Being Healthy in Body and Mind
First and foremost, you need to look at your body if you’re going to live green. Do you spend something like five hours a day on the computer? That’s bad for your mental health and your eyes. It wastes electricity and makes you sedentary, threatening your physical health. Being at fullest flourish in terms of health requires the right diet, exercise, and mental balance.
Technology isn’t inherently bad in and of itself, neither is chocolate. But if you eat pounds of chocolate every day, soon you’ll have to put on your belt with a boomerang, to use some tongue-in-cheek hyperbole.
You get the point: too many sweets make a person unhealthy, just like too much tech. On the other side of that coin, too little tech breeds ignorance of trends, and too few sweets make a person bitter, if slightly. Be in balance.
The same is true for your home. You can go totally “green”, but it’s going to be a bit difficult. Look, technically, a human being can live naked in a forest, eating mushrooms, insects, berries, and grass. That’s about the greenest you can get! You’ll have the lowest possible footprint. You’ll also probably have rotted teeth, bowel issues, and other health problems.
A Healthy Home
What makes more sense is finding that balance. Being grid-independent is entirely possible, and you can virtually eliminate your “footprint”, but there’s a right and a wrong way to do this. Believe it or not, it’s not too wise to invest only in “renewable” options.
Say you’ve got strictly solar energy. Excellent! You’re off the grid and saving money on utility bills. But what if there’s a blizzard? What if it’s cloudy for a week? You’re without power.
You need backup systems. It’s essential to have at least one secondary power source. You can double down on the renewable angle by installing a wind turbine and a water turbine, provided there’s a body of moving water nearby that is sufficient for your property to facilitate as much as is needed. But what if the water runs dry, the wind quits, and it becomes cloudy? Then you need a generator.
Comprehensive Energy Solutions
Ideally, you should have all four — backups for your backups – that sort of things. For about $20k, you can install these four systems, but if you’re not living remotely, zoning ordinances may prevent you from using them as you’d like. The combination of solar and a backup generator is being used most often to help people diminish their footprint and remain off-grid in cities.
To know how many solar panels you’ll need, you’ll want to monitor your energy usage over the course of a given month. You can get an excellent idea of what you’re already paying in electricity, and which available plans best fit your needs via Texas Electricity Plans. Essentially, you’ll be able to determine your daily electricity usage.
For most families, you’ll be covered by a solar energy array that provides 3.1 kWh (kilo-Watt hours) of energy. At $100 for a panel and $1,900 for cables, batteries, surge controllers and power inverters, if you install it yourself, you can get the whole thing done for $5,000.
You’ll get a tax break in many states, increase property value, and reduce utility costs enough to justify the expense of the panels, depending on usage, of course. At $100 a month in electricity, your solar array is paid off in fifty months or a little over four years.
Maximum Green Living
A garden in the backyard that’s carefully husbanded with nutritious vegetables and fruits which are easy to grow also makes a lot of sense, as does keeping some chickens.
If you can buy land near running water, you can build a prefabricated unit recessed into the ground for maximum energy conservation, install renewable energy, get the garden growing, keep the chickens happy, and do it all under $100k, paying that back through savings inside a decade.
But that’s ideally. Still, it’s not impossible; going off-grid makes a lot of sense these days. So get yourself healthy, determine what you can afford to do, and take things one step at a time.
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