10 Ways To Generate Your Own Energy

Your parents were right; if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Sure, the government is passing legislation to encourage development of alternative energies. The energy industry is taking their own measures to increase efficiency while reducing environmental hazards. All of that is great, and necessary.

However, generating even a little of your own energy is a great idea for several reasons. First, you’re reducing your carbon footprint, resulting in less use of fossil fuel. Second, every piece of energy-efficient equipment you buy encourages those companies to develop even better technologies. Third and best of all, generating your own energy saves you money, particularly in the long run. Should you generate more electricity than you use, your energy provider might even purchase your excess energy, putting cash in your pocket.

Some methods of generating electricity are easier than others, but you have to start somewhere. Here are ten ways to make your own energy and contribute to a greener future.

1. Exercise on a stationary bike equipped with a power generator. In effect, you’re powering an electric turbine while getting your morning exercise. If you like to build things on your own, you can purchase kits that include the parts you must attach to your stationary bike. Plenty of retailers will sell you complete units that are already assembled. If you pedal at even a moderate rate, you can power the radio or CD player you listen to as you work out.

2. Cover your roof with solar panels. Not only will this allow you to harness the rays of the sun in a productive way, but the panels also act as another layer of insulation, keeping the temperature of your home where you want it.

3. Reduce the amount of energy you need to use in the first place, and you won’t need to generate as much. You know the drill: turn off lights when you don’t need them, turn the thermostat down a little in the winter and up in the summer.

4. Harness the power of the rivers and streams on your property. Installing hydroelectric turbines will allow you to make use of all of that energy that would otherwise just flow on by. You’ll probably want to install the turbine at a point in the waterway that experiences the fastest flow. Bends and turns are good places for this. If you’re not sure, see if you can consult a geologist.

5. Replace your battery-powered flashlights with models that are powered by side-mounted cranks. This is a good idea for a couple reasons. Yes, you will be generating your own energy, but you also won’t have to worry whether or not the batteries in your flashlight are working when you find yourself in an emergency. Just turn the crank a few times, and you’re ready to go.

6. Connect your house to a biogas generator. A standard generator burns gasoline or another kind of fossil fuel to coax electricity out of a turbine when the public grid is having a problem. A biogas generator produces electricity by burning the methane that is created during the decomposition of natural materials.

7. Consider making your energy generation a neighborhood project. If you split the costs between several neighbors, you will be able to afford bigger, better and more efficient solar panels or wind turbines. Energy independence is a communal idea, and sharing these facilities with your neighbors is a good way to contribute to the renewable energy movement.

8. Invest in a wind turbine for your home’s roof. Unless you live in a particularly windy area, the turbine won’t be able to power your whole home by itself. Over time, however, the benefits will add up, contributing to your overall energy efficiency.

9. Take advantage of and generate heat energy using the source nearest to you. What is this source? Your own body. When you’re a little chilly, do a few jumping jacks to elevate your heart rate. You insulate your home; insulate yourself by using another blanket while you sleep. When you think about it, your body is a machine that turns food into mechanical energy and heat.

10. Keep an eye out for new options as they are developed. New methods for generating your own energy are being released all the time. For example, scientists are learning now to make clothes out of nanofibers that create electricity when you move around. This is perfect for a lot of personal applications, such as keeping your portable music player charged.

By: Mel Joelle

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