25. December 2012 · Comments Off on Advantages and Disadvantages for Wind Power · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

When thinking about wind power, there are several advantages and disadvantages that can sway you to either use or not use it. Some of the advantages of wind power include that it’s a natural resource therefore making it free and friendly to the environment not harming or depleting the ozone layer. No fossil fuels have to be burned so that we may generate electricity.

Because of the fact that wind turbines only take up a few meters of space, they are a lot better for space compared to power plants leaving more room for the environment and agriculture or for the land to be used for other purposes. Win turbines are also a better resource to use in remote locations like the mountains or the country side. They can come in many different sizes so that they may accommodate different levels of population.

Finally another great thing about wind power is that you can combine it with solar power and upon doing this they can be a source of energy for developed and developing countries. Now as stated above although wind power has many advantages it also has several disadvantages. Such as wind power is unreliable, you’re never sure just exactly how much power you are going to get therefore making solar energy a better alternative sometimes. The construction of a wind turbine can last a long time about a year to be exact and can be quite costly. One of the biggest disadvantages is the fact that they create a lot of noise which is fine if u live a few miles away but not so good if you’re closer to the turbine.

So altogether there are many advantages and disadvantages to whether or not wind turbines are truly effective mechanisms to use to create energy

03. October 2012 · Comments Off on Wind Power–The Best Green Energy Source · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

Electricity produced by wind turbines is green power in that it causes no environmental pollution. No greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change are produced either. Wind power generation can be on a large scale,which is the case with most commercial projects,or on a small scale as with home owner turbines.

Wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy without a doubt. Solar energy is also clean,green,power but is more expensive and limited in output. Solar panels are presently expensive in relation to the power they can produce. Nuclear energy supplies a lot of the power requirements in some countries,notably in Europe.

There is however much public opposition to building new nuclear power plants.

In the USA natural gas is the biggest form of new energy production. Wind power is the next in line. In 2008 wind turbines will produce about 1% of the United States power needs. Around 30% of new energy production installed in 2007 was wind power.

Many consumers now realise that green energy must be our highest priority in future,if we are to minimise climate change and it effects. The trend to building fossil fuel powered generating stations must be reversed.

Home owners and farmers can help with the transition to clean power by installing small wind turbines to supply all or part of their electricity needs. These turbines can be purchased from a number of manufacturers and can be installed as a rooftop wind turbine or on a small free standing tower.

Commercial wind turbines are quite expensive in relation to power output. A better solution for many is to build their own low cost wind turbine. A good turbine can be built from auto parts and a few odds and ends at very low cost. Plans and instructions are available for this project.

Any excess power production can be sold to the power utility in many areas thus reducing the cost even further. Power can also be stored in batteries for use when the wind is too light. Even a light breeze will however produce power.

The average home owner can easily build a small wind turbine or several of them to supply part or all of the power required. All that is needed is simple tools and some auto parts and wood. Several can be built for the cost of one commercial wind turbine.

Not a bad business also for anyone who wants to make them for resale. The demand for a low cost turbine is there and can only grow in years ahead.

Why not build your own wind power turbine now and produce your own free green electricity. You will be doing mother earth a favor by reducing atmospheric pollution. This is an idea whose time has come.

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17. September 2012 · Comments Off on Energy Independence or Death · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

To paraphrase a quotation from Patrick Henry, who of course was one of our founding fathers in America, “give me energy independence or death.”

In our economy, it’s time to face this truth:  Boone Pickens, the famous Texas oilman, knows a lot more about energy and energy policy in America than virtually any of our politicians and is certainly better informed on these subjects than almost any of the “chattering class” in Washington, DC.

Specifically, he says that we as a society are engaged in a massive wealth transfer, where America is each year shipping nearly $700 billion overseas to other nations, some of which hate us, such as Iran or Venezuela.  Of course, these are nations, which often own major oil companies outright and which our Congress in Washington, DC cannot easily call into our nation’s capitol for testimony in an effort to look for “a scapegoat” for our nation’s energy and economic ills.

And, so, I say to my fellow Americans this morning:  “Wake Up!  Wake up!”  We cannot continue indefinitely to make such choices and, then, stupidly expect no consequences in this country.  In addition, we must also understand that other countries will shock us, both now and in the future, by buying our companies outright with American dollars, which will come from the money each American pays to pump gas, which should be coming from the US but ISN’T.  How could we have allowed this level of political correctness to so infect our society?

