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Captain Planet Says Compost!

Okay, the Cap isn’t delivering this message personally. However, if you’re looking for more ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money then we’ve got a secret weapon for you: compost.

‘That’s like, fertilizer, right?’ Correct. Well, it’s the main byproduct of compost. There are other things which can be done with compost, but more on that later. But what exactly, is compost? Well, every living thing on the earth contains nutrients. Every living thing needs nutrients. Some living things can synthesize – create – their own nutrients. We can’t. Which is why we consume food. And if we’re consuming natural foods (fruits, veggies, eggs), then we’re consuming the best source for fresh nutrients.

If you cook at home at all (which hurts neither your health nor your wallet) you most likely toss a lot of food and food scraps into the garbage. Well, all those scraps (specifically fruit and veggie skins, eggs and coffee grounds) will, under the right circumstance, decompose down into their most pure, nutrient form that is compost. That compost can be used in your garden as fertilizer – or in some cases – converted into gas that can power your home.

Tell Me More!

Don’t get too excited. While the food waste you produce in your kitchen won’t be enough to fuel the entirety of your home, it can provide you with fuel to cook your next meal. But this requires a specific product which we’ll touch on later. For now, there are a few options when it comes to how to compost. If your city is large enough – like Austin, TX (keep it weird) – there may be a community supported program you can access that makes composting as simple as recycling. If you’re in a more rural area that isn’t quite there yet, you can compost in your own backyard and reap the benefits of that glorious, nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden and yard. Bonus! Fertilizing your grass with nutrient-rich, natural, non-toxic compost means whatever isn’t absorbed by the soil and plants won’t harm the water supply from the soil run-off.

Getting Started

Before you jump head first into a more complex undertaking, do a little research. Starting out, especially, search the internet for local compost programs. For renters, this is the only option to cut down on food waste. But even if you own a home and can install and care for your own compost system, checking out a community-wide program can help acquaint you with the basics of compost, as well as get you into the habit of separating compost from regular garbage. Once you feel confident in what to compost and how it works, then you can start looking into your own home compost system.

There are two ways to compost at home. You can buy/build a compost bin and tend it like you would a garden to create basic fertilizer for your lawn and garden. It’s the “handmade” version, if you will. It’s very cost effective, but does require monitoring and attention, as well as a solid knowledge of how to properly maintain a compost bin at home. Luckily we live in the digital age and such information exists at your fingertips in the form of articles, videos, even podcasts. The second, more advanced, more expensive, but less effort required option is the Home Biogas system. This system converts your food scraps (and more than just the standard grounds, shells, and produce) into gas and then funnels it back into your kitchen for cooking, as well as fertilizer for your lawn. You’re looking to spend a couple grand with Home Biogas, but you save money, food waste, and gas usage since you’re cooking with what your food trash has created. Whereas a regular compost bin is only a couple hundred – at the most – for a bin and start up and it only begets fertilizer.

At the end of the day, there isn’t a wrong way to compost. Except to not compost. That’s wrong. It cuts down on waste and repurposes it for multiple uses and it puts nutrients back into our soil to harvest better crops. It eliminates harmful toxins from run-off that gets into the water supply. Like solar energy, it’s one of many steps we can take moving forward in a new green initiative.

The Gift That Lasts

The holidays are upon us, and at its heels the New Year full of resolutions and time to change for the better. But first you gotta get through that dreaded White Elephant at your office holiday party, right? Where do you even begin? Well, in the spirit of Going Green, here are 6 inexpensive, waste-reducing gift ideas perfect for anyone on your list.

Wool Dryer Balls

These beauties are a revelation. How often do you reach for a dryer sheet to find the box empty? And there you are with wet clothes on your hands and the choice to either let them dry and live with the static, or run to the store fast as you can hoping that by the time you get there, find your brand, get through the line and back to your house that they haven’t started to kinda stink. No. Fun. Not to mention the waste they create. Dryer sheets can be used after their initial laundry use in a variety of ways, but at the end of the day they land in the trash can. Wool dryer balls, on the other hand, soften clothes and keep them free of static. You can even find a set with a cute storing bag to give the gift a little extra flair. Best of all, they can be used again, and again, and again…

Reusable Cotton Rounds

Whether you use them for toner or astringent, or removing makeup or nail polish cotton balls are another one of those household items that have many uses, but create tons of waste. If only there were a better alternative? Well, you’re in luck because there is! Reusable cotton rounds are often made from bamboo, machine washable, and in some cases come with cute storing totes, or even fun designs on the rounds themselves. Available online or in major retail stores, these inexpensive gifts can eliminate an item from your shopping list as well as your waste basket.

