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-Going Green - Sustainable Living Resource Guide
Building Green = Building Healthier Homes
Choosing to build "Green"saves energy. A product is considered"Green"when the manufacturer ensures that very little energy went into its production.
In addition to using energy efficient appliances,"eco friendly"design (like "day lighting") can help to reduce energy consumption even further by minimizing energy used for heating, cooling, and light.
Eco friendly construction can not only help to create a healthier outdoor environment, it can also help to ensure a healthier indoor environment.
Geothermal energy, simply, is the heat from the Earth. It's clean and sustainable. This heat can be used as an energy source in many ways, from large and complex power stations to small and relatively simple pumping systems. It can be found almost anywhere; as far away as remote deep wells in Indonesia and as close as the dirt in our backyards. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth's surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma.
Geothermal heat pumps can tap into this resource to heat and cool buildings. A geothermal heat pump system consists of a heat pump, an air delivery system (ductwork), and a heat exchanger (a system of pipes buried in the shallow ground near the building). In the winter, the heat pump removes heat from the exchanger and pumps it into the indoor air system. In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from the indoor air into the heat exchanger. The heat removed from the indoor air during the summer can also be used to provide a free source of hot water.
Wind is the movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. In fact, wind exists because the sun unevenly heats the surface of the Earth. As hot air rises, cooler air moves in to fill the void. As long as the sun shines, the wind will blow. And as long as the wind blows, people will harness it to power their lives.
Farmers once used windmills to grind their grains and pump water. People today are using wind turbines to create electricity from the breeze. Over the past decade, wind turbine use has increased more than 25% each year. Still, it only provides a small fraction of the world's energy.
The biggest wind turbines generate enough electricity to supply about 600 U.S. homes. Wind farms have tens and sometimes hundreds of these turbines lined up together in particularly windy spots, like along a ridge. Smaller turbines installed in a backyard can produce enough electricity for a single home.
Wind is a clean source of renewable energy that produces no air or water pollution. And since the wind is free, the costs to operate it are close to nothing once a turbine is erected.
Biomass is basically all of the plants and animals that are on the planet today. Some might even consider human beings as biomass. Anything that is alive is considered biomass, but so is anything that was alive recently. It’s life that receives energy from the sun and when it is used to create energy, it is a very renewable resources.
One of the reasons why biomass is such a positive source of energy is because there's so much of it in the world today. Many biomass products are used to build homes. There is always scrap material leftover from building projects and in the past, this meant having landfills filled with this material. Now that we know they can be burned to create energy, electricity, and other forms of renewable fuel, those scraps can be used efficiently as a resource for energy that we normally wouldn’t have.
It isn’t just leftover trees that are used to create biomass energy. Many communities are using trash burning facilities to create electricity and other forms of energy as well. The current output of biomass energy in the United States right now is enough to provide electricity to over 1 million homes. Recycling is a good thing, as is composting, but turning waste into power also has some unique advantages that really shouldn’t be ignored.
What it means...
"Going green" means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.
Marine energy or marine power (also sometimes referred to as ocean energy, ocean power, or marine and hydrokinetic energy) refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, and ocean temperature differences. The movement of water in the world’s oceans creates energy in motion. This energy can be harnessed to generate electricity to power homes.
The term marine energy encompasses both wave power, (power from surface waves,) andtidal power, (obtained from the kinetic energy of large bodies of moving water).
The oceans have a tremendous amount of energy and are close to many if not most concentrated populations. Ocean energy has the potential of providing a substantial amount of new renewable energy around the world.
"Renewable Energy" = "Green Power"
Renewable Energyprovides "clean" energy with zero co2 emissions. Green Power is electricity that has been produced from natural, renewable resources.
Sources include: * Solar * Wind * Geothermal * Biomass * Ocean * Hydroelectric
Solar Power is power produced by Solar Energy: The light and heat from the sun.
Solar Energy is one of the cleanest renewable energy sources available. In the U.S., Solar is the least used of the renewable energy sources available. It accounts for only 1% of the nations total energy consumption.
There are two main categories of solar energy. One is called"Active" solar energy and the other is "Passive" solar energy.
Active means directly converting solar energy into other forms of useful energy like electricity or heat. You'll find this mostly with the use of devices such as solar panels.
Passive means taking advantage of the sun's natural light and heat without the use of any mechanical or electrical devices. A great example of Passive solar energy is something builders call"day lighting." Day lighting is a method used while building. It allows the walls, windows and floors of buildings to collect the sun's energy during winter months and reject it during the summer months. An example of this is a home's window placement. South facing windows allow for maximum solar absorption. Another example is the use of"thermal mass." Thermal mass is a solid or liquid material that can store heat. Building materials categorized as thermal mass are water, brick, tile, concrete, clay and adobe. The specific heat capacity of building materials vary. In general, denser building materials have a higher specific heat capacity per unit of volume than less dense materials, which is why concrete, stone, and gypsum wallboard are more likely to be used to provide extra thermal mass than wood.
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