“Yes,” it’s time to develop alternative types of energy in our society to the maximum, including biodiesel, ethanol from such Midwest crops as corn, wind, solar and battery-powered technologies in the future.  In fact, every “green innovation” in our society needs to be pursued.  But, what about the other options?  Should they also be included in our list of choices or not?

Once again, the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”  All options need to be pursued, both now and in the future.  And, so, I say “Drill, drill, drill!”  Off the East Coast of the United States, off the West Coast of the United States, off the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (in an area the size of one of our large airports in the US).  The United States also needs to be willing to share the revenue with these coastal states in an effort to encourage their cooperation with the oil companies, who want to drill off of their coasts.  Money can be a great incentive to our states.

By the way, “Yes, ANWR is a pristine area in Alaska,” but almost no US Senator has ever even visited this area (perhaps excluding only former Senator Zell Miller from Georgia).  On the other hand, Gov. Sarah Palin from Alaska knows this area well and endorses drilling there.  As a patriotic American, who has never worked for any US Oil company, either directly or indirectly, I accept her recommendation.

Truly outraged US citizens must stop allowing the threat posed by certain trial lawyers, who represent overly zealous environmental interests, to stop our nation from becoming energy independent.

Do I mean LNG?  “Yes.”  If we can spend 40% less than gasoline in the future on Liquefied Natural Gas. as Iran is currently doing, then we need to wake up and start using this bridge energy source, which can be found in abundance in the US, to its fullest in our society.  We need to look for solutions versus complaints about this energy source or that energy option.  Again, I am not now, nor have I ever been an employee of an LNG firm.  But, I am a  American citizen, who wants desperately to solve this problem, instead of simply wringing my hands about it, once again, 10 years from now.

Do I also include nuclear energy, too?  Absolutely!  We must also be willing to rely more often in the future on an increased use of the nuclear energy option.  If France can find a way for nuclear energy to work in their society, so can the United States of America.  We must start looking for reasons to use nuclear more frequently rather than excuses NOT to use it in our nation’s energy future.  Of course, the #1 reason for greater use relates to our economic vitality as a nation.  As an economically, well informed American, who has never worked for any US company in the nuclear industry, either directly or indirectly, I challenge my fellow Americans to re-evaluate this option, too.

And, what about coal?  Perhaps, you may think that the United States is the “Saudi Arabia of coal.”  If you have heard that statement in the past, it happens to be true.  At current rates of use, our nation has an estimated 240 years of supply buried in the ground of America (Source:  National Mining Association).  But, we have to build more coal-fired electricity plants in the United States over the next five years and during the next 10 years in order to meet increased demand for electricity.  Once again, I have also never worked for a US-based coal company, either directly or indirectly.

However, as an economic conservative, I challenge my fellow Americans to think differently and to act in a new way on each of these important subjects, as we mutually seek “new” answers to old problems.  “Yes,” we do need CHANGE from the tired, old conclusions of the doom and gloom crowd, which has consistently stood against progress in our society.

As the Editor and President of NowWhatJobs.net, Inc., http://www.nowwhatjobs.net, I say that these proposed construction projects will provide so many high-paying jobs in our society and all over the United States that politicians of all stripes will smile from ear to shining ear.  Plus, our wealth in the future can stay in North and South Dakota, in the Rocky Mountain states, in our Coastal states, in Alaska and all across America in terms of more jobs associated with a greater number of LNG plants, more refineries, a greater number of nuclear facilities and more coal-fired electricity plants in our nation.  We as citizens can and should expect our politicians to do a better job of representing us and the economic and energy needs of our nation.

Let us today decide to stop enriching Iran and Venezuela and countries around the world, who do not have our interests at heart; instead, let us choose to keep the money in the United States, as our nation creates US-based jobs in every possible area of energy production.

In this way, America will stop choosing economic death for our country.  Instead, we can choose to create more US-based construction industry and energy-related jobs in every possible corner of our nation in the future.  We can also begin to make conscious decisions about moving toward energy independence.  The choice is ours, but the consequence for making the wrong decisions are dire.

