What do you know about solar power?
Did you know that it's a considerable and essential source of renewable energy? In fact, in the first half of 2015, 40% of all new electricity-generating capacity came from solar. This is an incredibly positive development, given the decreasing availability of non-renewable fossil fuels that have historically been used to power our world.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the global supply of oil reserves will only take us through 2040 at the current rate of use. You read that right…one of our primary sources of energy will last us just 24 more years.
But solar power, when there’s enough of it, can provide sufficient energy for many of the things we use each day that are usually powered by batteries or electricity. So this summer, rather than relying on increasingly scarce non-renewable energy sources to fuel our fun, we decided to check out our solar powered options.
Here are some of our favorites:
For many of us, summer means spending as much time outdoors as possible. One of our personal favorite ways to get outside is by camping, a relatively environmentally-friendly activity in and of itself. That said, this solar powered camping gear helps you take it to the next level, while also proving to be incredibly convenient:
For Hanging Out
Truth be told, one of our favorite summertime activities is just…relaxing. Whether alone or with people we love, it’s always nice to slow down in the summer. Whether you like to listen to music, enjoy an outdoor meal, or lounge around to relax in the summer months, check these out:
- Headphones – Helios
- Radio – Eton Corporation
- Outdoor Cooker – SolSource
- Lighted Patio Umbrella – Sun Ray
- Entertainment Lounger – Hammacher Schlemmer (Just a little bit out of our price range, but still pretty cool)
For the Water
If you have a pool, you’re probably well aware of the costs associated with its maintenance. In addition to annual upkeep, you’re likely spending a significant amount powering pool pumps and heaters. In fact, homes with pools use 49% more electricity per year than homes without them. Luckily, solar power is a perfect alternative for pool-related energy needs. Try these options:
- Pool Heating Rings – Hammacher Schlemmer
- Pool Pumps – Sun Ray
- Light Up Chlorinator – PoolSupplies.com
- Pool Skimmer – Solar-Breeze
For Cooling Off
When temperatures soar, you probably use a lot of energy just trying to cool off. Whether you’re looking to stay cool on the go, or want to invest in solar powered air conditioning, these innovative products will help keep you comfortable through the hot summer months:
- Ceiling Fan – Solectric
- Cooler – Solar Cool Technologies
- Air Conditioner – Lennox SunSource
- Passive Solar Homes – While this may not be an option for most of us right now, it’s a really cool concept: Passive solar houses are designed to work with preexisting elements, generally the sun, to keep your house warm during the winter and cool during the summer.
If you use another cool solar powered product that you think we’d be into (we will!), share with us in the comments below.
If you’d like to learn more about solar energy, take the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar IQ Quiz – it’ll show you what you don’t know and fill in the gaps, so you can make more informed choices about your energy use in every area of your life.