In recent history there have been some pretty obvious and very big problems with fossil fuels. From rising costs to the poisonous gasses that are emitted into the air to oil spills that have contaminated large bodies of water, it’s clear that there is a need to use more alternative forms of energy. But what exactly are alternative energy forms and how can the average consumer use them?
The most common types of alternative forms of energy are solar energy (which comes from the sun), wind energy, geothermal energy (heat from deep inside the Earth’s interior), biofuel and ethanol (plant derived substitutes of gasoline) and hydropower (which comes from water). So how are they used? Well, some of them are much more user friendly than others.
Solar power is one of the easiest to use and has the most applications that the average person or family can easily take advantage of. Solar panels that provide electricity to the home are rapidly growing in popularity. You can either have a company professionally install them or you can make your own DIY solar panels. Though having a company do it for you can be very expensive there are government grants and incentive programs that can drastically reduce this cost. If you choose to make your own there are many Internet sites that can walk you step by step through the process and you will save yourself thousands of dollars. If you own a swimming pool you can use a solar pool cover and save quite a bit of money on chemical usage and water loss through evaporation. A solar cover will also keep your pool water 10 – 15 degrees warmer. There are solar battery chargers that you can use for your ipod, cell phone, lap top, camera and anything else that takes a battery, there are solar outdoor lights to light your porch or yard and solar fountains and bird baths as well.
Wind energy is used through large turbines that create energy. These are mostly found out in the country where there is more wind. Though they are effective, their uses are a little more limited.
Geothermal energy is used to heat homes and can drastically reduce an electric bill but is not widely used at this time. Perhaps as this is developed further it will become more common.
Biofuel and ethanol work well but most people cannot make these on their own but hydrogen is being used by many consumers to power their vehicles. Many people have learned that a hydrogen converter in their car or truck can save substantially at the gas pumps and there are even instructions on how to build your own on the Internet!
As these technologies improve it is becoming easier and easier for average people to use more environmentally friendly forms of energy and save money at the same time! There has never been a better time to go green!