How To Use More Natural Energy In Your Life
The demand for green energy has never been greater. What once was considered an unworkable fantasy has forever changed our view of how we get the energy we need to sustain our livelihoods. Still, the technologies driving this revolution are brand new, which leaves many people wondering how they can apply them to their own lives. Here are four things to consider when deciding how to use more natural, renewable energy.
1. Learn the Technology
New technological advancements can be intimidating, especially when there’s so much new information to learn regarding how they function. Take solar power for instance. Solar energy is rapidly emerging as the leader in the global clean energy market, but many people don’t understand exactly how solar energy works. Monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film photovoltaics all have different advantages and disadvantages depending on your location and budget, which makes knowing the basics of solar energy science vital to making an informed decision. Even if you don’t purchase a system for your own property, there’s often the option of purchasing cleanly-generated energy from the energy provider you already have. If you do your research, you’ll start to realize that this diversity of choices is actually one of the greatest advantages of renewable energy.
2. Know your Needs
Renewable energy is rarely one-size-fits-all. In fact, the decentralization of the energy grid is key to the secondary goal of green energy which is promoting energy resilience. If you choose to go for solar power, for example, you’ll need to be aware of how much exactly how much energy you use per day and then compare that to the average power generated by the square footage of panels that you’re planning to install. If you choose wind, the size of the turbine and average wind speed in your area will be crucial to note. Since this is a long-term investment, you’ll also need to have a clear estimation of how much energy you expect to need a decade down the road. One of the best steps that you can take in planning an energy solution for your home is to have an energy audit performed. This process takes an objective, science-based look at how and why you use the energy that you do, as well as noting the inefficiencies and outright waste that is unfortunately all too common in our daily energy use. Experts can be hired to perform an audit, though the federal government offers tips for performing your own low-cost DIY audit.
3. Connect With Others
You’re not alone in wanting to get off the grid. That’s a bit ironic when you think about it, but there is certainly strength in numbers. Leverage the power of social media to connect with other people facing the same decisions and challenges that you are. Always ask questions, whether you’re talking to environmental science experts or fellow green energy customers. Another powerful tool for bringing clean energy into all of our lives more effectively is crowdsourcing. Organizations like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have helped to bring multiple sustainability projects to completion. The bottom line is that through networking with other people, you cut down the intimidation factor (and might make some new friends along the way).
4. Think Holistically
Sustainability requires a shift in consciousness towards seeing ourselves not as competitors with nature, but as partners. Biophilic design and biomimicry are names given to schools of design thinking wherein efforts are made to bridge the gap between human needs and ecological processes. Buildings are constructed and/or redesigned specifically to either mimic biological processes (in biomimicry) or to improve human efficiency and quality of life through living close to nature (biophilia). Many of these design features, like natural lighting, can be integrated into existing homes and businesses. In other words, part of embracing natural energy involves being conscious of how your own lifeways affect the world and how living in greater harmony with nature can benefit your own life.
Investing in natural energy is investing in the future. Sure, it’s a great way to save some money, but at its heart, the movement for sustainability is about improving the way we live now in order to ensure a brighter tomorrow.
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