08 July, 2007

Make The World Cleaner

There are a few simple things that we can do to make our World cleaner. Two of which are: using Solar energy and Fluorescent lamps; both of which, initially might be expensive but, are much cheaper in the long run. And environmentally, much cleaner.

Solar power, will most likely in future - be the number one energy supplier in the World. In Africa where, in most places, the sun shines, twelve hours a day and all year round - Solar power is even more suitable. Though it has run in to problems in Senegal due to the large scale project undertaken there, Africa and Africans should focus more on Solar energy. It's cleaner, much safer to both health and the environment than kerosene and other forms of energy; and conserves much needed foreign exchange.

Most people do not use fluorescent lamps and bulbs as they are more expensive than incandescent lights; or, they seem so. But, fluorescent lamps last much longer and use less energy than the incandescents. For about five years now, I have been using only fluorescent lamps in my home; and though, initially each of the lamps are expensive, in the long run I have realized - I have saved much more money on electricity bills and bulbs than if I had used the incandescents. And, the fluorescents are much more easy on the eyes and more attractive. Try using the fluorescents and see the difference.

I still recall my first direct experience with both Solar power and Fluorescent lamps. In 1992, I went visiting a friend of mine who lived deep in Ukambani, Kenya. He had always been telling me about his 120 or so acres shamba and had been asking me to visit him and his family there. He explained to me his reason for preferring a rural home rather than an urban one: it's much cheaper, much quieter and that he could raise his children in 'proper' surroundings - as he put it. I didn't know how 'rural' his home was. When I and my family, went visiting is when we realized how remote the place was; it took us a whole day, from Nairobi, to reach there. By the time we did, we were all exhausted - especially my youngest daughter who was already complaining. All of us were, in a way regretting the long trip. But not for long. I was surprised, very surprised at the kind of place my friend had.

He had this large nice house, far away from any other house, with corrugated iron sheets on top - on a neat compound. On the two sides of the house, he had big tanks for collecting rain water which poured on the roof and was piped to the near by kitchen, bathroom and toilet. And on the roof, he had Solar panels. Talk about sustainable living! Inside was very neat; and all lamps were fluorescent. And there was a TV which received several channels through a satellite dish on the roof. I couldn't believe it. There we were, in one of the remotest parts of Kenya and there was electricity and piped water. Outside, in his large shamba - cattle and goats grazed; and there were many chickens and pigeons. We had planned to spend only one night there, but we ended up spending three days and two nights in my friend's home. To date, I haven't forgotten that trip. It's then, my friend - laughing and joking - introduced me to the benefits of both Solar power and Fluorescent lamps.

I have taken long to follow his advice; but now I know - through practice and experience - that Solar power and Fluorescent lamps are superior and much better; and much cheaper. Yesterday's Live Earth concerts campaigning to solve Global Warming, is only a reminder. It will serve nothing if we, each and every one of us, do not act and do. However little the act or the doing, be it in planting a tree or using Fluorescent lamps or using Solar panels for energy - it matters. Really matters. And makes an enormous difference to our World.

For More Visit: Homepower, How to Make a Solar Power Generator Cheaply

Photos: solar-trackers , isd196

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