Green Your Living How to Think and be Green Sat, 04 Jun 2011 00:29:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Advantages Of Solar Energy On Your Life Sat, 04 Jun 2011 00:27:29 +0000 There certainly are quite a number of advantages of solar energy for most of us today. More and more it is being used to supplement or replace conventional power sources like gas or oil for heating your home or electricity for the power grid.

You can save a lot of money on your existing energy bills by switching over to this greener technology. This is important because of our ever increasing costs of electricity due to the rising costs of fossil fuels and the fact that our environment is being destroyed by our extreme use of these non renewable energy sources.

But in order to really understand the advantages of utilizing solar energy, you need to understand how solar energy really works. We utilize solar energy in basically 2 forms, thermal energy to heat our homes or to generate electricity to power our homes. Both utilize the sun’s rays to generate energy. And we don’t have to pay a dime for that energy.

Though to set up a solar system for your home come with an initial significant investment, you will certainly reap the benefits for many years to come. The thing is that these solar systems will provide either additional electricity or all your home’s day-to-day electricity needs depending on the system you install.

You can also lower the initial set up costs by making your own solar panels (which isn’t that hard) or with government grants and rebates. Not only that but with net metering, you can sell any electricity you generate that you don’t need back to the utility company.

One great thing about solar energy systems is they need little to no maintenance after they are set up and working because they have no moving parts.

Here are some more of the many advantages of solar energy at home.
– You will save money by reducing your utility company bills
– You will lower carbon emissions from the use of oil and gas i.e. it is pollution free and generates no greenhouse gases
– This will reduce the power companies’ dependence on these fossil fuels and foreign oil. – Therefore you will lower your impact on the environment and reduce the effects of climate change
– The distance from source to consumption is virtually eliminated therefore delivery loss and costs are eliminated as well.
– You will benefit from the limitless free power source, the sun

Nowadays living greener is becoming a high priority for many home owners because it lowers the impact on the environment.

So you see, the advantages of solar power are not only many but far-reaching. Using solar power as a source of energy is one that we have only recently started to take advantage of because of its cost and a lack of technology. But with new technologies, lower prices and its many advantages it could easily become our main energy source in the not too distant future.

By learning more about solar power like through articles like this one you are well on your way to making solar energy a part of your future. Why not get started today?

]]> 8
What Are The Pros and Cons Solar Energy Has? Sun, 15 May 2011 14:25:22 +0000 Because our hydro bills just keep getting higher and higher each year increasingly people are buying solar systems for their home. Perhaps you are even considering installing a solar system for your home as well. When you start looking at the pros and cons solar energy really has many. So before you purchase a solar system for your home you really should consider them.

So here are some of the Pros and they certainly are many when utilizing solar energy.
– First, there is no worry of us running out of sunlight. Solar power gets its energy directly from the sun therefore it’s a renewable and sustainable energy source. Unfortunately this is not true of fossil fuels, which are becoming increasingly scarce.
– Another thing about solar energy is that it creates no pollution thus it is clean and renewable and very environmentally friendly.
 pros and cons solar energy– Another pro is that it saves you buying electricity and therefore money on your utility bills.
– The solar panels that collect the electricity for your home are virtually maintenance free and can last for many years.
– It is also very useful in remote locations where it cost thousands to get connected to the grid.
– And lastly, you will become less dependent on things like fossil fuel and will not have to worry about the constant increase of prices!

On the other hand some of the Cons are:
– The costs to get set-up can be very high depending how you approach it, though there are presently many rebates and incentives from government that can help defray those costs.
– Our ability to harness power from the sun is still limited in comparison to what we are able to get by using coal or oil.
– Another thing is it can’t work at night, or during rains due to the lack of sun, though the photo cells today can still work in low light. Still today in areas that get a lot of rain during the year, solar energy is not cost effective at all.

It seem whenever solar energy comes up, people want to bring up the pros or the cons. However, other people think that no matter what the pros and cons are, the truth is we need to find ways of generating renewable energy whether we like it or not. This is because our present resources are being depleted at an unsustainable rate. Therefore they want us to believe we have to harness the sun’s energy regardless of whether it is good or bad. I think it is that kind of thinking that has got us into trouble in the first place.

