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Simple Solar Solutions You Can Do To Help The Earth And Save Money Now!

Updated on December 25, 2012

The Sun: It’s more than just a pretty face!

Title: Yellow Sun Light ~ License: photoXpress License
Title: Yellow Sun Light ~ License: photoXpress License

The Answer is Hard to Miss in Texas!

Seems like we need more and more energy every day, and the cost of it just continues to skyrocket. Lots of people are saying we will soon run out of energy and that we should prepare ourselves for a future without electricity.

Between the oil companies declaring that there is “no alternative” to dependence upon petroleum products and the coal companies saying we have to keep destroying the earth if we want to keep on watching TV, using air conditioners and so on, it can be hard to see the very obvious fact that we have a free source of energy. The sun.

To outfit your whole house for solar is kind of expensive right now since the research into it keeps getting derailed by special interest groups who don’t want to see it happen, but the fact of the matter is, there are a few solar products you can use at home right now, inexpensively. When you do, you are voting with your wallet, and every little bit helps.

When you take just a few steps to make yourself less dependent on big oil and big coal, you are striking a blow for solar power and Mother Earth.

Are You Planning To Cook-Out This Summer?

Instead of a barbecue grill (or maybe in addition to it) get yourself a solar cooker. With a solar cooker, you can do just about all of your cooking outdoors using the power of the sun. When you do this, you are saving energy in two ways.

You are not using energy for cooking.
You are not heating up your home, so you use less energy for cooling.

A solar cooker can be used to cook all kinds of things without any gas or electricity. It can bake, boil or roast. It’s sort of a slow-cooker, and it can be used to cook for about five or six people.

Add a solar cooker to your “summer kitchen” to save money and energy and to offer your family more variety in summer cookouts. And if you don’t have a “summer kitchen” set up, get busy! Cooking out in the summer is a great way to bring friends and family together and enjoy the outdoors while saving energy at the same time!

Light Your Yard with the Sun - Even at Night!

It’s possible to light and power your whole house with solar power, but it’s sort of expensive for the average person, so far. There are lots of great alternatives for lighting your yard with solar power, though. Solar porch, patio and path lighting is affordable and easy to install. Usually, you don’t need anything more sophisticated than a hammer and/or a screwdriver.

Again, every time you make an energy-efficient, solar powered purchase, you are voting with your pocketbook and letting big oil and big coal know that you don’t need them for every little thing. Every time you don’t flip that light switch to “ON“ , you’re supporting special interests less and less.

Passive Solar Heating is Just Common Sense

Look around your home. Where do you get your best light? Do you take advantage of the sun that comes into your home, or did you put up dark curtains and leave them up on your west-facing windows?

Don’t wait to build your solar dream home! Make the most of the passive solar capabilities of the home you have by making the most of the sun you get in the winter-time. Be creative when you arrange your rooms. In the summer, use rooms on the east of your home for family activities. In the winter, shift to the west side of the house. It’ll make life more interesting!

If you own your home, or are renting in the long term, plant deciduous trees on the west side of the house. In the summer, when they are fully leafed out, they will shade your windows and keep your home cooler. In the winter, when the leaves fall, the sun will come through and warm your rooms.

Wise Window Treatments Are Good for Heating and Cooling

Put up some good quality, thermal drapes on all of your windows to keep heat in and cold out(or vice-versa), but don’t, just cover the windows and leave them that way. Use your drapes actively to block out the hot rays of the sun on hot days and to keep in warmth on cool nights. Be sure to open your drapes and let the sun in to warm your home on cold days.

Of course, if you live in an old house, you may not have energy efficient windows that will prevent cold air from blowing through when you have your curtains open. If you are renting or just can’t afford to have windows replaced, you can buy yourself some clear solar curtains! They’re cheap, and they let the sun in and keep the cold out. You can use them with your drapes (like sheers) for added thermal effect.

"The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun." ~ Ralph Nader

Use Your Imagination!

Look around your home and think about the various ways you can turn off the light switch and let the sun work for you. If you apply passive solar thinking to your everyday life in a consistent manner, you will begin to see your electric bill getting a bit smaller each month.

Little savings add up to big savings in time, for us and our wonderful planet!

Will You Vote With Your Pocketbook?

Are you willing to put some thought and effort into partnering with the Sun?

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    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Great habits! Thanks for reading and voting! ;D

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 4 years ago from India

      We always shut down all lights and have on off button on all plugs so electricity is not wasted. Also about solar house, Most of us in Delhi Live in apartments and for each apartment the cost can go in 1000s of $ so it is not yet economical yet here. But very good hub and lots of information. Voting it up, useful and awesome.

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Thanks for your comment! Apparently, the new high efficiency solar panels only need 5 hours a day of halfway decent sunlight to work well. The technology just keeps getting better and better, and I surely do hope it will replace big oil, coal and gas before it's too late!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Our son made a solar cooker in school. It worked pretty good. We can't get much solar here for our heat not enough sun. I watch my solar lights in the winter and very few nights are they shinning. Voted up on your interesting hub.

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 6 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Thanks jpcmc! Yes, I am excited to try the solar oven this summer. I like to cook out in the summer-time, and I think this new gadget will let me cook a lot more interesting meals and save energy inside and out! After all, it doesn't even need coal or propane! :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      voted up for being earth friendly.

      You're right energy cost is skyrocketing. Just take fuel for example, it's rising and I don't think it will go down just yet. Sustainable energy is an important issue that needs to be addressed and quickly.