Monthly Archives: January 2018

Six Easy Strategies You Can Use Today to Take Advantage of Solar Energy

Many people believe that using solar is difficult. For decades, people were told that solar and other forms of alternative energy was impractical. No doubt, solar is much easier to use today than it was just ten years ago, but many of the ways you can use solar today, could have also been used decades ago. The world is definitely waking up to the power and potential of solar energy. Solar technology has matured and now businesses and governments worldwide are adopting solar at ever increasing rates. In short, solar is ready for “prime time.”


Strategy #1 Try Passive Solar

The amount of energy that could be saved by adopting and using passive solar is staggering. Passive solar can be as simple as opening your curtains or raising your blinds on a sunny day. No doubt this may sound too simple to be effective, but passive solar in this form can really help to heat up your home in the winter.  Don’t underestimate the potential of good old-fashioned sun exposure. Over the course of a year, it can also dramatically lower your electricity bill.


Strategy #2 Consider Skylights

Another relatively easy way to get solar energy working on your behalf comes in the form of installing skylights. This is also considered passive solar. Skylights not only provide additional lighting and reduce the amount of electricity used, but they also provide additional heating to top floors via solar energy.


Converted attic spaces and top floors with skylights can help reduce heating bills in the winter as a warmer second floor helps keep an entire home warmer. Ideally, skylights should be combined with attic insulation. Attic insulation is one of the smartest home improvements any homeowner can make and it will definitely help you get more out of the passive solar benefits of skylights. When selecting insulation, consider eco-friendly options such as blue-jean insulation, which is very effective but largely free of the chemicals that comprise most insulation options.


There is another great way to get the most out of skylights’ passive solar heating benefits. Consider adding window insulation film over your skylights in the winter, as this will help trap in heat. Combine this idea with quality insulation and you will definitely benefit from passive solar.


Strategy #3 Get a Solar Water Heater

Switching over to solar can be a big and still somewhat costly venture. However, a solar water heater is a much more manageable option. Solar water heaters effectively heat water up during the day and can cut your hot water heating budget by a large margin. The simple step of switching to a solar water heater will also help the planet and lower your carbon footprint considerably.


Strategy #4 Start Using Solar Powered Lights


Solar powered outdoor lights and path lights are an easy way to put solar to work for you. Solar energy can be easy and outdoor solar powered lights are an excellent example of this fact. Solar power walkway lights have small solar panels on the top and work to provide illumination during the day. The amount of light isn’t huge, but it is enough to get the job done, even on a relatively cloudy day. Consumers are also happy to know that getting these special lights require only a minimal financial investment.

Another outdoor solar power light option worth exploring comes in the form of security lighting. Wired security lighting can be expensive to install, but outdoor solar security lights say the expense of hiring an electrician. Best of all, you will also save on your electricity bill year-round. Solar powered security lights usually have motion sensors built right in meaning that they can be set to only go off when triggered by a large enough object. Opt for solar powered security lights and you’ll have a quick and easy way to add addition light and security to the outside of your home.


Strategy #5 Power Your Gadgets with a Portable Solar Panel


Portable solar panels are cheap and easy to use. Simply visit an online retailor such as Amazon and you’ll see that small solar panels, which can be used to recharge small electronics such as cell phones, laptops and flashlights are inexpensive. If you want to find ways both large and small to reduce your annual energy bill and lower your carbon footprint then you’ll want to explore this worthwhile option.

There is another interesting way to use a portable solar panel as well. Consider charging a portable lamp with your portable solar panel during the day and then using that lamp at night. Instead of having several lightbulbs burning in your bathroom when you get ready for bed, use your solar powered portable lamp at night. There are even portable lamps that have the solar panels built right in. Having a portable solar panel and a solar powered lamp are two smart tools to have handy for when the power goes out.


Strategy #6 Solar Powered Workshop Radio


Another smart gadget to have ready in case of an emergency is a solar powered radio. Instead of letting your solar powered radio gather dust, however, you can use it as a workshop or office radio. If you are currently using a regular powered radio then consider switching over to a solar powered radio for at least a couple of days a month. Again, this simple move will save you energy and lower your carbon footprint.

Luckily, solar has become very easy in the last decades. The days of having to struggle to figure out how best to use solar are long gone. Solar is getting easier and cheaper every year. Solar gadgets are often thought of as “emergency gadgets” but the simple fact is that solar gadgets are more useful and user-friendly than ever before. Consider incorporating solar into your everyday life and everyday activities. You’ll be glad you did!

Posted by January 19, 2018 at 10:14 PM under Alternative Energy Environment
The Top Six Innovative Eco-Friendly Home Products

The words “eco-friendly” did not appear on too many peoples’ radar just a few years ago, but today the world is a very different place. Increased awareness regarding the dangerous of toxic chemicals and pollutants both for the world and people have helped to make eco-friendly a fixture in our society. As a result, eco-friendly products are now everywhere. That stated, it is important to remember that just because a product has earned an “eco-friendly” label doesn’t necessarily mean that it is people or animal friendly.


