The Future of Solar Energy – Shawn Qu, TEDxWaterloo

As the world becomes more digital, so does our buying behaviour. More and more people are gravitating towards purchasing energy-efficient appliances and gadgets because they want to cut back on their energy bills. This trend is also changing the way we look at energy. While it wasn’t that long ago that solar power was considered expensive and a luxury item, advancements in technology have made it possible to produce reliable energy on a large scale. This, in turn, has made it a popular choice for consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and do their part to save the environment. It is, therefore, no surprise that many large appliance and gadget retailers have opted to expand their offerings into the world of solar power. Here are just a few of the exciting new products that make up the future of solar energy.

New Residential Models For Old Technologies

The biggest change to come from this new buyer mindset is the way we build our homes. Thanks to improved insulation and more energy-efficient construction materials, it is now possible to save a lot of energy while maintaining a cool temperature inside the house. As a result, we have seen a rise in the popularity of unplugged homes. These are homes that run on solar power, wind power, and sometimes even hydro power. They use appliances and technologies that were previously only found in professional kitchens but have made their way into every home thanks to the growing number of eco-friendly consumers.

This change in consumer behaviour has also affected the way we buy new homes. Instead of focusing on the size of the lot or the shape of the yard, home builders have shifted their attention to the energy performance of a home. In addition to asking about green energy options, potential home buyers are starting to ask about the energy performance of different home designs and models.

New Farm To Table Options

While we have seen a huge shift towards more sustainable and green construction, the food industry has shifted in the other direction. More and more people are deciding to eat organic, gluten-free, and vegan foods because of personal preferences and a desire to cut back on their animal cruelty footprint. As a result, we have seen a rise in the popularity of backyard chicken coops. These are just a few of the more than 100,000 different kinds of vegetable and flower seeds that are now widely available to build your own farm. Thanks to this growing trend, it is now far easier to grow your own food than it has ever been.

To give you a taste of this new alternative lifestyle, here is a look at just a few of the new products that allow you to bring the farm to your table.

Raised Bed Gardens For All Weathers

Whether you live in a warmer climate or a more temperate climate, there is an option for you when it comes to gardening. If you live in a place where it snows a lot, you can opt for a snow bed garden. These are raised beds that are placed around the perimeter of your property so that you can grow your own winter ingredients like potatoes, carrots, and onions. This way, you can always have a meal ready when the spring blooms and the weather turns pleasant. You can even move the beds around so that you can grow crops according to what best fits your space and what you can afford.

If, on the other hand, you live in a place where it is warm all year round, you can opt for a greenhouse. These structures are usually made from metal or plastic and provide a sheltered environment where you can grow your fresh produce all year long. They also come in a range of sizes and shapes so that you can find one that suits your needs. If you have the extra room, you can even grow some flowers and herbs inside to give your house that extra touch of nature.

Portable Power For Emergencies

Backup power is vital in case of an emergency. It allows you to continue operating your home without being tied to the grid meaning you can continue to use your electronic devices and appliances as normal while your electricity is being fed by an external source. This is especially beneficial if you live alone and the electricity supply from the grid is interrupted for some reason. With portable power, you can charge up your electronic gadgets and devices in the event of a power cut. This is usually done by either connecting a generator to your outdoor power supply, which in turn connects to your home’s electrical system via an inverter. Once connected, you will see a surge in electricity along with a rise in the music volume. You can also use it to cook food or keep rooms warm on surprisingly chilly days. 

Another great thing about portable power is that since it is portable, it can be brought inside when the weather turns cold. This way, you can continue to use electricity even when the temperatures outside drop to their lowest. When the sun starts to set and the wind starts to howl, you can bring your portable power outside and continue to use it until the sun comes up again. This allows you to harness the power of the day and continue using it until near bedtime when the sun sets and the energy begins to be consumed by the night’s activities. This also means you can cut down on your energy consumption during the day and opt for a less harmful impact on the environment whilst generating your own energy at night when needed.

Hygiene Is Paramount

Aesthetics, or how a product looks, is not everything in life. We have many appliances and gadgets that are considered “unsightly” yet functional. For example, older refrigerators and freezers still have a place in our homes even though they are not considered stylish. Thanks to modern day hygienic concerns, we now have a growing selection of products that can only be used in sanitized areas or places where hygiene is a concern.

Even our clothes have adopted these sensibilities. If you look at most of the clothing brands that have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon, you will see that their products are almost uniscepticle to each other. From skin cleansing products to odor-eliminating deodorizer sprays, we are constantly bombarded with messages to keep our body and home clean. This focus on hygiene has permeated even the most basic areas of our daily lives, resulting in a more mindful, green approach to daily living.

Make It Easy

When was the last time you went to the store and spent over an hour searching for a product that you thought would be easy to find? To avoid this frustration, we have invented digital devices and applications that make our daily lives simpler. Whether we are searching for recipes or wanting to find the best deals online, technology has made it easier than ever to complete these tasks.

As a result, we have seen a rise in the number of “smart appliances” that are driven by digital automation rather than physical controls. These devices, mostly built into our home’s electronic systems, make our lives easier by performing mundane yet time-consuming tasks like watering the garden or cleaning the house. In addition to saving us time, smart appliances also save us energy. Instead of having to run around after the device, turning it on and off manually, these appliances work quietly and use very little energy. In the event of an emergency, the device can be set to self-recover so you don’t have to worry about purchasing a generator.

Technology has brought us lots of convenience, but it has also created dependency. Now that we are used to having devices in our daily lives, we are finding it harder to live without them. In the event that your device breaks down or stops working, it can be difficult to go back to a simpler time. In the event of an extreme power cut, even the smallest of appliances can become useless. To avoid this scenario, it is crucial to have back-up power available. In the meantime, use the time to fix or replace old appliances that are no longer working effectively.

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