May God continue to bless the United States of America, as we collectively make good decisions both economically and politically in our nation’s future.

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16. September 2012 · Comments Off on Going Green In Your Office The Easy Way · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

Many of us want to be responsible citizens of the Earth. We think about the effects our lifestyles have on the environment. We are concerned about global warming. We want to ensure our children’s future on this planet is one that still has clean air to breathe, an abundance of trees and wildlife, and clean water to drink. However, many of us also think that the sacrifices might be too great to “go green” in our own office. Good news. It’s not as difficult as you think.

There are 3 areas where you can make a significant impact without significant expense or inconvenience: paper, lights, and electronics.

The average American office worker throws out about 150 pounds of paper per year. Paper manufacturing contributes to the deforestation of the planet and in America is responsible for 35 million tons of CO2 a year. So what can you do? Buy recycled paper. Make full use of that paper by printing on both sides and/or using paper that is only printed on one side for scratch paper. Do your proofreading and edits on your computer before printing to reduce the number of prints you make. Re-use file folders by placing new labels over the old ones. All of these changes are easy to make but have a big impact. Pretty painless, right?

Another way you can go green in your office is as easy as changing a light bulb. In fact, it is changing a light bulb. Incandescent bulbs use 4 times more energy than is necessary to produce light. Halogen lights can get as hot as 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot enough to cook an egg! Alternately, Energy Star certified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use 75% less energy to produce the same amount of light, last 10 times longer and produce less heat. If you feel like you need even more reason to switch to CFLs, consider that you will also save money over the lifetime of the bulb. Once you have made the switch to energy efficient bulbs, make sure lights are turned off when they are not needed. A great way to ensure that this happens is with motion sensors that will turn the lights off when everyone has left the room.

38% of all of the carbon dioxide emissions come from the electricity we generate. That electricity is used to power all sorts of things. A major drain on our electricity is all of our office equipment such as computers, copiers, printers, and fax machines. When going green with your electronics, you need to look at 3 factors. You need to consider the waste that is created in the manufacturing of the products, the effects on the environment when you use the products, and the waste that is created when you are done with the products. That may seem like a lot to think about but if you follow these simple guidelines, you will be able to minimize the negative impact your office equipment has on the environment.

The manufacturing of electronics uses a lot of resources including electricity, raw materials, and water. Electronics also account for billions of pounds of municipal waste each year. Just a few of the contaminants that electronics create are toxic heavy metals, lead, PCBs, mercury, and various acids. To lessen your office’s affect on the number of new pieces of equipment that are manufactured, as well as end up in land fills, buy all-in-one machines that combine multiple functions into one. Whenever possible, get rid of machines completely by using services such as Internet fax. With an Internet fax service you get rid of the fax machine completely, as well as reduce the amount of paper and ink that gets consumed. Another way to decrease waste is to recycle machines that are no longer working and donate those that do to charities where they will stay in use.

25% of the total electricity used by all commercial buildings in the US is consumed by office buildings. When buying any new office equipment, look for Energy Star certified machines. This will make a huge difference in the amount of electricity that is used to run your office. For example, an Energy Star certified computer is going to be 52% more efficient than a standard one. Laptops also use a lot less energy than desktops, so consider whether this is a viable option for your office. Energy efficient machines are also going to have stand by options that will power down or go into sleep mode to conserve energy when not in use. Once the office is closing for the day, make sure that all equipment is powered off.

Taking these steps will get you on your way to going green in your office. And as I promised, they will help you make a significant impact without significant cost or inconvenience to you and your employees. And you thought going green was going to be hard.

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06. May 2012 · Comments Off on The History Of Packaging Machinery · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

The origins and ideas behind packaging machinery are complex. After all, go back in history one hundred years and who needed it, I ask. You had the man in the local grocery store in his brown coat who would do all that sort of thing.

He weighed your meat, your rice, your fruit and veg, and your vinegar and then he wrapped them all for you in brown paper. A godsend to Jack and Jill but stories told through the generations will tell you that this man was under immense pressure. He was the ‘One Stop’ shop for the whole town and supplied all your culinary needs as well as your coal for heating, haberdashery needs and he also acted as a hardware store.