That being said I do believe the pros far outweigh the cons with no down side for the environment or sustainability. Yes it will cost us to get residential systems set up and working but the cost of that energy afterward is very little.

Just think of a future with limitless electricity with virtually no cost. If we leave it up to the government there will be a cost and most of the time far higher than we want to pay. If we set up our own home solar energy systems we could put the government right out of the energy business.

Think future energy: think solar.

]]> 7
Energy Saving Habits That Will Save You Money Sun, 31 Oct 2010 14:50:19 +0000 I am sure you remember as a child being asked if you were “born in a barn” by your mother. So why is this important? The reason is there are many small, even simple energy saving habits we can incorporate into our daily living that can improve our energy usage. We really don’t have to do much of anything except change some habits.

What you really need to do is get yourself into doing some new habits and before long you will notice changes. While one small thing like switching a light off isn’t going to make much difference on your bill. On the other hand combining this with other good habits will give you some real improvement in quick order.

So here are some really good habits that, if you put them into practice, will give you some great energy saving benefits.

 energy saving habitsAppliance Use
First, let’s look at how you use your appliances. Certain appliances generate heat more than others. The oven or cook top as well as your washer and dryer are the major ones.
During the summer months, whenever possible, use these during the cooler parts of the day. By using them in the morning or in the evening, you will minimize your air conditioning from having to kick on. By using them during the day your air conditioning unit will have to work harder using more energy and therefore costing you more.
During the winter, using them early or late in the day will help you to keep your home warmer in the coldest times of the day. This also will keep your furnace from having to work as hard and therefore use less energy.

Cook Tops
Electric cook tops can be a problem if you’re trying to save energy. They use quite a bit of electricity to cook effectively. One thing to minimize the energy used is to make sure you are using the right size burner for the pot you are using.
Another thing is to make sure the bottom of your pan is flat. Pots that have rounded bottoms have less surface area actually touching the cook top. This will cause it to take longer to heat up and therefore use more energy to cook the same meal.
If you have a gas stove, keep the surfaces cleaned. Also keep the carbon build up around the actual pilots clean as well. The cleaner they are the better they will work. If they are working better they will use less gas for cooking thus lowering your costs.

 energy saving habitsWashing Clothing
First of all, when washing your clothes only run full loads of laundry. By just washing a few items, you are simply wasting energy.
Another idea is to wash your clothes with cold water detergent. These detergents work well in cold water, meaning you don’t have to use as much hot water for doing your laundry. In this way you lessen the demand on your hot water heater and therefore lower your energy costs significantly.

 energy saving habitsAnother thing is to make sure that the weight of the clothes be taken into consideration. By washing and drying like weights together can reduce the amount of time some items need to be in the dryer. For example, if you wash towels together, which require longer periods of time to dry, you can save energy when you wash light weight t-shirts.
You need to keep your washer and dryer working their best. With the dryer there are two things to do. First, clean the interior flint filter after every load. This allows the clothes to dry faster. Second, clean the pipe that runs from the dryer to the outside wall every six months for optimal use.

]]> 2
Start Small For Big Savings part2 Sat, 16 Oct 2010 02:34:05 +0000 Your Furnace

Your furnace is one of the largest users of energy in your home. Therefore it makes sense to do anything that will keep those costs lower. One simple and effective way to keep your furnace running efficiently is to change the furnace filters often.

 making your home energy efficient Both your air conditioning and your heating units have filters that allow air to pass through them. When these filters get clogged with dust and other stuff, the furnace has to work harder to get the air to go through your unit and therefore that costs money.

The harder it works the more energy it will use. In fact, if they are really clogged up, it can cause your furnace to overheat and cause other parts of the furnace to fail.

Filters are not a costly item. They cost just a few dollars and they are easy to replace. Yet, people just don’t take care of it as often as they should. I recommend you check your furnace filters at least quarterly.

There are several different types of filters you can buy. The standard type, are very inexpensive to purchase and are disposable. Some people dispose of these each month just as a regular routine.

 making your home energy efficient There are also fairly expensive ones, allergen and small particle filters. You won’t want to dispose of these each month. Instead, put it up to the light and see if light can make it through, if not, then it is time to replace it. These may have to be replaced once every three to six months.

