The Many Possibilities of Using DIY Solar Power

You can make the most of solar energy with DIY solar power projects that you can do around your home to save money and create a positive impact on the environment.

Maybe you enjoy being handy, or maybe you’re just looking for ways to save money now and in years to come. The solar energy information highlighted here will give you some helpful tips for getting started and great ideas for do-it-yourself projects.

Why Consider DIY Solar Projects?

The benefits of DIY solar projects are multi-faceted but easy to see.

-Return on initial investment in three years rather than 10-15.

-Less damage to environment

-The sun provides an endless source of energy.

-Saves money

-Save on electricity costs and will use less of it overall.

-You can add solar amenities at your convenience.

-Store excess energy to use when needed or sell back to utility company.

-Tools required are basic.

-Quality information often offered for free.

Drawbacks to DIY Solar Projects

The two major objections most often spoken in reference to DIY solar power projects are:

Initial cost of materials – can be expensive for some, even if you’re doing it yourself

No sunlight = no power for the home. It’s true, cloudy days and rainy days are not ideal conditions for using the sun’s energy to power your home. The good news is that there are backup systems available to stand in the gap and provide power for your home even on those “no sun” days.

Easy DIY Projects Using Solar Energy

What projects can you take on yourself without a ton of knowledge? There are hundreds actually, but we’ll list some of the easiest ones here to get you thinking. You’ll quickly realize that solar power is well within your reach if you simply know how to begin.

-Solar Stills – Produce purer water for cooking and drinking.

-Solar fans – for cooling the attic space so that your AC unit doesn’t require as much energy to run (it will run less often)

-Solar panels – build your own to place on the roof, on a pole, or on ground level to capture sunlight and power your home

-Solarize your home by adding passive solar elements.

-Solar water heaters

-Solar powered outdoor lights

-Solar water pumps

-Wind turbine

-Solar wood drying kiln

-Solar battery charger

-Solar oven

-Solar pool heater

Lower Your Homes’ Energy Requirements

You can also make an impact on how efficiently your home utilizes solar energy by doing the following:

-Install Energy Star energy saving appliances into your home to help reduce your overall energy requirements.

-Use fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights to reduce electricity needs.

-Install skylights if possible to take advantage of natural daylight.

-Opt for waterless toilets, composting toilets, or toilets that require less water to operate.

-Learn landscaping techniques that reduce your energy requirements.

-Properly insulate your attic.

-Insulate your windows and doors efficiently.

How To Get Started With DIY Solar Power

First, you must figure out and understand how much power your home requires and how much energy you need to generate. Once you have this knowledge, you can figure out how many solar panels you’ll need to build in order to generate your minimum energy levels.

Seek out your local zoning board and request a permit to install solar panels on or around your home. You’ll also want to contact your local power company to obtain permission to connect your solar panels to the grid.

Obtain a good manual with detailed instructions on how to build your own solar panels or any other beginner’s solar project so you know you have a good blueprint.

Make a list of the items you’ll need to complete each project and estimate the cost of the project before launching it.

You’ll be using free energy from the sun in no time!

M.S. Rochell, Ed.M. is the owner of http://www.Go-Green-Solar-Energy.com which offers practical and affordable solutions for using solar energy at home. Please visit for more tips on DIY solar power and for our free Affordable Solar Energy eBooks.

Green House Cleaning – Using Green Cleaning Supplies

With the increase in allergies in children and cancer in adults, many people are concerned with the chemicals they are using in their home and garden. There are effective alternatives to clean your home using green cleaning supplies. These green cleaning tips will save you money and help save the environment. Best of all – you probably already have these supplies in your cupboard – so you can start green cleaning right away! Some of the best natural cleaning products are baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, and water.

Lemon juice: Get rid of stains on your kitchen counter top by applying lemon juice and letting it sit for a few minutes. Then simply scrub the area with baking soda and wipe with a damp cloth. In your bathroom, clean your glass shower door by applying pure lemon juice onto the glass. Just spray it with warm water and wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Vinegar: Use vinegar to kill weeds that pop up between your interlock bricks in the driveway. It is best to spray the vinegar on the weeds after a few days of hot, dry weather, when the weeds will really soak up the liquid. Diluted vinegar also serves as a good floor cleaner for ceramic tiles – it leaves behind a nice shine & does not dull the finish. Vinegar is also a natural fabric softener. Add half a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle for soft, static free clothes.

Baking soda: Use baking soda to control odours around the home. Put an open box in the refrigerator to control odours from food. Keep a box in the locker or closet where you store shoes and sports gear. Sprinkle some baking powder in the garbage can or cat litter box before you insert the liner. Baking soda is also a natural stain fighter for fabrics. Just apply a mixture of 6 tablespoons of baking powder with a half cup of warm water to stains before washing.

For an all purpose cleaning spray, combine baking soda with white vinegar, water, and a few drops of antibacterial tea tree oil. Wash out empty spray bottles and reuse them with this natural cleanser.

Steam cleaners are a great alternative now that they make ones for the home costing around $ 100. Some brands are Haan FS20-Plus 800-Watt Steam Cleaning Floor Sanitizer, H2O and Shark, which come with reusable, washable cleaning pads. You can use the cleaners on tile, marble, wood, etc. You will be amazed how clean your floors will be using only water (turned into steam).  I own a Haan steam cleaner and absolutely love it. I have not needed any cleaning solution for my floors for over 8 months! Steam Cleaning Floor Sanitizer.

Rather than chemical sprays to make your home and bathrooms smell like flowers, why not put out some fresh flowers or potpourri in a decorative container? Potpourri lasts a long time and can be placed in decorative bowls in bathrooms, halls, bedrooms, etc. You can also make little satchels out of mesh bags and put them in your drawers to make your clothes smell nice.

Stephanie Browning, also known as Eco Chick, writes and educates on green living, environmental issues and raising healthy, eco-conscious kids. For more information on green living, visit http://www.planetecochick.blogspot.com.