Trying to keep up demand for all this without packaging machinery must have been a veritable nightmare. There was no conveyor belt to speed things along. There was no plastic carrier bags for him to sling at customers to pack themselves. And there was no sullen face that sulked should he have to do something for his customers.

Shopkeepers today just don’t know they’re born. For the customers of olden days, particularly the elderly, the local grocer was the only person they spoke to in a day and he provided their only source of comfort in what would otherwise be a lonely existence. He would stand and chat while he collected their goods from his shelves. He would then carefully wrap them while diagnosing their ailments or lamenting the behaviour of young people and see his customers off, even opening the door for them.

The old time grocer may have had a long day but he certainly would have felt a sense of pride in the fact that he had made these people happy, supplied all their needs for a day and given that personal touch with the wrapping and chatting.

How did things change so much in the last one hundred years and who, exactly, called for this change? A visit to the shops is not the same anymore. So many shops specialise in only one thing that it can take up to eight different shops to supply a day’s needs. Every item you buy will be shrink wrapped by packaging machinery that has been programmed by an origami expert and will require a surgeons degree to get into.

Today’s customers have little contact with the shop keeper. If they’re lucky they may receive a grunt from them which will just about suffice in the signal that they are still alive. Food wrapped in plastic by food packaging machinery is silently slung at us so we can pack it in more plastic, the type guaranteed to remove digits on the way home.

When we get home we will break out the industrial strength scissors that we bought from the specialist scissor shop that now has to carry a licence to sell such dangerous goods. We can then waste half an hour of our lives trying to get into our food, thus aiding the weight loss diet because we eventually give it up as a bad job.

Still, at least we can sit down and relax with the daily newspaper and read about how plastic packaging contains carcinogenic agents and that this might just shorten our lives. The answer, apparently, is to use recyclable packaging that is bio-degradable and user friendly. So, that will be brown paper then?

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12. April 2012 · Comments Off on California Desalination Report With More Than a Grain of Subjectivity Part 3 · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

How unique is the impact of desalination operations on the environment?

The PI report points out two key areas of desalination project impact on the environment: the effect of their high-salinity discharge on aquatic life and the potential impingement and entrainment of plant intake facilities. Although the report claims that safe disposal of plant concentrate is a challenge, it fails to mention that there are over two decades of experience of safe concentrate disposal from both seawater and brackish water

desalination plants in the US and worldwide. It also ignores that there are no known cases where desalination discharges have actually caused significant environmental alterations of the ambient aquatic environment. In recognition that desalination plant concentrate can be managed without any measurable challenges, after rigorous technical and scientific review and analysis, in the summer of 2006, the San Diego and Santa

Ana Regional Water Quality Control Boards granted waste discharge permits to the 50 mgd Carlsbad and Huntington Beach desalination plants. These permits encompass desalination plant concentrate and the other side-streams (membrane cleaning solutions and pretreatment filter backwash) generated at the desalination plants.

The PI report claims that “impingement and entrainment of marine organisms are among the most significant environmental threats associated with seawater desalination”. This claim, however, is not supported by any data nor by any full-scale studies of existing seawater desalination intakes; neither is it substantiated by the observations and/ or monitoring of aquatic life in the vicinity of plants operating along coastal Spain, Israel or Australia—countries which have stringent regulations and elaborate legal and monitoring frameworks for protecting marine environments, comparable to that of California. The report also remains silent on the fact that existing state water project’s open intakes along the Sacramento Bay-San Joaquin Delta collect source water from aquatic environments that are much richer in life and more fragile in ecological

balance than the bare ocean bottom areas in the vicinity of most of the proposed open-intake seawater desalination intakes and the fact that these fresh water intakes collect an order-of-magnitude larger volume of water than the proposed desalination projects. This subjective review

of environmental impacts of the desalination plants underrates the authors’ ‘genuine’ concerns regarding the impact of various water supply practices on California’s environment and the fair comparison of this impact.

How does desalinated water quality fare against other alternatives?

The PI report states that use of desalinated water can be acause of health concerns and may result in water distribution system corrosion. Using outdated information regarding boron rejection of seawater membranes, the report claims that desalinated seawater can contain boron at levels exceeding the applicable safe drinking water requirements. The report states that “RO membranes can remove only between 50 and 70 percent

(of the 4.5 mg/L of boron contained in the ocean water) and therefore may exceed the California Department of Health Services Action Level for boron of one mg/L.”

