New Mission, New Website coming soon! Learn more now.

Equities logo
Close this search box.

Interesting Investments: Renewable Energy

The benefits go beyond just financial rewards.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

One of the topics that’s taking the world by storm, yet is incredibly controversial, is the topic of renewable energy and green products. Saving the planet may not be the easiest thing to agree on, but how you individually spend your money now, and what you invest in, could help for great environmental strides in the future. While this is not going to be an investment that will pay you monetary gains (unless you sell extra energy, which is another article entirely), this is more investing in the future. As a follow-up to my previous article, let’s look at renewable energy as a way of investing in the future of the environment.

What’s It to Ya?

If you’ve gone to school anywhere (well, maybe not Trump University), or in general you just use the internet or read books, you probably know that fossil fuels are out, and solar energy is in! Well, not quite.

There are two main problems with fossil fuels — your crude oil, coal, and natural gas. These power everything from our cars to providing the means by which we get electricity. The most pressing problem right now is that these fossil fuels are terribly, terribly bad for the world. Scientists around the planet are almost completely in agreement that burning fossil fuels is contributing rapidly to global warming, as well as pollution in general.

The second problem is that fossil fuels are nonrenewable — that is, we’re running out. We use them so rapidly that some studies say we’re set to run out in less than 100 years. Because of this, we as humans need to find new sources of energy to replace fossil fuels before we run out of resources for good. But the political, economic, and social climates make that hard.

Why the Long Face?

As hinted at earlier, a large part of President Donald Trump’s election campaign was based upon preserving the fossil fuels industry. One reason for this was economical — those who work with fossil fuels are terrified that their jobs will be defunct in several years, and they were Trump’s target market, so to speak. It’s a legitimate economic fear. On the other hand, there is a large part of the GOP that does not believe in global warming and do not want to make any changes to the resources we use.

Because of these two reasons, there is a lot of controversy among the American public surrounding the issue of fossil fuels. The science community recently had a March for Science nationwide on Earth Day to protest things such as the seemingly extreme opposition to global warming and renewable energy. And proponents of green energy argue that a shift to renewable resources will create even more jobs and be economically worthwhile.

How Do We Get It?

We do have forms of green and renewable energy that haven’t been tapped into, and we can invest our time and money into using both of those before it gets to be go time. Well, I guess it’s already go time.

If you are looking for things to support and buy in your own life that will help in this plight toward renewable energy and helping the planet, now is the time. Here are some of the best renewable energy products and investments you should look into:

Solar Panels

Look, we have a lot of time until the sun runs out. Roughly 5 billion years to be exact (well, 1 billion until humans can’t live on earth). So let’s take advantage of it while we can!

Solar panels work pretty simply but they make a world of difference. They can do anything from charging your personal devices to powering your whole house (though that’s quite expensive to set up!). The closer we as a society move toward defaulting on renewable energy, the more we’ll be switching out our old light and power sources for solar power. As an investment, it means paying less overall. However, we have a ways to go for this since they are so expensive currently.

Electric Cars

Have you ever wondered why people drive Priuses? Well, it is true that they’re cheaper to use and get better mileage. Of course, they’re more expensive to buy up front but it pays off in the long run, making them a solid investment, which is why they and similar vehicles are some of the most popular advances in transportation technology.

A big reason is that they use less fossil fuels. Electric cars come in two forms: battery charged and those that use fuel cells. The latter converts hydrogen gas into electricity, which supplies power to electric motors and batteries. It sounds fancy, but costs less than gasoline, and hurts the environment far less. It’s a double investment.

Green Power Outlets

While it may be impractical right now to convert all of our houses to green energy and solar powered, we can certainly start with our power outlets. There are some outlets, such as the Monster Green Power Outlet that reduces the energy used by your television and other home appliances. Since most homes are powered by power companies that use fossil fuel energy to make electricity, this is simply a good way to cut back on that.

However there are now outlet adapters that allow you to use solar energy to power your phones and such. Hopefully products like this will be used more frequently, but only time will tell.

LED Lights and Smart Outdoor Lights

The Department of Energy (DOE) has named LED lighting “one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing glighting technologies.” They use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer. They’re also extremely easy to find and fairly inexpensive compared to what they used to be when they were first introduced to the world.

Hydro Powered Common Home Products

Hydro Powered home products, such as batteries, radios, alarms, and the like are becoming increasingly popular. Rather than obtaining their electricity from a wall outlet, these operate by use of water power.

Hydro powered energy is becoming useful in public power as well. For instance, street lights are starting to use it. In the future, “water powered” products and appliances may be all we have left, but luckily we don’t seem to be running short on those resources yet.

How are you investing in green products and renewable energy? Do you have a more interesting renewable energy investment? Tell us in the comments!