Monday, April 22, 2013

Solar Energy - Why not do more?

Solar power systems are not what they used to be.  Solar systems are more widely seen from panels on street lights, on backpacks and on cars; harnessing the sun's energy is no longer limited to the satellites of the 1960s and roof top panels of the 1970s. 

According to National Geographic and Smarthome.com, there are many benefits people are finding in using solar powered energy.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions are not generated with solar electricity.  
  • Homes with solar panels are not as dependent on the "electricity grid" for power
  • Panels are getting cheaper and are easier to install
  • Panels are silent, no moving parts, and require less maintenance than turbines
One of the major drawbacks to solar power is that it requires sufficient daylight to meet your power needs.  According to Mississippi Power, this state is in the lower end of the scale in the amount of sunshine per hour due to the high humidity and cloud cover.  However, that doesn't deter the state of New Jersey that has less daylight then the southern states.  In the April addition of the Huntington Post,  it is noted that New Jersey is number two in the nation, next to California, for solar power production.  The state has a carbon off-set program and an energy mandate for power companies to get 20% of their power from renewable resources by 2020.  This is a high goal, causing some controversy, but the goals has spawned a growth in the solar industry in New Jersey.

Germany is the leading nation in the world for solar power.  They have a capacity to generate 30 gigawatts of energy compared to the US's 6.4 gigawatt capacity.   Sunlight is not the issue.  In fact, the amount of sunlight in Germany is equivalent to Alaska.   How do they do it?  The German government has set up a "feed in tariff" where people can sell back the excess energy harnessed by home units back to the power companies. This is reducing the costs of power to the entire country.  Also the government has provided subsidies to companies in the area of renewable energy which has driven the cost of equipment down.  According to the March edition of the Valley News, Germany is now delaying plans to build a new nuclear plant and has closed some small plants due to the increase of energy coming from homes. 


Why not do more here in Mississippi?  According to the Mississippi power website, the lack of sunlight and cost of equipment make the idea of solar power unaffordable.  They estimate a full home system would cost about $100,000 and that it would take 18 years for a homeowner to get a return on investment.  Lack of state subsidies and incentives keep the costs high.

But you do not have to get a full home system to benefit from solar power.  Small devices can be purchased like solar powered yard lights, flood lights, pool heaters and cell phone chargers.  You can find solar yard lights at Walmart!


As people vote for more subsidies and tax incentives, Mississippi can join the ranks of California, New Jersey, Virginia, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado.  There can be less pollution from large power plants in the air, rivers and deltas when the state requires power companies to have a percentage of their power from renewable sources.  It's working across the country and around the world.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tired of medications!

Want to stop taking medications with unwanted side-effects?  
Try essential oils. I was amazed how they are working for myself and my family. 

Essential oils have been scientifically shown to be:

  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anticancer
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Antiseptic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-infectious
  • Anti-tumor

The following is a list of common issues with a few suggested oils:

ACNE: Melaleuca (alternafolia), geranium, lavender.

ALLERGIES: Lavender, Purify Blend; Respiratory Blend (Breathe); apply to sole of the foot, or put on palms of hands and cup hands and inhale; A drop or two under the nose can also help. (I would diffuse regularly to help reduce allergens in the air. I would diffuse Purify, Immune Blend, Breathe, or peppermint).

ANXIETY/DEPRESSION:
Serenity, Balance, ylang ylang, sandalwood, frankincense, Citrus Bliss; I would put this under my nose, on the back of my neck or on my chest, or somewhere where I could smell it throughout the day. I would also diffuse one of these oils regularly.

ASTHMA:
Respiratory Blend (Breathe), wintergreen, Eucalyptus (Radiata), lemon, lavender, frankincense, marjoram; Rub on soles of feet 2-3 times daily, also rub on chest. Also, I would diffuse the oils daily to possibly reduce any airborne asthma triggers. (I would diffuse Purify, Immune Blend, peppermint or Eucalyptus (Radiata)).