Water Canteen

Admittedly, this might not be the most original it’s an easy failsafe of a gift. Even if the receiver already owns a water canteen, having a spare can never really hurt, can it? You can keep it generic with a simple color, or if you have a specific person in mind, personalize it to their tastes. Canteens are literally everywhere you look and come in a variety of styles and sizes. And one more person in possession of a canteen is one less bottle of plastic going into our environment. There’s a reported 8 million metric tons per year of plastic waste that ends up in the oceans. While plastic bottles are only part of the plastic problem, every effort helps. Plus, it encourages hydration. Win. Win. Win! 

Coffee Tumbler

Holiday Mugs are fun to gift. What’s more comforting that a large, cozy mug of hot cocoa or cider by the fire on a cold winter night? Not much. But better than a festive mug that really only helps at home, coffee tumblers can go anywhere and keep your morning joe hot and delicious through your commute. Sure to be a big hit at any office party, these mug – like the water canteens – can be as generic or personal as your gift needs to be. And, if your morning coffee routine includes a stop at Starbucks, handing your tumbler to the barista will get you a discount at the register. Say it with me, Win!

Reusable Coffee Filters

Are you sensing a pattern? Whether you make the traditional pot of coffee or prefer a single-cup brewer, reusable filters are available for any coffee maker. The reality of coffee is that the grounds are compostable, but especially for the K-Cup, the containers are not. And each year they create enough waste to wrap around the entire earth 10 ½ times. Reusable filters, however, take yet another item off your grocery list, and reduce waste. If you wanna go the extra mile, gift a reusable filter with a coffee grinder. Coffee grinders enhance the taste of your coffee and can cost as low as $12. Better tasting coffee and a smaller carbon footprint? Sign me up.

Tupperware/Lunch Bag

Tupperware has come a long way since its introduction in 1946. You can buy glass bottoms with locking lids. You can buy tupperware that comes with an air pump to lock in freshness of the food they contain. There are specialty pieces designed for salads, soups, veggies with dip, or entire Bento Box style meals with pieces that lock together in a neat little stack. Tupperware can be used for simply storing food, or taking yesterday’s dinner to the office for today’s lunch. You can even find lunch bags that come with their own matching tupperware. So for the person who wants to save a little money and eat a little healthier, tupperware and a lunch bag will set them on the right path while reducing waste.

The dread of gift exchanges need plague you no more. These simple, thoughtful, reusable gifts are sure to please any who receive them. Something practical that saves you time and money? What’s not to love? Go out and spread the holiday cheer without spreading your carbon footprint.

 

$1M For Large Battery Storage Project in Texas

$1M For Large Battery Storage Project in Texas

Luminant, based out of Irving TX is the state’s largest electricity provider and has just recently been awarded a $1 million grant for the construction of one of the largest electricity storage facilities created to date.

According to Luminant it will be the 7th largest electricity storage facility in the United States at 10-megawatts. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has awarded this grant for the construction of this electric storage facility to Luminant in an ongoing effort to help curb emissions.

Currently, Texas only gets less than 1 percent of its electrical power from solar energy, and more battery installations like this could help solar energy be more profitable in the state. According to a Vistra spokesman (the parent company of Luminant) the battery will be able to boost their facilities output during peak hours, which means that it will be able to recharge at night when power is least expensive.

Luminant’s 1,900 acre Upton 2 solar facility, which was purchased in 2017 while still under construction,  just started generating electricity in June of this year, and the battery is expected to be installed before the end of this year. Upton 2 is one of the largest solar facilities in Texas, and it is expected to generate enough power at full capacity to handle 56,700 homes or half of that during high heat.

This is good news considering the Texas power grid set several power demand records this summer. The record usage in a single hour was 73,259 megawatts between 4 and 5pm on July 19th 2018, beating the August 2016 record of 71,110 megawatts.

Although Texas has been one of the slower state to adopt battery storage due to the availability of lower cost wind, and natural gas options. The State’s battery capacity has increased 250 percent since 2016.

With the cost of lithium-ion batteries dropping by 70% between 2012 and 2017 investing in battery storage could now be a more viable option in Texas.