Practitioners of seawater desalination know well that the quoted boron removal levels refer to membranes that are two generations old. Currently available seawater desalination membranes can reject over 90 percent of the boron contained in the seawater and according to

the September/October 2006 issue of the International Desalination Association’s Water News, “research is underway to achieve 93 to 95 percent boron removal.”

Similarly, using outdated information or misinterpreting existing studies or data, the report raises unfounded concerns regarding other water quality parameters such as disinfection byproducts (DPBs), algal toxins and mineral content of the desalinated water. The report fails

to acknowledge that over two dozen large, existing brackish water desalination plants in Florida have been successfully supplying drinking water (of quality and corrosion potential similar to that of the proposed California desalination plants) for over 15 years without health or distribution system related problems. Similarly, the hundreds of seawater desalination plants worldwide have been providing safe potable water of reliable and consistent quality for over two decades without causing problems such as the 1993 Cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee, Wis. or the recent corrosion-related lead water quality challenges in Washington, D.C.

Although desalinated water from the numerous existing brackish water desalination plants in California have been distributed to the public water supply for decades, the report makes the erroneous statement that the, “overall effects of desalinated water on California water distribution systems are not yet known.” Obviously, they are—but apparently not to the writers of the PI report.

Summary and conclusions

The recently published Pacific Institute report offers a subjective opinion of the viability of desalination in California that self-servingly renders most of the ongoing desalination initiatives immature. What is immature, however, is the knowledge and understanding of the report’s authors of the current status of desalination technology and their understanding of the critical importance of the development of a diversified water portfolio

that includes a well balanced mix of conventional water supply sources, water reclamation, conservation and desalination for the long-term sustainability of the California water supply and socioeconomic development of the state.

PI report’s opinion is not shared by the people of California, who in 2002 voted in support of Proposition 50, opening the opportunity for exploring brackish and seawater desalination as a new and reliable source of water supply for the state. Nor it is endorsed by the California

Department of Water Resources, which incorporated the development of 450 to 500 mgd of new desalination projects into their 2005 California Water Plan.

The key fatal flaw of the report is that it fails to recognize the wealth of international and domestic desalination experience and to understand the applicability of this experience to the site-specific conditions of California. Rather than pointing to proven solutions and state-of-the art knowledge associated with the use of desalination technology, the report tries to paint a picture of a water supply technology

of enigmatic problems and effects unknowable and “not yet seen” in California. Proving the century-old Will Rogers line that “common sense is not that common”, the Pacific Institute desalination report contributes little practical value or constructive input toward solving California water challenges and provides no useful, up-to-date information for readers interested in gaining an accurate and objective understanding of

the challenges and solutions associated with the use of desalination today.

Recognizing the value and importance of desalination for the state over the next five to 10 years, many California communities plan to make desalination a permanent part of their water portfolio. Approximately 20 medium and large desalination plants supplying up to 5.7 percent of California’s total urban water demand are projected to be built by the year 2015. Although existing fresh water sources, conservation and reuse will continue to play a central role in the state’s long-term water supply strategy, seawater desalination has unique appeal to many coastal communities because it allows access to a reliable and droughtproof source of drinking water that can be developed and controlled locally at

costs competitive to incremental expenses associated with the development of other water supply alternatives.

24. March 2012 · Comments Off on Solar Powered Attic Fans – The How and Why Of Installing Them · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

When it comes to energy usage these days a lot of people are looking for alternative energy sources and as such solar power is very much coming into vogue. At its current level of technological evolution, solar power is a useful means of powering small engines to run simple devices. Fans are one such simple device and you will many instances where using a solar powered fan makes more sense than a fan powered by conventional means.

Many manufacturers now offer solar powered attic fans to ventilate and help keep attics cooler. If there is inadequate ventilation in the attic and poor sealing between the attic and the other rooms in the house, attic fans powered by electric means can potentially draw air from the house into the attic. Not only does this compromise energy efficiency but it can also increase the risk of moisture problems in the attic.

