The future of fossil fuel energy production is portending, to say the least. What’s even more concerning is the refusal of government to take charge and push full on for alternative energy production, in a way that allows it to take over the production of energy from Big Oil & Gas for good.
I should qualify that with some good pushes forward in many states that are promoting alternative energy as much as they can. Many states have incentive programs to encourage solar energy production.
It seems on the local levels solar has a lot more support than on the federal level of government. One reason for this is the incredible influence the oil & gas industry has over politicians whose coffers are stuffed with their frequent and massive donations.
New York State passed a Green Jobs Financing Law in 2011, which will put a significant investment into developing a green economy in NY, especially within the construction industry.
The advancements made in retro-fitting and new green construction offers cost effective ways to go Green. Solar production is high on the list of initiatives to provide people with the empowering virtues of solar energy.
Retro-fitting is a great way to make improvements that will make a difference, and you can do it in stages if you are on a budget. The up-front costs for materials will be more than traditional materials, but over the life of the home the savings are significant. In many cases you can reduce you energy costs by up to 20%, with a few key retro-fits.
Windows are a must if you want to conserve the energy that gets used in the home. Traditional windows are major areas of energy loss. During the winter heat is lost through conductive transfer through the window pane glass.
Up to 25% of heat is lost through single pane windows. The U-value is extremely high with your average window, and there are a few more places where the heat escapes. Take a look at this infrared picture of heat loss in the home:
Doors and attics are the 2nd and 3rd worst places for energy loss. Gaps in Wood around doors and in the framing of the attic, where poor insulation leads to higher costs and a lot of wasted fuel.
Cellulose insulation has a very low thermal conductivity, so it doesn’t give up heat easily. It is a product made with recycled paper, cardboard, hemp, and is partly sugar based. It is an excellent insulating product for both heat and acoustics.
In your kitchen there are a few effective retro-fits you can do on a budget to make it eco-friendly. Cabinets are an often replaced item in kitchens. But it is actually more cost effective and eco-friendly to simply strip and reface them, and use natural paints with a low or zero volatile organic compound (VOC) content.
Of course energy efficient appliances are a necessity, as well as the separation of organic food waste from solid trash. Composting is beneficial for the environment in that is can be used as fertilizer for a garden and simply left to bio-degrade over time, which is not long at all.
Recycled glass counter tops are also a great addition to the kitchen. They are extremely durable and require very little maintenance aside from a quick wipe with non-toxic cleaners.
Although, since most things in your home run on electricity, solar energy is the best way to reduce you carbon output and your monthly energy expenses. Solar can be used for both electricity and heat production, which makes it doubly advantageous.
Solar energy can save us, and by us I mean the human race by way of environmental preservation. There are a limited amount of fossil fuels on the planet, and we can’t simply tear up the entire planet in search of every last drop of oil and natural gas.
The time is now to transition completely to renewable energy sources. Push your representatives to fight for a healthier future, and it just might happen before any more damage is done.
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