You may also have a self charging electrostatic filter. These filters are great but they still need your attention. You should clean them monthly by rinsing them from the clean side. These filters usually need to be replaced only every several years.

Another thing you should do for your furnace is to have it checked and cleaned each year by a professional. This will help improve the overall efficiency of the unit. Most heating and cooling experts say that having your furnace checked regularly can help you to save throughout the year.

Ceiling Fans

You can save a fair amount of money by using ceiling fans if they are used right. If you do not have one or more ceiling fans in your house you should consider adding them. Most of the time, they are not too costly, and can even be found quite inexpensively.

 making your home energy efficient In the summer, use your ceiling fan in a counterclockwise direction. This will draw the cooler air from up from the floor and will keep air moving. Moving air feels cooler and therefore you will not need to use your air conditioning as much. This will allow you to keep the thermostat set higher and still feel comfortable. An air conditioning unit uses a lot more energy than a ceiling fan. So using a fan will save you money.

In the winter, you should use fans as well. Here though you want them to spin at their lowest setting and in reverse or clockwise. This will push the hot air that rises to the ceiling back down to where you are sitting or standing.

At the lowest setting, it won’t cause a breeze yet it will keep the furnace from having to go on as much thus saving you money.

There is no doubt that you may be thinking that these suggestions I am making are going to cost you some money. That is true and it will also take a little time on your part.
Yet, the benefits of doing these things are without question. There is no doubt that you can lower your energy costs by investing a little money in these projects.

Start Small For Big Savings Sat, 09 Oct 2010 17:48:02 +0000 Over the next few articles we will talk about several different tips and tricks to helping you save money on your home’s energy needs.

But, as the title suggests, it is almost always beneficial to start small and work up to larger green improvement to your home. So we are going to begin talking about some of the small, inexpensive ways you can begin to see energy efficiency in your home.

Here are some pretty simple things you can do to get started at saving your hard earned money.

Your Water Heater

 making your home energy efficient There are several things that you can improve with your water heater to see benefits in energy savings.

Most people cannot use straight hot water and that’s where some savings can come in. So you are heating water only to mix it with cold water so it is usable. By lowering the hot water temperature to the lowest comfortable setting for your needs you can save a great deal of energy. Most hot water heaters have dials that you can use to turn the temperature down. Just do not drop it below 120 F, as below 120 is an unsafe level for bacteria and sanitation reasons.

You could also install a timer on your water heater. What is the sense of warming water over and over during the day or night if you are not going to be using it for several hours? Just set the timer to kick back on before you come home from work or get up in the morning so that hot water is ready and waiting for you.

Maybe one of the largest benefits is to have your water heater insulated. Yes I know your water heater is already insulated so now you just need to take it to a higher level. By adding insulation around the outside of your water heater, you will keep more of the heat inside the water heater and therefore reduce the energy used to heat it up.

You can purchase premade insulation blankets for hot water heaters that you can easily apply to your hot water heater. These take just minutes to install. Or you make your own blanket with strips of insulation cut to size and use duct tape to keep it in place.

Just be careful not to cover the areas where gas or piping are located otherwise the water heater will not function properly for you.

Your Piping

 making your home energy efficient Another easy energy saving solution for you to consider is to insulate your home’s piping. Your hot water pipes carry hot water to the various faucets in your home.
So it is important to insure that while the hot water is traveling from the hot water heater to its destination it stays as hot as possible. Simply by insulating the pipes you can insure that the water temperature does not drop from the hot water heater to where you will use it.

All you need to do is purchase and install some pre-made foam pipe insulation available at most hardware and lumber stores.

It is easy to cut to the proper lengths with a sharp knife so that you can insert it over the piping. Make sure to measure for a snug fit too and snap it onto the piping. When you come to a corner, joint or other angle, all you need to do is to bend the foaming to form fit over the piping. Most of the time, this is easy to do. Then, use duct tape to cover any of the slits you have made and the joints.

It is a good idea to do the cold pipes as well. These pipes often sweat and then drip onto the other hot pipes, again, lowering the temperature in them. Insulating your pipes can help to protect them from freezing and or breaking during winter months.

For more great ideas look for part 2.

