Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I hate the word "GREEN"

So often people use the word "green" to describe their products and how safe they are for the environment. I think this term is way over used in everything and sometimes it isn't environmentally friendly at all. Well I hate being lumped into that category with all the rest of the people wanting to just cash-in on the situation that our country and world is experiencing.

I have a couple of reasons for doing what I am doing. First of all, I have been looking for a niche market for my company for a long time and this just feels like the perfect fit for what I am already doing. I have always been fascinated with solar and wind. I remember the first solar cell that I bought when I was a kid. We had gone to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, while there I purchased a solar cell with a small DC motor attached to it. I was just amazed how I could hold that up into the sun and that little motor would spin.

Second, I believe in what I am doing for people and what I will do for my family in the near future. I do not do it for the environment to the point where some people are doing it for. I believe at some point we will run out of the cheap energy resources that we have so come accustomed to. So my main thing is "energy conservation", which in turn will save the environment in which we live.

So I would rather be called an "energy conservationist", than someone that is "green". Because conserving is something that everyone can do and it usually doesn't take that much to do.

So by conserving on energy and trying to reduce what we use. We will all in the long run saves what limited natural resources there are left for us now and the future generations after us. Now who is to say when that is going to happen, ten years or a hundred years down the road. It doesn't matter when is going to happen, it is the fact it will happen. So that is why we need to look at other options, like most things it takes awhile to get the infrastructure in place to make these changes happen. But you do not want to wait until the last minute to make that change. Because as we all know time does not hold still for anyone. I remember when I was in my twenties thinking how forty was a long way off, but you know what, it was here before I knew it. It was here like a blink of an eye.

But it is not up to just big companies and the government that must do all this planning and in installing of these types of equipment. It starts with all of us trying to do a part to help in the reduction of energy. Like I wrote in my last blog posting, I was trying to reduce my home energy usage to prepare for the solar panels that I want to install.

Now I am not saying everyone has to do solar panels or a windmill. But there are so many other ways to reduce energy consumption. Like turning off lights, winterizing your home, and the list goes on. Since my last blog post I had decided to install these things in all three of our toilets called a dual-flush. What it is, is a replacement flap where the water goes into the bowl. So when you go to the bathroom and maybe only just urinate. You use a 1/2 a flush instead of a whole flush like when you do your other business. So by installing this device accomplishes two things at once, we do not use as much water every time and the well doesn't have to run as much. Because water is just as much a resource that we need to conserve on too.

It is going to take everyone making the conscious choice to either change. I do not want to sound like I am proclaiming the end of the world, but I am greatly concerned. It is everybody's business to be conservationist or a greenie whatever you want to label yourself. To help make this planet last as long as we can.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Three "R's", the missing "R".

(The mess under my desk.)

The other day I was on and I came across a discussion board that I have been following. They were talking about how you need to reduce your power usage to make a renewable system to work really well for you and to make the cost go down.

So often I talk to people that are interested in renewable energy for their homes. The first thing they want to do with this system is add a bunch of additional electric loads. Well by doing that you have just put yourself right back where you were before you installed the system.

People want to do the right thing like recycling and reusing, but no one ever wants to do the other part of the three "R's", the reduce part. We all want the same lifestyle that we have become accustomed to with out giving up any of the luxuries. I am just as guilty of this myself. But I am trying to do my part to reduce a little at a time. It has been surprising how by doing the little things, I have found that I really don't miss some of these things or I have become accustom to the things that have changed. For example, the CFLs in the garage, which when it is cold they take a little longer than regular incandescent light bulbs. But once they warm up and get to full strength they are much brighter then the others and use less power.

Well, I am in the process of installing solar panels in the next few years here at my house. But before I do that I need to get my energy usage under control, before I install the solar panel system. So what I have been doing is trying to do all the little things first, like installing CFLs in all the light fixtures and installing Smart Strips where I can. I just installed two Smart Strips in my home one under my desk to shut down the things that I don't need on all the time, that are just sucking up energy and not doing anything. The other I installed on our TV, shutting down the Wii and DVD player that was just sitting there on standby when no one was watching them. Now when all the control devices shut down, the rest of the stuff will go off. Saving us money throughout the year.

The other thing that we did was install new windows and insulated window blinds in the house. Which made a huge difference in the gas bill.

The next thing I am having done is I am bringing in an energy auditor to take a look at the envelope of the house to see where we can trim even more energy by insulating. Which once I receive the report I will post the results here.

But as you can see I am trying to do all I can to reduce the amount of energy that we use. This way when I get ready to install the solar system I will not have to install a larger system. Which in the end it will save me money both on energy and panels.

When people buy a system from me from now whether it be solar or wind, I include a home energy audit with every purchase. I believe once you install a renewable energy system you should maximize it as much as possible. It will also help you to reduce the amount of money that you pay for energy even more. I am all about energy conservation. If we all conserve energy, the more we all win.