Think going solar is too expensive? Think again!

SunGoing solar doesn’t have to mean spending thousands of dollars on solar panels!  You can go solar in other ways.  How often do you charge your cell phone or mp3 player?  Why not invest in a solar charger?  These little handheld devices can be as small as a cell phone and save you money and energy!  This would allow you to charge your phone or mp3 player anywhere, on the bus, studying outside, camping, or driving in the car. 

Want to charge your electronics while walking around campus?  Now you can!  Many different companies make backpacks and messenger bags with solar panels on the outside to charge small electronics. 

Solar heating is one of the oldest uses of solar energy.  To use this best for no cost at all, keep the blinds open when it is cold out to gain the solar heat.  When it is hot outside, close the blinds to keep down heating costs.

Why not try a solar cooker?  If you have a box, some foil, plastic wrap, scissors and glue, you can create your own solar oven.  In it you can cook many different delicious things, including pizza, cookies, bread, or experiment with other things.  This is a fun, easy project for anyone.  Solar ovens not only harness cheap, natural, renewable energy, but also allows you to keep the heat from the oven out of your house during those hot summer months.

Many of the winners of the Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming contest used solar panels on campus to generate energy.  These campuses used creative financing to make these purchases economical to the schools.  Check out the Chill Out winners and projects to find out how solar is used on colleges and universities.

Remember, just because you don’t have the money for solar panels, doesn’t mean you can’t harness solar energy!

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Published: June 4, 2007