Free and Low-Cost Solar Energy

From Sierra Club Green Home

Making the most of the sun’s energy without spending a bundle

If solar electricity or solar water heating isn’t your cards right now, there are plenty of other ways to take advantage of the sun’s energy–for little or no money.

One of the simplest is hanging your wet duds on a clothesline. It only takes just a couple more minutes of your time than throwing them in the dryer. Plus it’s a good excuse to get outside on a sunny day. Find more energy-saving laundry tips in our “Washers and Dryers” article.clothesline

As long as you’re taking the time to smell the sun-warmed sheets, why not get dinner started too? With a solar oven you can cook a casserole, make a pot of rice and even bake some cookies-using only the power of the sun. You can make your own solar oven from low-cost materials or buy one already made.  Find out more in our “Ovens and Cooktops” article.solar-oven

If you’re wondering what to cook in that solar oven, how about some homegrown spuds from your own organic garden? Plants do a miraculous job of transforming the sun’s energy into nutritious, delicious food, and growing your own helps you slim down your carbon footprint. Check our “Healthy Eating” article for more fodder for your green kitchen.organic-garden

While you’re in the kitchen, take a fresh look at your lighting. Making the most of daylight lets you keep electric lights off when the sun’s shining. What’s more, most people just feel better when they’re in daylit spaces. Our “Windows, Skylights, and Doors” article has bright ideas for saving energy and letting in more light.passive-solar1

With all the attention being paid to renewable energy these days, it can seem like solar energy systems were just invented yesterday. But many of these technologies are as old as the hills. Passive solar design, for example, is an ancient approach to designing buildings so they are warmed by the sun in the winter without overheating in the summer. Read about the basics of solar heating in our “Heating Systems” article.

When it comes to solar energy, just remember–you’ve got the power!

Original Article: http://www.sierraclubgreenhome.com/featured/free-and-low-cost-solar-energy/

by Editor

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at 08:21
  • Natalie
    Apr 29th, 2011 at 21:36 | #1

    The cool thing is, it is possible for the whole world to run on solar energy…our technology just isn’t as advanced yet.

  • Dec 22nd, 2011 at 04:06 | #2

    Many of the ways to use solar energy has been lost through the ages. While we focus on solar panels now, we forget that our ancestors have been using the sun in many ingenious ways. Perhaps our building designs can take a page out of the history’s books.

  • John Winter
    Apr 23rd, 2012 at 13:16 | #3

    The whole world DOES run on solar energy..we just don’t have the ability to live within our means yet!

  • Aug 8th, 2012 at 02:11 | #4

    In India some families have one single panel for them to have some bulb light in the evening to work longer. Other use toxic kerosine or candles.
    One day of using the sun energy costs there $1. Sometimes it’s too much to afford..

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