]]> 1
Making Your Home Energy Efficient Sun, 26 Sep 2010 23:43:49 +0000 Are you ready to find out how energy efficient your home is? Most of us do have some things that they can do, some big and some small, that could cut the costs and up the efficiency of home.

 making your home energy efficient It doesn’t matter whether you just want to drop a few dollars off your energy bills or wanting to make some big changes. Maybe you’re looking for a better way to fuel your home completely. Whatever your goal is, know this that doing just a few things can make a big difference to your home’s energy bills.

Maybe you’re still thinking why bother with cost efficiency anyway. You may even think you can afford the bills so why bother. (though I don’t know anyone personally with that attitude) I bet you’d be shocked to learn that you could be losing up to 25% maybe even more of the energy in your home. Now I sure could use the money for something different than my energy bills and I’m sure you could to. You literally could be flushing your money down the drain and you don’t need to.

The good news is that making your home more energy efficient isn’t a huge challenge to accomplish. It’s also not overly costly. At least you can do a lot without laying out a lot of money. There are some changes that can cost quite a lot of money to make happen in your home. But these are usually the things that will save you a lot of money and of course that is a part of what needs to be taken into consideration in your plans.

 making your home energy efficient As you will see over the next number of articles there are plenty of things that you will be able to do to make your home more energy efficient. You will discover your home’s ability to use energy more wisely from just about every aspect you can imagine.

First though, we need to take the time to really look at our home and analyze if in fact making the change is worth it.

There are people and companies out there with products that they promise will save you a great deal of money. Like with a lot of things you can invest a great deal of money only to wind up not saving much at all. So being informed is a great way to help you make wise decisions.

 making your home energy efficient The best thing for anyone who is looking to improve their ability to use their home’s energy wisely is to take a good look at their use of energy. Then what might be needed to make the changes necessary to improve or lower their energy consumption. What is needed may be a product. Then you need to know how that product is used, the cost of the product and the cost of the installation. At this point it is much easier to determine if in fact the product is able to make up those funds through energy savings in a reasonable time frame. Some won’t. Others will but that is how you determine to cost effectiveness of the product.

So over the next number of articles you will learn things that you can do right away to improve the energy efficiency of your home. I am sure you will also discover different ways to save money on some of the everyday needs you have.

You will also find yourself living in a more efficient and environmentally friendly home.

How to Save on Gasoline Usage Sat, 18 Sep 2010 19:55:11 +0000 If you have been spending more than you want or can afford on your gasoline consumption, there are several things you can do.

 How to Save on Gasoline Saving gasoline doesn’t necessarily mean using your car less often, though that might help. Saving on gas really means getting better gasoline mileage or maximizing the amount of gasoline you use.

Most of us can’t do away without driving which means using gasoline, we just have to learn how to maximize our gasoline consumption and save more. And today, with the price of gasoline the way it is, maximizing our consumption will definitely mean more money in your pocket.

So here are a few Tips and reminders on How to Save on Gasoline.

Your Car

 How to Save on Gasoline 1. Having a regular tune up on your car can do wonders. A regularly tuned up car will not only mean longer life span of the vehicle but can also guarantee better gas mileage. Your gasoline consumption depends a lot on how you maintain your car’s condition.

2. Check your tires pressure. Why? Simply because if your tire pressures are low the more gasoline you will use. Your tires will also wear out faster. Always keep your tires inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications. A tire that is inflated by 2 PSI could reduce your car’s gas usage by 1%.

3. Check the condition of your cars filters. Filters may be one of the most neglected parts on a car. New clean filters will make your car’s engine more efficient and therefore give you better gasoline consumption. If your car has a dirty air filter or gas filter, replacing them will absolutely perk up your car’s gasoline mileage by up to 10%. Besides, having clean air filters ensures your car engine’s optimum performance.

Driving Habits

 How to Save on Gasoline 4. Don’t try to be a racer. Driving fast won’t only get you into trouble with the law but can also waste a lot of gasoline. For example, if you drive at 105kph instead of 88kph, you are increasing your gasoline consumption up to 17%. That is a lot of gasoline, and when converted into dollars you’d be amazed.

