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Ten ways to use the sun’s energy

Green Living

1. To dry your clothes

The sun has gone to a lot of trouble to send us its energy, so appreciate it! The heat and light on your face was on the surface of the sun eight minutes and nineteen seconds ago. So as a minimum, use it to dry your clothes. Since the sun is a giant nuclear reactor, tell your friends you have a nuclear-powered clothes dryer.

2. To grow your food

Take away the sun and what can you grow? Maybe marijuana under grow lights? With just soil and sunlight you can grow tomatoes, peppers, apples, raspberries, salad greens and more. Build a solar greenhouse that stores the sun’s heat in earth or concrete, a double-skinned insulated greenhouse, or a soap bubble greenhouse and you can grow food even during a cold Canadian winter.

3. To heat your water

Seventy million Chinese households use the sun to heat their water so why don’t we? You can use evacuated tubes or a flat plate to gather the sun’s heat. For an investment of around $6,800, these mechanisms will provide 100 per cent of your hot water in summer, maybe 40 per cent in winter. There are grants available to help in many provinces.

4. To treat your water

If you live in a tropical country, and your local water supply is unsafe, you can use the sun to disinfect water by filling plastic pet bottles and leaving them in the sun for at least six hours. The sun’s ultraviolet rays will kill any bacteria or organisms. If you live by the sea, you can use solar PV to power a desalination plant.

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