Clean Energy in the United States

Clean Energy in the United StatesIt’s no secret to those with the will to learn that the United States, which accounts for about 5% of the world’s population, also uses a whopping 25% of the world’s energy resources to keep itself running. That’s a ridiculous set of figures, especially when you consider how much energy is wasted by Americans every year. Leaving the TV on while sleeping, leaving the sink running while brushing teeth and water heaters which are always running even when the owner doesn’t need hot water, well these are all great examples of types of energy waste which are all too common across the 50 states.

The USA’s great dependence on energy, whether that be coal, oil, natural gas, really anything that produces electricity, means that the country is often beholden to other countries from which it imports much of its energy. This doesn’t have to be the case though. In addition to cutting back dependence on foreign powers, investing heavily in green energy in the United States would lead to many other benefits for its citizens, like lower energy bills (hopefully) and more jobs in the energy sector, which means more Americans being put to work rather than sitting on unemployment rosters.

Energy waste is rampant in the United States. There are ways to fight against it though. Besides making energy cheaper to produce using green means like solar and wind, the agriculture industry could rely more on hours of natural sunlight, which is totally free, rather than running factory farms full of grow lights that are on all day every day. The unnecessary energy consumption here isn’t just like leaving a couple of T5 grow lights running all the time – we’re talking thousands and thousands of kilowatt hours every year which don’t need to be spent to feed the people living in the USA.

Food waste is right up there with energy waste in the United States, which is almost like getting punched in the face twice when you think about how much energy is wasted to produce the food that gets wasted anyhow. According to Washington State University, Americans as a whole throw out over 200,000 tons of edible food every day. It makes you wonder why we burn through so much unnecessary energy growing the stuff just to throw it away. For the environmentally conscious, it might also make you wonder what you can do to cut back on those numbers.

One option would be to start growing some of your own food, thereby cutting down on the demand for more agribusiness produce and giving those big corporations less incentive to keep doing what they’re doing. Plantozoid features different lighting systems which can help with this, including some solar options which collect UV rays from outside and then emit similar light, which allows you to grow plants indoors even when conditions outside are inhospitable to growing things. It’s no perfect solution, but if a few million people were to pick it up, there would be a visible change in the United States.

Read More

Camping and Politics

Camping and PoliticsMy best friend and neighbour Sam and his wife decided that this Easter we would make the best of the 4-day break and go camping. The place we chose was the North side of the Grand Canyon National Park. When guys get together to plan a camping trip, it’s like making plans for a military strike. We try to think of every contingency, try not to carry too much but take the essential thing we need to make it enjoyable. Camping rough style is okay for the young folk who seem to be able to sleep anywhere these days, but for Sam and me and our wives, a reasonable bed to lay our weary bodies is a necessary commodity.

I had a GMC Acadia and Sam drove a Ford Edge and we had equipped these vehicles specifically for such camping trips. Pull out trays in the rear, detachable front push bars and roof racks to carry the tents and beds. Sometimes we go shooting in the State Forests so we had the vehicles set up with high quality LED lighting bars on the market. I remember back on the old cars we owned, we had mounted the old style halogen hi-beams, but since the technology in LED’s had changed so much, then these new bars were the only way to go. As well as driving with them, we used them to maintain good lighting at the campsite until we had the campfire going and we could relax with a drink and chat.

We’ve had some meaningful discussions during our camping trips and one, in particular, was about the Presidential Election, which Obama won in 2012. Our election process had always confused me but Sam was pretty well clued up on how it all worked and he had spent some time explaining it to us one evening as we watched the sun go down at our campsite. For those of you who don’t know how it works here’s the short version.

You have to know that in the USA there are three branches of government:

  • Executive
  • Legislative
  • Judicial

When you vote in your state, you’re not actually voting for the President directly, you’re voting for the representatives that your state has been allocated. The number of Presidential Electors you have depends on your state’s population. Each State has two senators regardless of the population but they have a different number of representatives based entirely on population. These representatives make up what is known in the USA as the Electoral College.

So, when you vote you are voting for your state’s members of the Electoral College. For example, in Georgia, if you voted for Barack Obama, you voted for the State’s 16 Democratic Electors. If you voted for Mitt Romney, you voted for the State’s 16 Republican Electors. In less populated States there are fewer Electors. Again an example – Wyoming has only 3 Electors.