5. Break more gently and accelerate more slowly. Breaking and accelerating faster will not only be hard on your car’s condition and tires but can also increase you gasoline consumption more than 18%. So when you are driving, try not to accelerate too quickly and try to anticipate the traffic ahead so that you can apply measured, steady brakes.

6. Reduce wind resistance by keeping your windows closed as you travel. Dragging can really aggravate fuel consumption. It will definitely take more force to move your car through the wind with its windows open and this means using more gas.

Be organized

7. Organizing your shopping trips can not only make life easier but can also save you money. Try buying all the groceries you need for a week on a single trip to the store. It’s even better if you can find all of the things you need in a single store. In this way, you can cut back on fuel use.

All of these things can, in some way or another, help you save on gas. If you are conscious of where your money goes it will be easier for you to find cost-effective ways to save money.

Mopeds and Scooters are very Fuel Efficient Sat, 11 Sep 2010 18:27:30 +0000 Mopeds are very fuel efficient and similar to motorcycles in many ways. There is one main difference though. You can’t use them to travel on highways. The highest speed they will go is about 50 kilometers an hour. This would make you a hazard to yourself and others on a busy highway.

 mopeds and scooters Mopeds have very small engines no more than 50cc’s. This means it is very economical on fuel. It gives you enough power to get around and go to work or do errands but not enough to really harm yourself. Nevertheless, you should always wear a helmet when you operate one for safety sake.

Most places you will need to be 16 years old and to have a valid driver’s license to operate one. The rules vary so make sure you find out what they are in your area. A valid operator’s license often requires completing a course as well as a written test and sometimes a road test as well. In some areas though, if you already have a valid driver’s license issued before 2001 you don’t need any further licensing.

 mopeds and scooters Mopeds are really great for operating in town. They are also very simple to operate and it doesn’t take as much effort to balance as a motorcycle. This is partly due to the fact that they are extremely lightweight.

Most mopeds feature a basket on the front in which you can place some items. So if you need to run a few errands you have a place to put the things you are picking up. You will only have enough room for a few basic items as these baskets are not large.

Mopeds only cost a couple thousand dollars new so they are very economical. If you can get a used one, if you take the time to look, you’ll pay even less.


Scooters are even more economical then mopeds. In terms of speed they are a notch below mopeds. Electric models won’t go more than 33 kilometers per hour. With them you can get around faster and easier than using a regular bicycle. They are great if you live in a small area where things are relatively close or you don’t have access to public transportation.

The laws are quite varied when it comes to operating a scooter legally. The type of scooter also makes a difference to this. In some areas you can be quite young and still operate one legally. In most areas though you will need to be the same age as required to legally operate any vehicle and have a valid driver’s license.

 mopeds and scooters Scooters may or may not use gas depending on which model you select. Some scooters (the more expensive ones) look like mopeds but they can be battery and electricity operated. Those that do use gas don’t consume very much of it and are very economical.

Some scooters are very small and you stand on a board that is similar to a skateboard. They have an adjustable T handle that you use to maneuver the scooter.

Gas powered scooters have a small gas tank on the side that can hold up to five gallons of gas depending on the type of scooter you have. Many of them have a pull start that you use to start them and get them going before they give you the necessary power to move about.

Mopeds and scooters are the most economical vehicles you can use to get around. They definitely have their limitations but just think of all the money on gas you will be saving. They are also much better for our environment.

]]> 1
Motorcycles are a Fuel Efficient Vehicle Sun, 05 Sep 2010 12:51:14 +0000 Motorcycles it seems in the past were only used as a secondary vehicle. They were enjoyed by people who wanted to get out and enjoy a nice day on the open road. They were enjoyed on long road trips and for cruising the streets with a feeling of freedom.

 motorcycle Today people are using them to commute to work and essential other travel around the city. You, I’m sure, have noticed a lot more motorcycles out there on the road. This has a lot to do with the cost of fuel as you can get more mileage out of a motorcycle than a car.

Motorcycles though are not good for an only vehicle unless you use public transit the rest of the time. Below some of those problems are listed.

