Renewable energy for dummies Going green

Going green: Renewable energy for dummies

If you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to assume you’re a bit of a n00b (newbie for those playing at home) when it comes to renewable energy.

Don’t fret! We’re here to break it down for you in layman’s terms so you can venture out into the big world armed with the knowledge you’ll need to engage in the topic.

What is “Green” Renewable Energy?

In a nutshell: Green Energy is renewable and has a minimal negative impact on the environment, hence the term “green”.  The cold hard truth of the matter is that we’re running out of resources to continue using traditional methods of energy, so science is turning to renewable energy as the answer to our impending problem.

There are 2 important factors that need to be considered by scientists, the government and the community when investing in renewable energy:

Renewable = doesn’t depend on the consumption of finite resources such as fossil fuels
Sustainable = Affordable, Accessible, Long term.

Over the decades, we humans have come up with all sorts of renewable energy solutions (go us!) and as they continue to develop, so does our access to them. Nowadays we can integrate some of these solutions into our daily lives. Think solar power, wind turbines and hydroelectricity. Renewable energy is a long term solution for an age-old problem using modern-day technology to expose the treasure trove of energy the Earth and the Sun harbours.

I am sure most of us would agree that prolonging the life of our planet is very important, and thus finding a renewable source of energy is a very important exercise. But with such ease of access to traditional energy sources, the majority of our population still relies on them.

What can I do now?

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, it’s also simple to begin making a positive impact. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

  • Start using energy efficient light bulbs. Read our guide to buying light bulbs for more info.
  • Use a solar powered water heating system.
  • Get rid of your clothes dryer and use a clothesline instead.
  • Check the energy rating of all your whitegoods and upgrade where necessary.
  • Switch off your power points, appliances and electronic devices when not in use.
  • Use public transport when you can, but if you must drive use ethanol based petrol or invest in an electric car.
  • Switch your superannuation fund to an environmentally-conscious one and invest in green energy without cutting into your income.
  • Educate your mates!

The more you get involved, the easier it becomes. Start being more energy conscious and you’ll be on your way to contributing to a better future for not only us, but our children and future generations. Plus, you’ll save money in the process!

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