There is a total of 538 Electors who determine the next US President. The winner must get at least 270 votes.


Read More

Strategic planning ideas to boost productivity

Strategic planning ideas to boost productivityAs the proverb, ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’, implies we tend to while away our precious time ending up in reduced productivity and never reaching the goals we have set. But this state of affairs can be changed, if you are able to follow certain strategic planning methods. These will help increase your productivity and speed up the time taken for completing things. In fact, these methods have been successfully used by the most productive individuals in all fields.

Focus your skills

To generate highest productivity and yield, you have to focus your skills and abilities on things that will produce the best yield. This is the key to success in all spheres of your life whether it is personal or professional. Businesses do this successfully by allocating the highest resources to yield best financial return. On the personal front, this can be applied by focusing your abilities in a way, which will bring you the highest return in physical, emotional, and mental level. When you are able to use your abilities and special talents to help with the particular needs of a situation, you can succeed remarkably.

Focusing on a task single-mindedly will help in completing the work efficiently. For instance, training in piano lessons is a difficult and arduous task. You need to master the notes, time intervals and add in the necessary emotive elements, which needs the highest level of concentration. Digital pianos such as those at very advanced features that make the learning easier. Nevertheless, you still need to keep your focus well aligned to master the instrument. This applies to any other work you set out to do. When you invest your energy the right way, it will yield the greatest returns.

Watch out for opportunities

To make up most of the opportunities that come your way, you need to focus your energy on them the right way. Instead of meandering in the troubled past concentrate on the opportunities tomorrow represents. Focus your best energy, talents, and those of the people in your team on the areas that can yield the best results or breakthroughs for you.

Eye the results

To capitalize on your skills and produce best results, you need to identify the important result areas and work on them entirely. This is a key part of strategic planning and when done can increase your productivity tenfold.

The important result areas for every individual are about six or seven in number. When you ignore the superficial and unimportant aspects and focus on the significant areas, you will be able to achieve better results and in a shorter span too.

Deadlines are necessary

If you intend to make the strategic planning work for you, setting deadlines is very important and more important is adhering to them. Without a deadline, your entire work will be futile. The deadline helps you focus harder and work effectively to finish the work before the deadline. A lack of deadline makes you procrastinate and put off the work until the end, which will not work in your favor at all. To boost your productivity and do things efficiently deadlines are vital and they are motivating forces that drive you towards getting things accomplished right on time.

Read More

Benefits of Renewable Energy Use

Benefits of Renewable Energy UseWhile the giant strides humanity is making in the field of technology and others is certainly a good thing as far as progress is concerned, it does have some serious backlashes. While we have gone forward in a full burst firing on all cylinders (literally and figuratively), we have left behind some really detrimental carbon footprints that may well be our Achilles heel, if we do not take the necessary steps to redeem.

Human activity over the past few centuries has overloaded our earth’s atmosphere with global warming harmful emissions including carbon dioxide. These emissions have accounted for over one third of the harmful emissions in the US. The majority of the emissions have been produced by the power plants fueled by coal. This produces about 25 percent of the emissions in the US, while 6 percent of the emissions is from power plants fueled by natural gas. But when fueled by renewable energy, the emissions related to installation, operation, maintenance, dismantling, manufacturing, decommissioning are very minimal.

When compared with the emissions of natural gas and coal, wind and solar energy produce very low emissions. This is true for hydroelectric and geothermal energies too. Generating energy from biomass is not so easy to assess because it depends on the resources used and the way it is harvested. When sourced sustainably, biomass leaves behind low emissions, but on the other hand when produced from unsustainable sources, it can contribute significantly to the growing harmful emissions.

The surge in use of vehicles is also one of the reasons for increase in pollution. Nowadays ‘no car’ days and other such measures are being introduced by governments to reduce the vehicular pollution. Walking to work when it is within reasonable walking distance is a sure way to reduce vehicle use. With shoes that keep you comfortable for hours on end such as those at Nicer Shoes walking to work would not be that much of a hardship.

An increase in the renewable energy helps in reducing many of the major problems affecting humanity such as neurological damage, cancer, heart attacks and breathing problems. Just as exercise helps to ward of many of the life style diseases, using renewable energy is a way to reduce mortality. While you are on a fitness regimen, it is best to wear proper workout shoes like those at that withstand the rigorous workout.

