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For thousands of years, we’ve been benefiting from natural sources of energy in our daily lives. So naturally, we take our daily living for granted, leading us to be wasteful at times and negligent at other times. Planet Earth is fascinating, and it’s clear that we can do a lot to save ourselves by learning from it.

1. Solar Energy Is Practically Limitless

The_sun1Solar and PV energy is still in its infancy in terms of development and its potential. While solar energy is still the dark horse in the energy race, there’s sufficient evidence that this is not to be the case in the future.

One hour of solar exposure to the earth produces enough energy to power the entire world for a year. Simply 1 of the 8760 hours in a given year is enough for the entire world’s consumption. Clearly solar produces more than enough for our needs. It’s all a matter of harnessing it.

And many of us are now. In Spain, for example, solar generators can run even in the dead of night. Thermal salt generators are capable of storing solar heat and distributing it with 80% efficiency for up to 7 hours after the energy has been collected, with no environmentally hazardous batteries required.

2. Geothermal is Our Yet Untapped New Power

Behind solar in obscurity tends to be geothermal energy – the process of harnessing energy from the heat of the earth itself. And with some good reason: geothermal energy is only useful in some parts of the world. But But where geothermal energy is useful, it could just be a cheap and efficient lifesaver for the people who live there.

Australia is one such country. It’s estimated by treehugger.com that merely ONE percent of all Australia’s available geothermal energy could power the nation down-under for 26,000 years. That’s sustainability that outlasts the entirety of all human history. And it only requires tapping into one percent of the power available.

To see this in action today, Iceland converted from 75% coal to 80% geothermal in 30 years, and they’re paying the price for it… in that they pay almost nothing for their energy, and enjoy warm homes all season long.

3. More and More Countries Are Going Green

energy by sourceEven though global warming is likely to get worse before it gets better, the cynicism that we are sitting on our hands while the world crumbles around is unfounded. In truth, now more than ever are we embracing what renewable energy and sustainable living can do for us. Some countries have adopted it slower, some got started early; but almost every country around the world is taking steps to improve the damage we’ve done in the past.

When we think renewables, we generally think of Germany, Denmark, and France. Would it surprise you to learn that China is the world leader in hydroelectric, wind, and solar pv development? The same country maligned for the poor quality of air is among the first and foremost to embrace change. Behind China lay the US in second place. Where is Canada? In 9th place, behind India and France. It seems we have quite a bit of catching up to do.

4. Recycling Goes Further Than The Blue Bin

Admit it, you’re lazy about recycling; because pretty much everyone sees it as an unnecessary chore. And if putting cans or newspaper in the blue bin seems like a Sisyphean task, consider what you’re doing to help the world around you.

  • One aluminum can recycles saves enough energy to run your TV for three hours.
  • Only 13% of the total energy put into a laptop is used to run it. The other 87% is energy required to build the laptop. Recycling your electronics can put a serious dent in that cost.
  • Recycling paper saves 60% of the water required to make paper in the first place.
  • It takes 1 million years for glass to break down in a landfill, and recycling a glass saves 30% of the energy used to make it.
  • Experts predict that rare earth metals, used in computers and electronics, are on the brink of total collapse in the next 20 years. Recycling all materials possible gives everyone more resources to work with.

5. Your Conservation Is Changing The World For The Better

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Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Conservation is a bitter draught to swallow at times. It’s difficult to ask people to use less because we’re so used to having everything provided for us. Conservation, however, has become the single most effective way to control our energy costs and give back to the environment. Is shutting off the lights seeming a bit too pointless for you? Then put your savings in perspective.

  • If every household in Canada cut its energy consumption by 50%, the savings alone would be enough to clear every single cent of household debt in the country.
  • 14% of a household’s water use is through leaks. Leaks are easy to prevent, however. Learn more about what you can do.
  • If we all washed our clothes with cold water rather than hot water, Canada’s energy consumption would drop a full 2%
  • 30% of all energy used worldwide serves no purpose and does not provide light, heat, or electricity to a person.
  • 75% of all energy you consume in your home is phantom energy, used in electronics that are turned off or idle. Unplug your electronics when not in use!

With doom and gloom surrounding our global energy crisis, it’s heartening to know that there’s something we can all do to make the better place. Don’t let our consumption get you down – get your consumption down. The more we save, the more we open up opportunities for healthier, safer, more economic use of energy for everyone.

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