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This woman was able to eliminate her energy bills by learning how to cook and live with only the energy and light from the sun.
62-year-old Tokyo resident Chikako Fujii has not paid electricity bills in 10 years. She first became interested in her now off-the-grid lifestyle because of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
“Shortly after the quake, there were scheduled blackouts a few times here, so suddenly electricity was cut out and I felt I should have my own electricity prepared. So, I had one solar panel set up,” Chikako said.
Chikako does not own a TV, oven, washing machine, or air conditioner. She has four solar panels on her balcony, which is her only source of electricity. Since she first began this lifestyle, Chikako now has more solar panels that can generate an average of 1,000 watts on a sunny day. This is enough to power all of her electrical appliances and lighting for a few days.
Chikako even has an electricity-generating bike that she can ride when there is less sun. She says that if she rides the bike for 10 minutes, she can generate around 10 watts of electricity which is enough to power a light bulb for three hours.
Learning how to cook her food with only the sun’s power was a struggle at first, but now, she’s a pro. She leaves whatever food she wants to be cooked in black cooking pots on the balcony for a few hours. To cook rice and cakes, she uses a solar cooker. She also uses candles to heat her stovetop.
Although her sustainable lifestyle is not easy, she enjoys doing it! Energy bills have skyrocketed this summer with the heat waves and energy crisis due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Check out What You Need to Know About Spike in Utility Bills and How You Can Lower Them!
Projects worldwide are developing new ways to utilize solar panels and move away from dirty fossil fuels. Architecture students in Barcelona just built a solar-powered greenhouse that uses 50 percent less energy than it produces. Virginia is transforming abandoned coal mines into solar farms, and a start-up is helping retrofit old buildings in Brooklyn to use clean energy. The latest climate report from the IPCC is a final warning for governments around the world about Global warming, so it’s great to see companies taking the initiative and working towards a renewable future!
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