Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Sustainable Souls Project - April 2017

Hi...
Happy April!

Today, we go live with Month Three of The Sustainable Souls project.

 The Sustainable Souls Project evolved from my yearly discovery of a single word.  Each year, I choose a word to define my hopes, focus, and desires for the next 365 days.  Past words have included: home, explore, be, and others.  

This year, I chose the word, 'Sustainability'.  Because the earth is in dire need of help and I want to leave a legacy for my children and their children to inherit, I thought it was time to focus on issues of Sustainability.

But I wanted to make 2017 different.  I wanted to include others in my word, since Sustainability cannot be done alone.  Yes, every small action helps, but it's the combination of hundreds of small acts that make a difference.  Hence, The Sustainable Souls Project.

Each month, we will pick a sustainability topic and create awareness through art.  Projects may include art journaling, mixed media, assemblage, and more.  We are hoping to educate, entertain, and create awareness, one paint stroke at a time.

April's theme is 'Alternative and Renewable Energy'. 
Energy.gov explain various types of Renewable energy sources, which include  
including solar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy and water
 


Excerpts from this article explain the need for alternative energy sources.

"The United States (and other countries) currently relies heavily on coal, oil, and natural gas for its energy. Fossil fuels are non-renewable, that is, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. In contrast, the many types of renewable energy resources-such as wind and solar energy-are constantly replenished and will never run out.

Most renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun. Sunlight, or solar energy, can be used directly for heating and lighting homes and other buildings, for generating electricity, and for hot water heating, solar cooling, and a variety of commercial and industrial uses.

The sun's heat also drives the winds, whose energy, is captured with wind turbines. Then, the winds and the sun's heat cause water to evaporate. When this water vapor turns into rain or snow and flows downhill into rivers or streams, its energy can be captured using hydroelectric power.

Along with the rain and snow, sunlight causes plants to grow. The organic matter that makes up those plants is known as biomass. Biomass can be used to produce electricity, transportation fuels, or chemicals. The use of biomass for any of these purposes is called bioenergy.

Hydrogen also can be found in many organic compounds, as well as water. It's the most abundant element on the Earth. But it doesn't occur naturally as a gas. It's always combined with other elements, such as with oxygen to make water. Once separated from another element, hydrogen can be burned as a fuel or converted into electricity.

Not all renewable energy resources come from the sun. Geothermal energy taps the Earth's internal heat for a variety of uses, including electric power production, and the heating and cooling of buildings. And the energy of the ocean's tides come from the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun upon the Earth.

In fact, ocean energy comes from a number of sources. In addition to tidal energy, there's the energy of the ocean's waves, which are driven by both the tides and the winds. The sun also warms the surface of the ocean more than the ocean depths, creating a temperature difference that can be used as an energy source. All these forms of ocean energy can be used to produce electricity."


You may hear the terms 'renewable' and 'alternative' energy interchangably.  The actual definition of each is below.

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from natural processes that are continuously replenished. This includes sunlight, geothermal heat, wind, tides, water, and various forms of biomass. This energy cannot be exhausted and is constantly renewed.

Alternative energy is a term used for an energy source that is an alternative to using fossil fuels. Generally, it indicates energies that are non-traditional and have low environmental impact. The term alternative is used to contrast with fossil fuels according to some sources. By most definitions alternative energy doesn't harm the environment, a distinction which separates it from renewable energy which may or may not have significant environmental impact.


 The inspiration for my project this month came from solar energy, and the solar panels you see above. Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and the U.S. has some of the richest solar resources in the world. Modern technology can harness this energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity, providing light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial use. I have considered installing solar panels on my home, embracing the idea and concept behind renewable energy.


 Using Oven bake clay, I created mini 'solar panels', adhered to a wood canvas.  The 'grid' was created with wrapping wire around the entire canvas, weaving the wire up/down each square.




To make my canvas more 'solar panel like', I adhered the canvas to an TV wall mount.  I TOTALLY love how this turned out.
In addition to my main art piece each month, I am creating a smaller piece that will be combined with 11 others to create ONE large piece.  Here's a peek at my April contribution.




Want to do more?  Want to be a Sustainable Soul?  Want to create with us each month?  Send me a message and I'll provide more details.

Here's a peek at what the other Sustainable Souls created this month. 


Interested in my past Sustainable Souls projects?  Here's link to each.

January 2017 

February 2017
 
If you can't create with us each month but would like to support and participate in our quest for a Sustainable future, please feel free to grab our badge and share it on your social media sites.  We truly appreciate your support and understanding that our future must change for many generations to come.
 
Wanna know if a city can really run on renewable energy?  Here's a video that shows what's possible. :)