a light dusting of snow I was forced to squint and close the wood slat shades. The sun was beaming in, filling my entire work space with radiant sunlight. Even during the winter months the sunshine is a welcome addition to any snow-filled day. Sometimes I forget how truly lucky we are to have an infinite energy resource. The sun.
While climate change conversations continue to swirl during the months leading up to the presidential election it’s crucial to remember that more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy-related sources.
The sun really comes into play when we become serious about tackling the issue of climate change. Low-carbon energy sources like solar and wind are essential. Annie said it best: “The sun will come out tomorrow.” Solar energy is where it’s at since the sun’s going to be around for a long, long time.
Solar energy is simply the light and heat that come from the sun and it’s in demand. Over the last year, the solar industry added jobs twelve times faster than the rest of the economy, even more than the jobs created by the oil and gas extraction and pipeline sectors combined.
There are a few simple ways that we can harness the sun’s energy around our homes.
Install Solar Panels
Installing solar panels are one way to use the suns energy in our own homes. Making electricity with solar panels uses 91% less CO2 pollution than using natural gas, and 96% less CO2 than coal.
A few years ago I reviewed the Solar Joos Orange Portable Solar Charger which is designed to charge all personal electronic devices including smart phones, iPads and more. Now there are so many options for solar chargers. What a simple way to use the sun’s energy!
Install a Sky Light
Add a sky light to your home. Sky lights can add extra light and warmth to your home and in turn will reduce your heating and lighting cost.
Solar Blanket for Your Pool
If you own a swimming pool you’re going to want to check this out. This eco-friendly solar blanket increases temperature of the pool water by approx. 3 ~ 5 degrees by capturing the sun’s rays.
Solar Powered Lamp Posts
Time to replace your lamp posts with this Solar-Powered LED Streetlight-Style Outdoor Light. The LED bulbs are charged by the sun and automatically turn on at dusk.
Make a Solar Oven Out of a Pizza Box
This is a fun experiment to try with your kids.
Choose Your Roof Color Wisely
The color of the shingles you choose can have a significant impact on your home’s energy efficiency. Use the sun to your advantage by choosing lighter colors in warmer climates which will reduce heat absorption from the sun. In cooler climates go for darker shingles to help to melt winter snow
I really want to try this Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard. What a clever idea! The keyboard charges itself with any light, including the one on your desk.
It’s time to invest in a flashlight where the battery can be charged with the built in hand crank or the built in solar panel.
Line Dry Clothes
An average dryer cycle uses a tremendous amount of energy and contributes to CO2 emissions. If everyone committed to hanging up one load of laundry outside each week, we would save over a million tonnes of CO2 in a year. Yes, you can dry them outside even in the winter!
- Solar–powered school buses. A town in Wisconsin is using solar panels to charge hybrid electric school buses.
How do you use the sun’s energy at home?
Disclaimer: I’m working in partnership with SolarCity for this post and I am compensated for my work. The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like.