Solar powered fans rely on a small solar panel (typically 10 or 20 watt) to power a DC motor when the sun is shining. The fans are installed with intake vents to provide high-capacity powered ventilation without electric operating costs. Most vents are mounted high on the roof near the ridge and are combined with soffit or gable vents for balanced intake and exhaust air streams. Ventilation is only provided when there is ample sunshine to power the fan motor. The highest fan speed will tend to coincide with the greatest heat from the sun and consequently the greatest need for attic ventilation. By reducing attic temperature, attic fans can help reduce summertime cooling loads while at the same time providing ventilation without the added utility load.

Using solar energy to power air vents in your attic means you eliminate the need for electrical wiring in this part of the house and as a solar ventilator uses no electricity you are also avoiding any ongoing operating costs. You will find that the equipment costs for a solar powered attic fan are higher than those of a conventionally powered fan (around $200 more) but this will usually be offset by the money you save in not having to extend electrical wiring into the attic. In addition to attics you will also find solar powered fans used in greenhouses, outhouses, garages, sheds, out-buildings, and paint rooms.

Retail prices for solar powered attic fans range from about $350 to $600 depending on ventilation capacity, the manufacturer, and optional features such as a thermostat.

In instances of new construction, roofers will usually install powered ventilating units. If these units are solar powered roof vents there will be no need for an electrician to rough and finish wire the units. For retrofit projects, a roofer or do-it-yourselfer will be able to install a solar-powered attic fan using conventional tools and techniques.

Whilst not applicable in every instance where cooling is required, solar powered attic fans are an example of smart thinking utilizing a natural energy source.

13. March 2012 · Comments Off on Eco Friendly Products and the Green Movement · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

Eco friendly products are goods and services that were manufactured with the idea that the process of producing and distributing them will not have a negative impact to the environment. Increasing awareness and concern for the environment has been affecting a lot of industries, with the “green” movement and ideals seeping into the collective consciousness of the buying public. There are many people who want to make a contribution, no matter how small, to protect the environment, which is actually a very good thing.

As a result of the public’s efforts to be more environmentally friendly, Eco friendly products can now be found everywhere from online stores to actual stores at the mall. To be called eco friendly, a product, such as clothes and accessories, must be made up of materials that were created and manufactured from organic materials. For example, cotton is the most predominantly used material for clothing. When growing cotton, the farmers sometimes used pesticides to protect the quality of the cotton. For eco friendly purposes, this has to be done away with. Pesticides should not be used in the production of cotton. The large-scale production and use of materials such as rayon has been a leading cause of environmental problems like deforestation. In keeping with the efforts of trying to maintain the ecological balance, several alternatives are being pursued to protect the environment. Chemicals, such as dye used for coloring the fabric, should also be scrapped. These chemicals are harmful to the environment and can also be detrimental to people’s health. If the fabrics and textiles made for manufacturing clothes can be produced without dyeing, thus eliminating the use of harmful chemicals, then it will be much better for the environment and the public. Moreover, the fabric should also be made to be more long lasting. If the clothes easily become old and worn out, disposing them can be an environmentally problematic option because these materials do not decompose easily. They will keep filling up garbage dumps and contribute to pollution and waste. Therefore, Eco friendly products must be made of strong and renewable materials. Recycling is also a considerable option. Clothes can either be made from recyclable plastic bottles and reusable fabrics. The above-mentioned processes may be small things compared to the wide-scale environmental issues but the tiniest things can have a huge impact if this is to be taken seriously. Fortunately, although the eco friendly production of cloth products and other accessories is still relatively new, it already has gained much popularity that even the most famous designers and fashion world’s who’s who are increasingly being swayed into promoting and supporting the go green movement.

However, protecting the environment is not the only objective of eco friendly campaigns. They also protect the rights of individuals for fair trade. Eco friendly products, besides being in most part organic, must also come from manufacturers that provide their workers with genuinely fair and decent working environment. They must be working in comfortable conditions and are being paid fair wages according to their hard work.

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28. January 2012 · Comments Off on Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Power – Revealed · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

With a new emphasis on alternative energy, it is no wonder people all over are starting to use the benefits of solar power. It is certainly an everlasting energy source, as long as there is the sun, there will be available solar power.

One advantage of this alternative power is that it is a very available energy source for electricity. However, there are also some disadvantages to solar energy that you should be aware of.

