a windmill in the mountains
Sustainable Living

Is Sustainable Energy a Blessing?

Is sustainable energy a blessing or a curse?

Many people try to change their energy supply from fossil fuel to renewable energy by adjusting their houses. It is undoubtedly a good development avoiding fossil sources that warm up the climate causing many threatening situations, like tropical storms, floods, heatwaves, wildfires, etc. There is hardly any area left on this planet that is not changing due to our immense use of fossil energy. Heating, cars, and industry are a real problem for the climate, leading to looking for other energy sources.

But every change also has pitfalls.

All people worldwide need to adjust their lifestyles to improve our environment and save our planet. Industry reacts to our choices, and if we choose a sustainable lifestyle, they will adapt to the idea. The industry is a huge polluter and needs undoubtedly to be stopped. However, our relationship to consumption has to be changed! Urgent!

What is Sustainable Energy?

Is sustainable energy a blessing?
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There are many forms of sustainable energy, and in countries like Germany and the Netherlands, we use mostly wind and solar power. You see in Northern Germany and the Netherlands many windmills. In Ireland, they are placed in the water off the coast but also on land. These countries have a lot of wind and are very suitable for wind energy.

The development in the last years has shown that we use more solar panels, mainly installed on our roofs and controlled digitally. There is still enough sun in the Netherlands and Germany, making solar energy a great source of energy.

If you drive on the motorway in South Germany, you see many solar panel fields along the highway.

solar panels
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Wind, solar, and water are very well-known sources. But there’s also Bioenergy and Geothermal energy. While Bioenergy, also called Biomass,  is the process of creating energy from biological masses such as straw, manure, and other agricultural byproducts, Geothermal energy is energy from Earth’s internal energy sources, like geysers.

The definition of green or sustainable energy is that it can be utilized again and again without getting depleted, expired, or vanished, a problem we experience with fossil resources. Sustainable energy doesn’t exhaust and is not causing ” any harm to our environment and climate,” like greenhouse gasses and other pollutants. Sustainable energy is also called clean energy, but this is not true. I will explain it later on.

There is an increased demand due to the growth of the world’s population. Green energy sources are available worldwide and a great alternative to stopping using fossil sources. Most countries combine the different possibilities of generating energy, like solar panels and windmills. In warm countries, using solar panels is very convenient. Countries with lots of windy days can use windmills, while very hot places can use the earth’s energy under the soil. While solar panels are great for households, windmills are excellent for the industry. Many people are attacking the placing of windmills because they don’t look good in the environment and because there have already been accidents from wings coming down.

We have heard about fire developing in the solar panels in the last months in the news, burning houses entirely down. It is worrying, and the need for safety rules has increased.

Our responsibility for our future generations is to make life better, cleaner, more prosperous, and sustainable for them, a reason that technology is improving so fast and so much. There are already many people using green energy, and it has become more affordable to place, for example, solar panels,  saving on the energy bill. People can even build their solar panels for about $200, buying the needed materials and creating energy fully independent of their government.

 

Backyard Revolution
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However, there are many possibilities to place and use a sustainable energy source for your house or even flat. Local energy businesses are supportive in educating and finding the correct form of source for you. You can always ask for an offer and information from them, but also the internet.

How to Reduce Your Energy Usage?

You might not want to hear it, but you can do a lot to save on energy. Here in the Netherlands, we receive monthly a rapport about our energy usage and always included tips on saving more energy. Most time, our usage is lower than that of a single person living in a flat, and I am pretty proud of our reduced energy need. We live in a terrace house without a cellar. There is a coldness coming from the ground that we meet by wearing thick woolen socks. It helps a lot if you wear woolen socks without polyester made from goat or sheep wool. They keep you pretty much warm.

woolen grey socks
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In winter, we keep our thermostat in the living room and bathroom around 19 *Celsius ( 66,2 * F), which is entirely enough for us. If I feel cold, which happens quite often due to the autoimmune disease I am suffering from, I wear more pullovers or cover myself with a woolen blanket. Sometimes I use a warm water bottle.

The sleeping rooms are always cold, but we use two thick quilts, and it is great to breathe the clean cold air while sleeping. Of course, I have to admit that getting out of bed in the morning is somewhat tricky because it is still dark and cold in the room. 🙂 Do you have the same trouble? 🙂

The living room and kitchen temperature are down to twelve degrees at night, just warm enough for my plants. We do this already for years, and our gas bill is not too high. Because we have solar energy on our roof, we could bring down the bill quite far, using sustainable light bulbs, using the washing machine only when I have enough clothes together, and showering for a short time.

Because we are renting our house, we have gas for cooking. This is normal in the Netherlands, but I don’t want this anymore. The cooperation will not take care of an extra electrical connection for an oven.  If we spent the money for the electrician and the stove, we would pay for it double because our rent increases every year, which is why we are hesitating to get this done. But I would love to cook electrical instead of gas.

I am boiling lots of bone broth, which takes hours( sometimes up to 8 hours), so I use quite a lot of gas while boiling the broth. We are thinking about moving house because of the attitude the cooperation is showing towards us. I mean, we pay enough rent! The kitchen and the bathroom are already renewed by ourselves without receiving any money from the company—something I have never experienced in Germany and Ireland where the house owner has to take care of these things.

However, we can also save on energy using our bicycles or walking to get groceries from the shop. We are pretty lucky to have many shops very close to our house, but I buy mostly organic, which is why I need the car. It is too far away to go by bicycle or to walk. In the Netherlands and Germany, it is quite normal to use a bicycle.

a black bicycle in front of a house
Burst, Pexels

When I am working, I have to use my car to reach the people I care for. I try to combine my work with my shopping. As a traveling nurse, I shop in the area where I work, especially if I have clients in the town center where the most organic shops are located, like the butcher and organic shops, saving me time and energy.