BEE STINGS, BUG BITES:
Purify, lavender.

BLISTERS:
Melaleuca (alternafolia), lavender, sandalwood, frankincense.

BURNS:
Lavender

SUNBURN:
Lavender; peppermint can also be cooling for a sunburn.

COLD SORES/CANKER SORES:
Guardian, lavender or sandalwood.

COLDS:
Guardian, peppermint, Melaleuca (alternafolia), eucalyptus, lemon; apply to chest and spine. You can also apply a warm compress to help the oils penetrate deeper.

COUGH:
Breathe, Eucalyptus (Radiata), eucalyptus w/peppermint, eucalyptus w/ Lemon.

CROUP:
Breathe, Eucalyptus (Radiata); Apply to chest and along spine.

EAR INFECTIONS:
Melaleuca (alternafolia) w/ lavender on cottonball and put in ear over night. I also put some around the ear area, but remember never in the ear. You can also use the Immune Blend or thyme.

FATIGUE:
May help to apply Elevate or peppermint behind neck or on feet.

INSECT BITES/BEE STINGS:
(non-toxic bug repellant) Purify blend would be my first choice, also try geranium, lavender, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, thyme, peppermint—most give short lasting protection, usually less than 2 hours, so reapply.

PINK EYE:
Melaleuca (alternafolia), lavender; Apply to area around the eye. Be careful not to get in the eye or too close to the eye.

RSV:
Rub the Breathe or eucalyptus on the chest area, and also on the spine. If needed, you can dilute. You can also mix the eucalyptus with peppermint or lemon.

RUNNY NOSE OR CONGESTION:
Breathe or eucalyptus on sides of nose—eyes may water when you do this, so either close your eyes for a few minutes, or dilute with coconut oil.

SORE THROAT:
Gargle with oregano and lemon. Put a couple drops of each in an ounce or two of water, and gargle as long as you can stand it. (I warn you this is nasty, but one time has usually been enough to take care of it for me, also you may want to have the coconut or vegetable oil handy in case any of it gets on your lips, it may burn a bit.) You can also gargle with the Immune Blend. Breathe, the respiratory blend, is also good for throat viruses, and you can apply this directly to the throat, for your kids who can’t do the nasty tasting things.

STREP THROAT:
Put a couple of drops of the Immune Blend in some water and drink the water, or gargle with oregano and lemon; Oregano, frankincense, myrrh; rub on throat, chest and back of neck.

TENSION HEADACHE:
Apply peppermint or wintergreen on temples, around hairline, across the forehead, and on the back of the neck, can also apply it to soles of feet.

SINUS HEADACHE: Breathe, Eucalyptus (Radiata), peppermint; Apply across forehead and around sinus area.

SORE MUSCLES:
Apply peppermint or Serenity on affected muscles.

STOMACH/DIGESTION:
Peppermint, or Digest Zen blend. Rub this on stomach area. For smaller children, you may want to dilute it with a carrier oil. Ginger is also a good one for stomach problems.

DIARRHEA:
Rub peppermint or Digest Zen on the stomach.

CONSTIPATION: Rub peppermint or Digest Zen on the stomach. You can also try ginger.

HEARTBURN:
Digest Zen, peppermint, lemon, ginger, anise; Put a couple drops in a capsule; Can also add a couple drops of lemon to 8 oz of water. By ingesting lemon juice and/or essential oils, the stomach stops excreting digestive acids, therefore alleviating heartburn or other stomach ailments.

NAUSEA:
Rubbing a couple of drops of peppermint behind the ears may help.

MOLD:
Diffuse some Purify Blend or Immune Blend.

PAIN:
Deep Blue, wintergreen, peppermint, white fir.

SCRAPES, CUTS AND BRUISES:
Lavender

STRESS: Lavender, orange, ylang ylang, lemon, Serenity; diffuse or apply somewhere where you can smell it throughout the day—i.e., back of neck, under nose, on chest.

Information from Discover doTERRA.

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