We should start by answering the question. What is renewable energy? It is a form of energy, of which replaces itself naturally. Renewable energy resources help us to reduce the expensive energy sources we have grown to depend on. Sometimes there is controversy as to whether a renewable energy source is good or bad for the environment, but that is for another article.
There are several forms of renewable energy. A couple of the obvious ones we hear about often are wind and sun. There are also, water or (hydro-power), geothermal and biological processes too. It is obvious the strength of the renewable energy resources such as wind being strong enough to blow trees down, tornadoes and hurricanes strong enough to wipe out cities. The challenge we face is to harness that energy for use.
What is Green Renewable Energy
Everyone talks about being green these days. I remember, back in the day, we had green things like the “Green Goblin”, being “green with envy”. Sometimes “turning green” when my stomach was upset. That was usually after eating some, REALLY awful “pea green soup”. Everyone remembers Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham”.
Now we hear of green things like “Green Initiatives”, “Go Green”, or Green Renewable Energy. People even carry “Green Bags” to the store. They are usually blue, plaid or any color or design they want.
When we say Green Renewable Energy what we intend it to mean is a clean environment. Green renewable energy is something that does not deplete and we can rely on it being there forever. If it is clean, it will help us lower levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide. It will lessen our dependency on oil and fossil fuels. The result will be improved air, sea and land quality. Would that be nice? The reason we have environmental regulations is to help us each learn to “reduce our carbon footprint”. Of course, there is usually controversy with every subject as to whether it is good for the environment, or if there are side effects, which also depends on the severity of the side effect.
Renewable Energy Resources in your own Backyard
Everyone has opportunities to contribute to a greener environment. Way way back in the day, people had windmills on their farms. Now we are seeing wind turbines scattered all over the countryside.These turbines are supplying electricity for miles. Did you know that the wind turbines in Iowa are providing electricity to the city of New York? You hardly ever see anyone drying clothes on a clothesline anymore, but years ago, they used wind energy to dry clothes.
Another interesting green initiative found deep in the earth, is heat. Some new homes use geothermal heat. It uses the heat from the ground to keep homes warm during those cold Iowa winters. This is beginning to sound like an Iowa add, but there is a lot of green in Iowa. You will find green trees, green grass and green corn fields.
They not only eat corn, feed it to the livestock, or harvest it for seed, but they also convert it into plastics and fuel. The fuel helps the automobiles run cleaner. Finally, my personal favorite is renewable solar energy. Use it to heat your home, light your home, heat outdoor pools, run water pumps, recharge batteries, run streetlights, traffic signs and so much more.
Renewable Solar Energy is an Economical Way to Contribute
One of the easiest things the average citizen can do, to work toward environmentally friendly living, is to use solar lights where ever possible in place of electric or oil. As I walk around the neighborhood I notice many opportunities for people to make a difference.
I saw lampposts along a driveway that are old and need of repair. Most likely, the wiring on them is unsafe and certainly drawing unnecessary electricity. They should replace it with a solar lamppost. Motion sensor lights on a house or garage are also available in solar models. They even work with overhangs, because the solar panel is up to 9 feet away. It can be costly running electric wires underground to supply traditional pathway lights. Place solar lights wherever you want, and then move them, again, and again little effort. Fence post lights come in a wide variety of styles as do fences. They work well on privacy fences, railings and gates. The big hitters are shed lights. Think of the cost savings when you realize you do not need to run electricity out to the shed that is way out there in the back yard. Mounting a small solar panel on the outside of the shed and the light fixture inside provides enough bright light to do the job. Do you hang lights out for holidays? Electric bills go up in December due to all of the Christmas lights, but that is not necessary either since string lights are available as solar lights.
Do you like to camp, or engage in some other outdoor activity that could extend in to the night? Solar lanterns and solar powered battery chargers will pay for themselves with only three uses. Solar landscape lights have an endless number of opportunities to add curb appeal to your home. Most of which are simple such as; solar garden figurines, solar stake lights and solar spotlights, which all have a variety of uses.
The best things about using renewable solar energy, is that it is free, environmental side effects are little to none, and it is easy. The sun charges the rechargeable batteries during the day. Then at night when the sun goes down, the sensor turns the lights on. The lights stay lit all night long even on days when the sun does not come out. So it is inexpensive and easy. How can you possibly beat that?