Net metering (electricity arbitrage) is the practice of selling excess stored power back to the grid is not a common practice in Texas, but with solar becoming more cost effective these types of practices are on the table.

Luminant plans to send electricity back to the grid from the Upton 2 battery, rather than use it for other purposes. When fully charged the Upton 2 battery will be capable of generating 42-megawatt hours of electricity.

The more companies like Luminant invest in solar and battery power solutions the better it gets for consumers both commercial and residential. Couple that with tax incentives and Texas will see their already low energy costs drop even more. Currently energy costs in Texas rank in the bottom third.

This is all great news for Texas, and the world, as we all work toward a more sustainable energy source. With the cost of solar getting more and more affordable the investment makes sense, and compared to other renewable energy sources like wind, solar energy production tends to match that of consumer demand.

 

The Benefits of Powering your Home with Solar Energy

The Benefits of Powering your Home with Solar Energy

As the world progresses towards green renewable energy sources, solar power is at the core of alternative sources of energy for power generation. Homeowners are looking for ways to increase their capacity to produce solar energy. With the fossil fuel supply dwindling at a rapid speed, it’s the right time to look for alternative ways of producing cheaper and cleaner energy.

Solar power is one of the best alternatives to energy produced by fossil fuels. Wind, water, and solar power are the most effective energy generation solutions for future. Among the three renewable energy sources, the most effective source is to rely on solar energy.  We believe that solar power has more energy efficiency and it is easier to produce energy from the rays of the sun as compared to wind or water.

Read on if you want to find out how a solar-powered home works! We will explain the workings of a solar-powered home and the various benefits of using this unlimited source of renewable energy.

Benefits of Solar Energy for Homes

Savings with Solar Power

Solar power saves billions or trillions of dollars for the economy. With the threat of global warming, solar energy is the most reliable source of renewable electricity that saves us millions every year.

Cost-effective Energy Source

The biggest advantage of installing solar energy at home is that you get a cost-effective energy solution. Sun is the best source of energy, and with the proper equipment that supports solar power its possible to increase the energy efficiency of your home, it could be the best alternative to traditional fossil fuel energy.

Increase the Value of Your Property

If you have invested in a solar panel, it is bound to increase the value of the property twofold. Most people will prefer to pay a higher price for your property if it has a solar energy generation and storage system. Such homes are bound to tax deductions that’s an added bonus of investing in a solar energy system for your home.

A Low Payback Period

When you purchase a solar panel, batteries, and storage units with cash, the payback period is generally very low. You don’t have to spend a significant fortune today on such equipment as opposed to the past. The cost of solar energy equipment has reduced significantly thanks to big players entering the business like Tesla. More and more companies are offering various alternative energy solutions like solar power to protect the environment.

Reduce Global Warming and Slow down Climate Change

Solar energy will help slow down the pace of global warming, as it is essential for us to stop global warming as it threatens the survival of animals, plants, and human life. Solar energy is currently one of the most effective solutions to curb the global warming crisis.

Green NRG Solar is a leading company that provides adequate solutions to green energy like solar power. We would love to hear from you; if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

How upgrading your home’s energy efficiency can increase property value

We are living in the era of technology, which has greatly improved our lives. However, this also does not only make us solely responsible for how we portray ourselves, but also how we can help to save the environment from getting more damaged. Many home improvement tactics can help you to improve your home’s energy efficiency and also increase the resale value of your home.

Here is how upgrading your home’s energy efficiency can increase property value:

Install the latest and most energy efficient heating and cooling systems

You should never overlook how upgrading your heating and cooling systems can benefit you in numerous ways. Not only does it help you save money on energy bills, but also increases your property’s resale value. It may be a heavy investment initially, but in the long run, these systems can last for decades if properly maintained and can be hugely beneficial if you ever decide on selling off your home.

Installing solar panels

Solar panels are widely known in the world of energy efficiency to be one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable assets of generating energy for your home. It may cost a large amount to install, however, there are many payment plans available according to your requirements. A professional can capably guide you on the procedure and amounts of solar panels that your home will need in order to efficiently absorb the suns energy and convert it to electricity. Also, it can impress prospective buyers, and increase your home’s value.

Installation of energy-efficient lighting systems

A very popular and easy way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is through installing LED lights. Many features are now available for people to utilize, such as motion sensors and mobile apps that can dim lights or even change colors according to what you want. You may think that this would increase energy bills, but due to its energy efficiency, you actually save money in the long run. Many potential buyers would spend more on the property as energy-efficient lighting is always a great asset to possess.