With renewable energy such as solar and wind, water is not essential to produce them hence the limited water resources will not be polluted or restricted for use in agriculture and other important needy areas. Further with the hydroelectric, solar and wind energy systems you will not have any associated harmful emissions. Only the geothermal and biomass renewable sources give rise to some air pollutants, which are of a far less quantity when compared to the emissions produced by gas fired and coal fired power plants.

When used judiciously, renewable energy will help in drastically reducing the use of carbon rich energy sources, which have contributed to increased harmful emissions. If renewable energy is utilized properly, studies reveal that by the year 2025 a 25 percent reduction in the emissions can be achieved. And if the renewable energy initiatives are successful, by 2050 nearly 80 percent of the emissions could be reduced.

Read More

Exercises to Increase Your Strategic Thinking

Exercises to Increase Your Strategic ThinkingThe most valuable skill that a person today can possess is the ability to think in a strategic way. All too often in today’s culture, thinking tactically and strategically is a rarity and a skill that is prized by people all over. However, is this really the way that this should be? Strategic thought is a SURVIVAL skill. If you have no ability to think in the long-term and make strategic plans for the future, you have no hope of a future that is better than your present. Today, we will explore different ways to increase your ability to think strategically, and therefore set you apart from the the mediocre people of the world. Do not be like the masses who sit with their heads down, never thinking past the next paycheck or showing of their favorite TV show. Be the person that normal people cannot understand; go beyond the masses!

Play Chess

If you have never played the game of kings and royalty, you are severely limiting your ability to think like a strategic person. Not only will you increase your ability to think strategically, you will be able to learn a game that is fun to play. This game is one that few people play, and even fewer play well. Chess is the game of people that know how to think 10 moves in advance, and to win in chess you MUST be able to make long-term plans. Not only that, but you will learn how to change your long-term plans as unexpected events come across your path. This game is one of the best ways to make you into a strategic thinker that is able to plan AND adapt. Once you gain these two abilities, you are almost unstoppable. You have a plan, and you can adapt it as needed. Chess is the best way to learn to think strategically, and it is the most fun way to learn how to do this. You can learn to play one of two ways; if you have a friend who plays, pick their brain and learn from them and play against them. If you have no one to play with, make an account at and play with people online. You will encounter people that are so good that you MUST adapt to their level. Learn to play chess! You will learn AND have a great time doing it!

Make Decisions!

One way to differentiate yourself from masses of other people who never make a choices with their life is to make a solid decision and stick with it. Too many people are faced with a choice and push off that choice on someone else… You can be the person to actually make a call and stick with it! It really doesn’t take too much to be able to gain this skill; when friends ask you “where do you want to go for dinner?” have a choice in mind! Make a call of some kind! Don’t be the person that just says “I don’t know… You pick…” be the person that knows what they want and acts on that. This skill goes even deeper than just that however; you have to know what YOU want in life. You cannot let other people think for you and make choices for you. That happens enough in life already. You be one the to make calls as you see fit, and other people will listen to you! Do not procrastinate in what you know you need to do. If you are faced with a choice or decision, make a call of your own, and seek advice only if you really need it. Support from wiser people is good, but you need to make your own way in life too. Make choices and calls is a huge part of strategy! One of the reasons that the US economy is as bad as it is is because people wait for the option of other people who are just as ignorant and uninformed before they make decisions.

Think Critically About Why People Do What They Do

Although it is a cliche, people are creatures of habit. Most often, people perform the actions that they do simply because “that is how it has always been done.” If you are able to ask the “why?” questions as to why people act a certain way, this will give you an edge over other people. In other words, you truly are going through life with your head up and your eyes open, watching what other people do and taking notes. If you are able to find a more efficient method of performing a certain action, you can make huge changes in the world. The alternative energy industry got started this way; people looked critically at all of the waste that goes on with traditional energy and made a better way. You can do the same! All it takes is observation and careful thought. You become a more strategic thinker when you do not accept everything that people do, and think that there might be a better way to do something. The more you learn to think critically, the better of a citizen you will become. All it takes is a bit of observation on your part, and a slightly different way of thinking. Then you will be on your way to success!