It’s best to research all of the advantages and disadvantages of solar power before you actually have a system installed on your home. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, then you’ll know that setting up your home for solar enerfgy is the right decision for you.

The Short-term Cost of Solar Energy: A Disadvantage

The sun’s rays are free, they beat down naturally on earth, however, it costs a lot of money to actually set up solar cells and other solar equipment on your home. Just the equipment to power a pool can cost thousands of dollars. It is very important that you diligently research all costs associated with powering any part of your home before you do it.

Ask questions about warrantee’s, how much repairs cost if necessary etc. One great long-term cost advantage to going solar is that you will never have to pay another bill from your power company.

Talk To Neighbors Who Use Solar Power

The best way to learn firsthand the advantages and disadvantages of alternative power is to talk to people who actually have solar cells set up on their homes. These people have nothing to gain by lying so you should get a very honest account of what it means to live off of solar power.

If you live in the suburbs you should easily be able to find someone in your neighborhood that already has solar power. Another great way to learn more about this enrgy source is to go to a store that sells the solar equipment and ask them if they have any testimonials or a customer list. Get a hold of these poeple and ask questions about solar energy.

Make sure that you contact more than one person. That will not only help you understand the advantages and disadvantages to solar power, but it will also give you a chance to get feedback on that store’s level of service.

You may hear responses like, “It’s very expensive to set it up initially but otherwise it’s great,” or, “I’ve saved so much money from going solar over the years it’s not even funny.” However, you may also hear things like, “If there’s no sun, you don’t get that much power. The reserves do not last that long and I’m sick and tired of all this solar nonsense.”

If you get mixed reviews from several people, make two columns and add the two up. Then, you should get a good idea how people feel about their alternative power.

Read Solar Power Forums

Forums are another great tool to hear, or read, firsthand how people feel about their solar setups. When people post things on a forum, they know it’s anonymous so you should also get a very honest representation of the advantages and disadvantages of solar power. Compare the list you get from the forums with the list you got from talking to people and then make your decision.

As you can see the most important aspect to buying solar power for your home is talking to other people, doing your own cost research, and then determining if it is right for you. Correctly weighing the advantages and disadvantages will help you make the choice that is right for you.

If you plan to live in your home only for another year or so, it may not be worth the cost, but on the other hand you could end up saving yourself a lot of money in the long run by going solar if you stick around for five years or more.

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19. January 2012 · Comments Off on Tropical Storm Fay Causes Flooding · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

This has been a tumultuous week for Florida residents as tropical storm has lingered for five consecutive days, dumping rain in the pan handle area steadily. The storm is only the fourth to make landfall on three separate occasions. Some areas have had two feet of rain to deal with along the low lying central Atlantic coast. Surely these water weary residents are ready for Fay to be on her way somewhere else.

Although tropical storm Fay has not been as severe as many in the past, there has been around twenty five lives lost, most recently two in Florida that were caused by heavy surf. Flood waters have caused snakes and alligators to show up in some unexpected places. The streets in some areas have seen a number of them and residents must beware.

Some counties have been declared disaster areas because of flooding. A lot of people are using their kayaks to get around where driving is not possible. There have been power outages and many schools and businesses are closed. It will be hard for surveyors to access the actual damage until the water has receded.

Whenever there are storms like Fay, even if the wind damage is not severe, the floods caused by the rain do enough damage to make up for it. Homes and businesses are uninhabitable even after the water has receded. Water damage crews will be very busy these next few months doing all of the necessary things to get people back in their homes and work places.

If you have never had your home flooded it can be hard to understand exactly how bad it really is. Anything that the water comes in contact with can be ruined. Even after only a few days of being submerged, mold will begin to grow where the water has been. This alone can totally destroy a home if it can not be killed and gotten rid of before it overtakes the entire home. Floods like these are dreaded by insurance companies because they may not be flooded with water themselves, but they will definitely be flooded with claims by those who are smart enough to have coverage.

It is likely to be at least a few more weeks before the total extent of damages done by tropical storm Fay can be tallied. It is still sure to be in the millions of dollars after all is said and done. Even when the water of Fay has gone away, the hurricane season is not nearly over yet and there could still be more damage to follow later.