Installing the latest appliances

Kitchen & bathroom remodeling can allow for many energy-efficient upgrades to take place. From new refrigerators to the latest energy-efficient shower heads and taps, there are many ways to improve energy efficiency that will, in turn, increase the value of your home. Sockets, heating vents, ovens and dishwashers can all be replaced and can help your home be more energy-efficient as well as allow you to save costs in the long run and aid you in potentially making a profit at the time of reselling.
Not only will you benefit from having to pay less on energy bills, but also have a major leeway for an increased property value if you plan on selling your current home in the future. You can save the environment and your money all at once! What can be better than that?

Benefits of Going Solar

Benefits of solar energy

One of the many reasons why homeowners go solar is to better the environment and decrease energy costs. As homeowners know, many other people recognize that solar is a great way to upgrade their home and also reduce carbon footprint while increasing property value.
If your motivations for going solar are economic, environmental, or personal, this vast list of solar power benefits will cater to everyone. Below are the top ten reasons why solar energy is valuable in your home and becoming more more popular than ever throughout the country.

1. Immensely reduce or even eliminate your electric bill

A solar panel system will generate free power for your system’s entire 25+ year lifecycle. Solar will continue to cut your utility bills even if you don’t utilize 100 percent of what you consume. That’s still a substantial amount of savings.

2. Prevent rising energy costs

Solar panels are an investment – not an expense. Crediting substantial electricity bill savings, the average American Homeowner pays off their solar panel system in between seven to eight years and sees a return on investment of 20 percent or more.

3. Protect against growing energy costs

One of the most evident benefits of solar panels is the capability to control utility prices. In the last ten years, residential electricity prices have substantially increased on an average of three percent annually. By investing in a solar energy system now, you can secure yourself from unpredictable increases and helps you project and better manage your finances.

4. Increase property value

Multiple studies have demonstrated that homes equipped with solar energy systems are more desirable selling quicker than non-solar homes and have a higher property value.

5. Take advantage of the incentives

You will retain 30% of the total cost of the systems back including installation and equipment. As of 2009, the $2,000 cap on the Federal Solar Tax Credit is lifted. You would save $7,500 on a solar energy system costing $25,000. Merge this with state and local rebates, Solar Renewable Energy Credits, and the total costs may be cut in half.

6. Raise U.S. Energy Independence

By increasing quantity to generate electricity from the sun, we can also cushion our country from the chance of price changes in global energy markets.

7. Preserve the environment

One great way to reduce our carbon footprint is to go solar. Buildings are at fault for 38 percent of carbon emissions in the U.S., thus going solar can notably reduce that number. A normal residential solar panel system will diminish three to four tons of carbon emissions per year—that commensurates to planting over 100 trees annually.

8. Solar is easy

Shopping for solar used to be a long and complicated process. There are hundreds of solar companies in the U.S. alone. It would take you weeks to find the best solar deal. Luckily things have changed.
To go solar has never before been easier. Bay Builders will help you sort through your options. To see how much you can save, and for all other solar questions, request a free consultation. There’s no obligation.
Let Green NRG help you generate your own energy!

Celebrate Earth Day with The Growth of Solar Energy

Every year, April 22, is Earth Day, this day in particular signifies the birth of modern environmental awareness.

The first Earth Day ever in 1970, was recognized to demonstrate global support for for environmental protection worldwide. We’ve faced unpredictable climate changes such as; wildfires, storms, droughts and natural disasters. Changes in the climate has become a threat to not only our economy, but the rest of the world. It puts our future progress, health, safety, and way of life. Each day our Earth experiences neglect from littering, pollution, wasting food, paper, water, electricity, toxic chemicals, improper disposal, car travel, air travel, and simply plain ignorance.

Here are 10 ways you can help celebrate Earth Day, while saving our environment and planet earth.

earth day

1. Conserve

Recycling isn’t limited to only water bottles and cans, here are the many more items you can recycle: glass, cell phone, unwanted wire hangers, cars, batteries, cars, clothing, etc.

2. Eliminate Pollution

If you have the option to walk, ride your bike, or carpool, consider making one of these changes a habitual habit. Less cars on the road the better chances of avoiding traffic delays, excess pollution emitted from cars, and better air quality for the environment.