To Conclude;

Learning to be a strategic thinker does not require a huge change in how you think or live your life. All it takes are some small adjustments to what you normally accept as the best way to carry on in life. Being different does go a long way to success! If you set aside time to play chess a few minutes per day, learn to make decisions on your own, and think critically about life as you see it around you, you are setting yourself up for massive success in the future. Be different! It can mean the difference between success and failure!

Read More

Affordable Alternative Energy Solutions

Affordable Alternative Energy SolutionsWhen gas prices start to rise, just about everyone on the planet wonders why we don’t try harder to make a source of fuel that is cheaper and renewable. Every time you have to drop a small fortune at the pump, it generally makes you feel less good about driving your car at all. However, more and more money is being poured into the study of alternative sources of energy. In the future, we may have no need to use the wasteful sources like coal and oil that we are so dependent on now. There is no reason to waste so much money on sources of energy like this; today we will talk about the new affordable sources of energy that are becoming more and more popular.

Solar Energy

This one is a gimme. Solar energy has been one of the most popular forms of alternative energy used since the technology was developed. There is something almost poetic about the use of it; you are using the power of the sun to fuel almost everything on Earth, from plants in nature to the power for your iPhone. Solar Energy is however somewhat of a regional thing; it tends to work far better in the desert than it does in more cloudy climates. However, there are plenty of other alternatives for the less-sunny areas of the world:

Wind Energy

Wind energy is another one of the most popular ways to generate alternative energy. This sources of energy is far less climate-bound; all it takes is a nice breeze to run through the turbines to generate the electricity that an area needs. The problem that many people see with this source of energy is that people believe that it messes up scenic views of an area. This can be a valid argument; however, pollution destroys scenic views much more quickly than any wind power can do. It is worth the slight effect to the scenery to bring long-term energy change.

Hydroelectric Power

This method is one of the useful for areas without as much wind or sun. All it takes is a source of water to flow through a turbine, and electricity is created! Creating this power does not have to be a difficult job at all. This is also a very cheap way to generate power once the system is built; all it takes is slight maintenance and you are on your way!

The Way of the Future

Like it or not, alternative sources of energy are the way of the future. The US economy is getting a big boost because of the new market for Green Energy, and the environment will get a change to recuperate from all of the pollution damage that has been done to it over the years. It is worth making lifestyle changes because in the long run, green energy will cost less. You do not have to spend as much on fuel, and the environment is much safer.

Read More

Ways to Restore the US Economy

Ways to Restore the US EconomyToday in the United States, the economy is going through struggles that have never been experienced in all of history. That is not to say that the economy is the worst that it has ever been; no, the economy is going through different TYPES of struggles than it ever has before. The prices of goods go up and down, and there never seems to be any rhyme or reason as to why the economy takes the upturns and downturns that it does. Not all is lost, however! There are ways that the economy could be turned around… And those ways are in the hands of the people AND the government alike!


Now, before you get offended, I realize that not everyone can get a job and that is NOT their fault. It really is not. If someone is really looking for work and can’t find any, that is a problem with the way the United States operates. If lots of people are unemployed, that can really mess with the way that the economy functions. The best solution? Put as many people back to work as possible! The way to get this done is to increase investments in education nationally, and spend more money in the US itself.

Increase Worker Power

The power of collective bargaining is one of the reasons that we have a fairly good wage system in the US now. However, businesses like Walmart that are very hostile to unions can set the whole standard back in the nation. The more power that workers have, the more ability they have to raise how much they get paid for different services. This as a result gives more people incentive to work at the higher wages.

Clean Up American Finances

There are two easy ways to fix finances in the United States; it is a two-step plan. The first part of the plan is to make more goods in the United States. This boosts the ENTIRE economy of the US, and cause more and more businesses to spring up out of the woodwork.

The next step in the national improvement of the United States is to change the laws surrounding the financial sector in the US. Right now, Wall Street has far too much power to change huge parts of the financial economy. If taxes were laid to slightly discourage too much financial prospecting, this would go long ways to stop abuse of power on the part of Wall Street. This plan is must be executed in two parts; we will be able to boost the economy while removing obstacles to progress.

How Can YOU Help?

While many of these seem like things that you cannot do anything about by yourself, there ARE ways that you can help! If you write to your congressmen and women, you will be able to help convince them to change the laws and thus change the financial economy. It is in the best interests of congresspeople to listen to their voters; your voice DOES make a difference!

Read More