Since you are out in the open there is a risk of more serious injury when you get involved in an accident. Motorists don’t always pay attention to motorcycles on the road. Sometimes this is because they are small and end up in the blind spot. Other times it’s because the motorcycle operator is not driving safely weaving in and out of traffic.

 motorcycle Make sure you always wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and a helmet when you operate a motorcycle. The helmet in most places is mandated by law. You definitely want to protect your body as much as possible in the event of an accident. A helmet can definitely save your life so don’t leave it behind even if you are only going for a very short trip.

You can’t always rely on your motorcycle when the weather is bad. Being out on it in a rain storm is no fun and can be a safety issue. Also if you live in a region where the temperatures turn really cold and snow is common. If this is true then your motorcycle will need to be stored during the winter months.

For Errands
It is also difficult to ride a motorcycle to get your groceries or to pick up the dry cleaning. You can add a carrier for small packages though. Even so, you can use it as much as possible when the weather is nice and you don’t have such errands to run.

 motorcycle Motorcycle prices are really quite affordable in comparison to cars though it depends on what you want. The size of the motor as well as the brand will influence the price. You can also have one custom made for you rather than get a stock model. If you compare the cost of a new one versus a used one you are more apt to get the best deal.

Be aware that to operate a motorcycle you will need to have a motorcycle license as well as your regular car license. You will need to check to see what regulations are in place in your area. You don’t want to be breaking the law in order to save some money on gas prices. You will also need to make sure you take a look at the cost of motorcycle insurance and other factors so you can budget for the cost.

You definitely will save money on gas by riding a motorcycle as much as possible. Then when you have to use your other vehicle you will have to do your best to cut costs in other ways when it comes to filling up at the pump.

So what is or what makes a ‘hybrid’ vehicle? Sat, 28 Aug 2010 12:42:08 +0000 For over 100 years cars as we know them have been using oil derivates for fuel. Gasoline and diesel both have significant power levels when ignited, they were relatively easy to obtain and for a long time their prices have been low enough to be widely available.

 ‘hybrid’ vehicle Today gas prices keep soaring and there will be no relief for consumers on the ever increasing price of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are just not a sustainable, renewable energy source. This has made the sale of hybrid vehicles a positive thing in the minds of consumers. The higher gas prices go, the higher the sales tend to be for hybrid vehicles as people try every which way to find ways to live more economically. They also have another large disadvantage. The gases that result after their ignition are very pollutant and are contributing to the problem of global warming.

A typical hybrid electric vehicle or HEV as they are called in the industry has become a very popular option to consider if you are in the market for a new or replacement vehicle.

But in simple terms what makes a hybrid a HIBRID vehicle?
As the word implies it is a combination or mix between two things. The ‘hybrid’ actually in effect has TWO engines. One is electric and the other is an internal combustion engine (which we all know, love and are used to). These engines can work independently or together in a collaborative way to make your car perform the way you want and need it to, consistently.

 ‘hybrid’ vehicle The hybrid cars engines generally run on an either or basis. That is until the car requires more power, to go much faster, or for passing, changing lanes or starting off quickly. That is when the combination of the two engines together delivers the power and performance that you want and need.

Gasoline is used to start the car and to recharge the battery with electricity. The battery stores this electricity and then uses it to provide a lot of the energy to power the car. The excess energy that comes from the gasoline engine is used mostly to recharge the batteries. Their batteries can also be recharged at fuel stations where the car can literally plug in and charge up.

A micro-controller or small computer in the car switches a hybrid car from one fuel source to another when certain conditions arise. Commonly, this onboard computer switches the car from electricity to gas when the car reaches a certain speed. Usually this is around 50 to 60 MPH. Another condition is when the battery is low the car must also switch to gasoline. These batteries are very good and powerful but can usually only take a car up to 100 miles.

 ‘hybrid’ vehicle If you are looking particularly for a low emission, fuel efficient and downright wonderfully aerodynamic, automotive style and design, then the Hybrids are for you! Given their advantages, it is hardly surprising that hybrid cars have been gaining in popularity, with the major auto manufacturers like Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Lexus, Toyota, Honda and Renault all in the market.

But what makes a hybrid car even better is the fact that it is a “green”, or eco-friendly car with low operating costs, and hence ideal in these times of extreme pollution and skyrocketing fuel costs.

If you are looking for a new car, these new hybrid vehicles may be just what you are looking for.