How to Save on Your Energy Bill?

If you are a house owner, you better invest in sustainable energy, like solar panels. They bring your bill down, for sure. We have saved a considerable sum of money, even here in the Netherlands. I believe if we would have an electric oven, it would even be more.

I know a man who only burns wood, but this is not sustainable. He says that this is cheaper, and he is doing excellent cooking on the oven and warming up nearly the whole house. I understand what he is saying because he loves to live an independent life, and I must admit that having a fireplace is comfortable and cozy. It helps save you the bill because you don’t need to use gas, but it is certainly not sustainable.

a woman dancing around a fire at the beach
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels

We need to get away from gas, that is for sure, and having some solar panels installed makes a difference in the costs. But there are also problems attached, and this energy is undoubtedly not that sustainable as we think, but might be a business model for earning huge money.

However, we need energy for all our devices, and having light is such a luxury. Can you imagine having only petroleum and candles? I love candles in winter around Christmas time, but they are not very healthy for my lungs. I hardly can breathe if I use candles for days. I don’t know if you can relate to it, but I spoke to many people who experience problems breathing when they smell burning candles.

We all are happy that we can enjoy a warm shower or bath, and for this, we need water and energy. I try to keep the showering short to prevent wasting water. Warming up the water takes a lot of energy, and using solar panels does reduce the costs of warming up the water. Still, you waste a lot of water if you shower or take a bath for hours.

Is Sustainable Energy a Blessing?

Some people only see the advantages, and I understand. If we would use solar energy for our houses only, we might have no problems, but first of all, these forms of energy do produce a lot of electrical smog. In countries like Japan and South Korea, people experience many health issues due to the electrical systems in their big cities. These countries are the leaders in using electric cars. The need for charging supplies is enormous, and all over the cities, they have installed many chargers for the vehicles. Combined with electricity in their houses, these people experience continued electrical irradiation, preventing that they get any rest for their body’s cells. Can you imagine this heavy load on your body for 24 hours, every day pressing on your cells?

a city with lots of lights
Photo by Ethan Brooke from Pexels

I already experience many problems in our house since we have wireless wifi and the transformer for the solar system. We still have 4G, but it is already very damaging to our body cells.

I use some protection, like grounding sheets in our bed and a mat for my laptop, also I have a bioenergetic card for the smartphone. Most people have not connected to the earth anymore due to the rubber soles of their shoes and not walking barefoot on grass and sand. Sustainable energy development is stretching our natural defense system, even more, creating enormous stress for our cells.

Try to ground yourself wherever you are, and certainly in your house! I don’t know if this is enough for a positive electrically charged environment, like living in a big city with many electric cars driving around.

Another worrying point is that the wings and solar panels need to be renewed after some use, creating an enormous amount of waste. In the USA, this waste is being stored under the ground, buried. Huge fields of dumped materials from the solar panels and windmills are appearing in nature. It is not a good and sustainable development and shows me that it is again about big business and not reducing waste. It might help the climate, but it is burdening the environment.

I learned from a friend that about 60% of the panels and wings might be recycled soon, hopefully very soon!

Final Thought

Sustainable energy is more than welcome because the exploitation of fossil resources and climate change due to the warming up of the atmosphere need to stop. It is our all responsibility to support a healthier way.

The most common sustainable energy for the household is solar, wind, and thermal energy. However, there is a sting on it. The waste of the wings and solar panels is buried in the ground, which burdens the earth even more. Also, electrical smog is a threat to the health of every life on earth. If we want to stop pollution and climate change and support the health of all people and all life on this planet, we need to stop, rethink, and find real, sustainable way of energy sources.

Thank you very much for reading the article! I would love to hear your experiences and your opinion.

All the Best,

Sylvie

 

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2 Comments

  • Hannie

    Strangely enough, using solar power has been obstructed for years in Spain. A right-wing government, bound by hands and feet to the big electrical companies, made it really difficult for individuals to invest in solar power. The present left-wing government changed the rules a little bit, but still they don’t do enough to promote solar energy. For a land that has 300 out of 360 sunny days, that is awful, don’t you think?

    I agree burning wood and an open hearth are far from sustainable. I never liked the smell anyway, so even when nobody thought about sustainability, I disliked open hearths. 🙂

    In the winter I let the cold shower water heat up in a watering can. I will use that watering can later for the potted plants and the compost heap. In summer the water hardly needs to be heated. I shower after swimming and, after all, the pool water is not heated either.

    We still need a better solution for our heating though. At the moment it’s a diesel. I hate that.

    I understand your remarks about electricity use, but why is it we still need to own everything ourselves, like a car and a swimming pool, etcetera etcetera? I am to blame as well, having both a car and a swimming pool. But wouldn’t it be lovely if we could – for instance – have only one swimming pool per street and a few cars, and share the use of them?

    • Sylvie

      That is so weird, Hannie! Spain has so much sun; it would be great for solar. I love your idea of sharing cars or swimming pools. We don’t have one because it is too cold here. But I understand your idea! Maybe we should cycle more often. Is it possible to cycle in Spain? Sharing a car is something they discuss here as well in politics and might be a good idea! I love a wood stove, but it is not a good idea, but for special occasions it is beautiful! You are very right about the smell. It is not that healthy actually to breathe in the air of burning wood. I am jealous to hear you have so many sunny days! Lovely!:) Thank you very much for your comment, Hannie! Enjoy the sun! Maybe you can send some sun! I would love it! 🙂

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