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How You Can Protect Your Environment With Renewable Energy

Updated on March 10, 2020
Mpfana Manu profile image

Mpfana Manu is a mechatronic engineer who's working in green energy electronics products.

The discovery of most renewable energy sources where not a big deal until people started to realise more of the effects of using traditional energy sources. In this article, you'll learn the environmental problems caused by traditional energy sources and also you'll learn how you can play your part to solve those problems for your environment and the environment of your children and grandchildren that will come.

The traditional source of energy has always been burning fossil fuel. For cars, trains, heaters, lights and even generating electricity itself. The only renewable energy source that already has a significant history is hydroelectric power, where electricity is generated by turbines that are turned by falling masses of water.

Burning fuels (coal, petrol etc) may seem to be the only effective way for some industries like the car industry but the evidence against these fossil fuels is continuously growing. These environmental problems are the evidence.

Acid rain

Forest dying due to acid rain
Forest dying due to acid rain

The burning of fossil fuels releases sulphur dioxide(SO2) and nitrogen oxides(NOx) into the atmosphere. These gases go under a series of complex transformation reactions with water in the atmosphere. The result is acidic rain which is harmful to ecosystems that are sensitive to the pH of water.

The water affects the plants, the plants affect the bugs, the bugs affect their successors in the food chain and it goes on. Most plants die and in aquatic ecosystems, shallow water fish die.

Some people may not care about other animals but mind that we're also part of the food chain. We depend on plants, trees and animals for food and medicines. So if not for the bugs out there, lets pay attention and solve this problem for our sake.

Global warming

The climate change we're witnessing today is a result of the accumulation of green house gases in the atmosphere. The most contributing green house gas is carbon dioxide, which is hugely made off burning fossil fuels. Too much of green house gases in the atmosphere cause more heat to be trapped on the globe, causing global warming.

The symptoms of global warming are not so friendly, they even threaten the existence of human settlements especially at sea shores. So far, sea levels have risen by about 20cm and other lands have been covered. And if we don't act together, the problem will only worsen for us and it'll be even worse for future generations.

Playing your part in solving these environmental problems

There are more problems though. I've only highlighted two of the most serious ones to give you a reason to pay attention and act. The world is going through a transition right now. A transition of neglecting non-renewables and embracing renewables, and you want to join the trend.

Now billions of dollars are getting invested in the research and development of technologies that were once rendered as ineffective. For example, the solar powered aeroplanes, electric cars and bikes. All governments and big companies are promoting and financing this transition. But you, the individual here's what you can do to play your part.

Reduce your carbon footprint by installing a solar system at your home.

There are several options to choose from depending on your needs. You can install a solar system to power your house for as long as the system can strive and use the grid supply when the system fails. Or you can entirely separate your house from getting powered by the grid and use only the energy you generate with your solar system.

The last option would be installing a solar system that produces more electricity than you need such that you're able to sell the excess energy to your electricity supplier. However, the last option is not available in all countries, you'd have to confirm with your electricity supplier if you could sell the excess energy.

Installing a solar system will reduce the demand for electricity from your electricity supplier and then less electricity will be produced by burning of fuels(that is if your supplier produces electricity by burning fossils)

Plant a tree at your house.

Planting a tree is as simple as it sounds but even though it is simple, the rate at which trees are planted has been lower than the rate at which trees are cut down. The only natural way to get rid of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is through green plants. Out of all the organisms living on earth, plants are the only kind that take in carbon dioxide and then give oxygen. This happens through a well known process called photosynthesis.

And in the world of plants, the kind that last for a long time is trees. And the older they get, the bigger they get and the more oxygen they can contribute to the environment. You may not be able to plant a million trees in your lifetime but the least you can do is plant a tree in your yard. If you happen to make planting trees a hobby, that hobby is very noble. You'll be increasing the time our precious planet will last.

Dare to check out those electric cars and fancy bikes

Most people don't even excite the idea of getting an electric car mainly because most of the cooler ones are not affordable to the general public and also the technology is not popular yet. But according to the trends and developments in the electric car industry, electric cars have a future.

Our traditional gasoline vehicles still have the advantage of traveling long ranges but they're also contributing to the causes of the prevailing global warming since they emit exhaust fumes which contain green house gases.

And that problem cannot be ignored since it's a threat to the existence of lands, animals and us. This is just my prediction though, it shall come a time when our famous gasoline engine gets banned andfrom deemed primitive. This should happen soon after there is a renewable source of energy suitable to be commercialised in the whole transport industry. Just my prediction.

But at the moment, if you're in a position to make a choice between a gasoline vehicle and an electric vehicle, consider how an electric car is harmless to the environment and make a more educated and responsible choice.


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