3. Go Solar

Making the switch betters not only benefits homeowners but can better the environment while decreasing energy costs. It’s a fantastic way to reduce carbon footprint. Allow GREEN NRG to help you generate your own energy!

4. Become Proactive In The Community

Volunteer your time to non or for profit organizations (local or national). Small efforts into making a difference for the world and helping the environment can create long term changes. A few local activities in your area should take place on earth Day, that’s a fantastic way to start.

5. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

An effortless way to reduce the amount of power you use and helping the planet is switching to energy efficient lightbulbs.

6. Save Water Consumption

Wash a large load in the dishwasher instead of hand washings, this could save hundreds of gallons of water a month.

7. Paperless Billing

Switching your bills to receive them electronically as e-bills and or online invoices can conserve millions of trees each. No need for an abundance amount of useless paper every month, it’s going to end up in the shredder anyways!

8. Faucet Leaks

Make sure to turn off the water when not in use, and tightly secure when doing so to eliminate excess water waste. Do your faucets leak? Leaks can waste a lot of water on a yearly basis, look making the improvement if you haven’t done so.

9. Opt for Water Bottles, and Eliminate Plastic

Start using refillable water bottles. Did you know in the U.S alone, 1.5 million barrels of oil are used every year to make disposable plastic bottles? Reach for non-plastic carrier bags too. Plastic carrier bags can’t be recycled and are not biodegradable.

10. Share The Knowledge

Becoming aware and educated is the key to doing all you can for the environment. The more you know about what you can do to better protect the environment, the more you can share your knowledge with others in protecting the environment.

Solar Helps

Solar Energy Keeps Homes and City’s Traffic lights running in Florida after Hurricane

Using energy stored with solar panels, a few homeowners were able to go “off-grid”, proving how shared power can speed future storm recovery.

After Hurricane Irma hit, more than 40 percent of Florida’s residents lack electricity, and for some, may not see light for days or even weeks. Roughly 6.7 million residents in Florida including Georgia, North and South Carolina, are in risk of a power outage.

One resident named Pereira, installed rooftop solar panels and an inverter that allows him to use solar power without being connected to the grid. Fortunately he did made this wise decision a mere two weeks before Hurricane Irma hit. Pereira was able to wake up amidst the storm, use his appliances, with wifi allowing him to survive and sustain his at home IT consultant while his nearby neighbors waited for grid power to return.

Although this is an expected occurrence of a hurricane, homeowners like Pereira, some businesses, and even cities were able to leverage the sunshine state’s solar panel while the grid was down. A greater amount of rooftop solar arrays are connected to the grid, meaning that when the public power is out, the rooftop solar power is unavailable – with the exception of having a stand-alone inverter like Pereira does or a battery system like the Tesla Powerwall.

Pete Wilking, president of A1A Solar Contracting in Jacksonville, said “Events like Irma have made people aware of how dependent we are on electricity,”. During this time, local solar contractors and companies have been taking advantage of this adversity to experiment with solar technology to run their home and businesses. Wilking was benefiting from using his home rooftop solar and battery storage system throughout the duration of the storm.

Cities have also taking advantage of this by installing off-grid solar power systems to power traffic lights while the grid was down.

In the course of the worst part of the hurricane – 300,000 people lost power in Broward County. Coral Springs installed 13 lights in prime spots throughout the city.

Solar energy supporters say that now as the city of Florida rebuilds damaged power infrastructure – now couldn’t be a better time for Florida to consider grid resilience and bring on renewable energy.

Solar Energy Produce Water

New Technology Generates Drinking Water Out of Solar Panels

The solar energy market is always evolving. Since the green power movement started, about 20-30 years ago, we have witnessed so many improves in the solar technology. We now have solar panels that can generate enough power for your house, we have emergency backup batteries, solar roof tiles, and now we have solar purified water. A company called Zero Mass Water is responsible for the latest invention, using solar-like panels that create clean water from the air.
The panels absorb water molecules from the air, and then the molecules are treated with minerals to give them a fresh taste and filter the water. Each panel produces about 10 small water bottles a day and has a lifetime of about 10 years.

This amazing green technology might be the great next thing. Although it might be expensive for homeowners right now, the system will pay for itself in about 4 years since you won’t be buying water bottles anymore. Moreover, this technology can make a huge difference in countries that are in water-scarce situation.

 

 

For the full article:  http://ktla.com/2017/06/12/these-solar-panels-generate-drinking-water-from-the-air/