Just as “gluten free” doesn’t necessarily mean that a food is healthy. For example, there are many gluten free foods that are packed with chemicals, high levels of sodium and sugar, the same holds true for eco-friendly products.


In this article, we are going to explore a few eco-friendly home products that will keep you and your family healthy while at the same time looking out for the planet; after all, we only have one planet and it is imperative that we start taking the best care of it possible. Use these products and you can help take some of the stress off the planet.


Eco-Friendly Product One- Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is definitely not “sexy” but humans certainly use a lot of it. Of course, toilet paper comes from trees and it takes a lot, a whole lot of trees to handle our daily usage. The seemingly simple act of switching over to recycled, eco-friendly toilet paper will save not only trees, but water and energy as well. It takes all three, energy, water and trees to make toilet paper. In fact, a surprising amount of energy and water are used in the production of toilet paper.


The downside of eco-friendly toilet paper is that it can be considerably more expensive than “regular” toilet paper, however, buying eco-friendly toilet paper is a relatively easy way to reduce stress on the planet. By voting with your dollar, you are telling manufacturers that you want products that eco-friendly.


So while toilet paper might not seem like an area where one expects a lot of innovation, the simple fact is that toilet paper made from recycled toilet paper is, in fact, potentially one of the world’s most eco-friendly innovations.


Eco-Friendly Product Two- Eco-Friendly Bathroom and Kitchen Cleaning Products

The majority of the time most homeowners don’t need “super-tough” cleaning products. Soap and water usually does just fine for most household cleaning jobs.


The simple fact is that the massive household cleaning product industry has spent billions convincing us that our houses are so dirty that they need powerful, super rough and tough chemicals to obliterate household germs, but this isn’t the case. The average American home can be cleaned with soap, water and occasionally a mixture of water and vinegar or water and hydrogen peroxide for areas such as the toilet. Expensive cleaning products are not only harming your pocketbook but the health of the planet’s water supplies as well. If you feel that you need a cleaner in a bottle then opt for those that are made from all-natural ingredients instead of chemicals.


Eco-Friendly Product Three- Alternative Countertops

Kitchen countertops are heavy and require a great deal of energy to make. Selecting a beautiful material like marble is tempting, but it takes a tremendous amount of energy to make countertops from materials such as marble.


Mining, cutting and transporting a stone like marble takes a staggering amount of energy. This is, of course, the bad news. The good news is that there are alternatives that are both effective and durable.


Quite stunningly, one option is paper. While at first glance, a paper countertop might sound like a bad idea, it is important to remember that wood block countertops have been popular for years. In addition to wood block countertops, there is a new generation of wood based countertops that are made from sustainable forests. This new generation of wood based countertops have been engineered to be durable and long lasting.


Another countertop alternative is glass. A particularly great eco-friendly option comes in the form of recycled glass. Recycled glass countertops can be surprisingly tough and attractive.


Eco-Friendly Product Four- Eco-Friendly Paints

A large percentage of the paints on the market, while durable, are packed full of potentially harmful chemicals. Low-VOC paints have become popular in recent years, as many homeowners realized the dangers represented by VOCs.


While this is a step in the right direction, there are many eco-friendly paints on the market. Eco-friendly paint is both low or free in VOC and will not harm the planet. The next time you paint, consider choosing an eco-friendly option.


Eco-Friendly Product Five- Alternative Concrete Stains

Why stain your concrete floor? It can really enhance the look and feel of the floor, no matter if it’s at home or at the office. You can use different colors and even patterns. The color goes deep into the concrete and ends up being quite permanent.


Typical wood and concrete stains are mostly chemicals and petroleum based products. However, in recent years, as concrete stained floors gained in popularity, several companies have put a new spin on concrete floor staining. Non-toxic soy based concrete stains not only look great, but they are also very eco-friendly and will last for years.


Eco-Friendly Product Six- Bamboo Everything

Bamboo is a truly amazing product, especially for the home. Bamboo, which is technically a grass, grows at an impressive rate. It takes years for bamboo to begin growing above ground, but once it does start growing it can grow several feet per year!


As a result, bamboo is perfect for everything from flooring to furniture and more. Best of all, bamboo takes very little energy to grow, is comparatively easy to harvest and is most definitely renewable. In short, the more bamboo you can use in your house or next remodeling mission the better.


A lot of material goes into the creation of your home and its maintenance. Opting for eco-friendly products is the right move both for the planet and the humans that live on it. More and more, you’ll see innovative options becoming available.


Posted by January 06, 2018 at 4:21 PM under Environment Home Living Tips