US Solar March 2019


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St. Patrick’s Day is the best day of the year to let your Irish colors fly. Yearly traditions include dressing in green, attending parades,

wasn’t until 1995 that the Irish government saw an opportunity to use the holiday as a way to increase tourism and spread the joy of Ireland’s customs and culture around the world. Surprisingly, most of the traditions we associate with St. Patrick’s Day began in the United States. In fact, the first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York was in 1762. Irish soldiers serving the British army marched a few blocks through the city to a tavern. Not only did this help the Irish reconnect with their roots, but it also brought them together with the other Irishmen serving in the army. WAIT, THAT’S A MYTH? Here are a few other mind-boggling facts that surround both the saint and the holiday. Many of the stories told about St. Patrick are legends or myths. One of his best- known roles as the saint who drove out the snakes from Ireland was used as symbol to exaggerate how St. Patrick“cleansed”Ireland frompaganism. Another legend revolves around the shamrock. It’s said that St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach the Irish people about the Holy Trinity. After his death, people would pin clovers to their clothing to celebrate what St. Patrick stood for. This eventually led to people wearing green clothes instead of wearing the clover. Speaking of green, you might also be surprised to learn that the color wasn’t always used to symbolize St. Patrick’s Day. A shade of blue called “St. Patrick’s blue”was the color many followers of St. Patrick wore. You can still see St. Patrick’s blue in paintings of him, shown underneath the green we’ve all come to love. Now when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you can enjoy the festivities with a better idea of where the traditions came from. Don your favorite Irish gear and enjoy the celebrations! –Miguel

and eating green food. However, these weren’t always the holiday traditions. It might come as a surprise, but the patron saint of Ireland wasn’t even born Irish!

WHOWAS ST. PATRICK? Not much is known about the man, and even his place of birth is subject to dispute among experts. We do know that he was born in a village called Bannavem Taberniae, which was somewhere in England, Scotland, or Wales. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland for the first time. He was held prisoner for the next six years, and he worked as a shepherd until he was finally able to escape. After such a rough introduction to the Emerald Isle, it’s a little hard to understand how Patrick became the patron saint of Ireland. Alone and scared in a foreign country, he turned to his faith for comfort. While his family was indeed Christian, Patrick had shown little to no interest in the practice up until that point. After being held captive for so long, he felt compelled by God to leave Ireland, so that’s what he did. Patrick walked 200 miles to the coast, where he boarded a ship and successfully make it back to his home country and family. Although he had escaped the country, he couldn’t forget it or the people living there. After being told to travel back to Ireland by an angel in his dreams, he studied for the next 15 years to become an ordained priest. Then, he returned to Ireland. He spent the next 40 years spreading the Christian faith among the people until he died on March 17 around 460 A.D. His life has been celebrated ever since. HOLIDAY CELEBRATION For a long time, St. Patrick’s Day was seen as an exclusively religious holiday in Ireland. Irish law went so far as to order pubs to be closed on March 17. It

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DONATE WITH CARE T H E R I GH T WAY TO DONAT E AF T E R S P R I NG - C L EAN I NG Spring is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate with another round of spring- cleaning. Banish the clutter and make room in your life for something new! Many charities see a sharp increase in donations as spring-cleaning season starts. Donating your used books, kids’ toys, and gently worn clothing allows your old items to have a second life. However, when filling that donation box, make sure you’re donating each item because it can do good and not just because you feel bad about throwing it away. Charities have a big problem with well-meaning citizens dropping off items that are better left in the trash. There are many items charities simply cannot handle. Most charities will have lists of items they can and cannot accept on their websites. Some items that you should not donate include:

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR KIND WORDS! “The installation was quick. It only took a day after the company came out and installed it. In the same week, I signed the contract. The power company had to come out to my property and install a newmeter. That part took a significant amount of time —almost two months —but I suppose that’s on the power company. Ryan was there to answer all of my questions and concerns. US Solar

has awesome customer service. I’m giving a five-star rating because, in the first month, my solar panels generated twice as much electricity than I used the prior month without solar panels. I currently have a credit with TECO so I won’t have to pay a light bill anymore as long as I live in this house and the sun keeps shining.” –Anonymous

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Expired medications

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Old TVs



Tangled cords or phone chargers Any broken, damaged, or dirty items

Loose remote controls

“Ryan and his group were such a great set of people to work with when it came to setting our house up for the future. My husband and I were looking into getting solar panels for our home for quite some time, so when Ryan came to our door, it was fate. Ryan and his team answered any and all questions that we had with a personal touch. I will and have recommended his company to everyone I come across. You will not be disappointed!” –Desiree Dolly

Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, or makeup

These items may be unsafe to sell, costly to ship, or impossible to refurbish effectively. When a charity regularly receives items they cannot use, they have to spend hours of manpower sorting through things that end up in the trash anyway. This process can be expensive for organizations with already-strained resources. Some local charities spend over $1,000 a year on dumpster and trash removal fees for unusable donations. While charities will have no choice but to throw unusable donations in the trash, there are services you can use to make your spring-cleaning eco- friendly, even for items you can’t donate. For example, if you have torn or stained blue jeans, reach out to Blue Jeans Go Green. This program keeps denim out of landfills by turning it into insulation. And while Goodwill can’t take your batteries or old flip phone, you can check out to learn how to safely recycle your e-waste.

Your donations can be a big help to local charities. Just don’t “donate” your garbage.

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Last month, we went over what makes a person the perfect fit for a solar energy system. It’s only fair that, for this edition, we take the time to talk about who wouldn’t be an ideal fit for the system. One of the reasons not to invest in solar technology is if your roof is shaded. Often, homeowners have trees or other vegetation that block the sun from hitting their roof, but these plants can be removed. However, if the cause of the shade cannot be removed or reduced in any way, it’s better not to invest in a solar energy system.

economically logical. In such a short time, you won’t get enough energy-saving benefits, nor is it likely for you to recoup the investment in the system.

Similarly, if you’re renting or leasing a home, solar energy isn’t right for you. Again, it all comes down to investment. Unlike with many other assets, such as cars or swimming pools, you will gain equity in solar energy. Owning and investing in a house you plan on living in for many years will build equity on the money you put into it. Likewise, you will increase your savings substantially by cutting loose from utility companies. If you don’t own the home, you won’t gain the benefits of equity from this system because when you leave the home, the system stays behind.

When people are planning to live short-term in the house they currently reside in, it is also not an optimal time to install solar energy. Home values throughout Florida have been increasing, and many homeowners are planning to sell their house. If you have plans to sell in the next few years, solar energy isn’t a wise investment for you because it simply wouldn’t be

Solar energy technology is becoming an integral component of homes and, eventually, will be an essential system to invest in. US Solar can determine what would be best for you and your home. Call our offices today to see if you’re the right fit for a solar energy system.


Everything is the best bagel flavor. This is not a matter of debate. Sprinkle the seasoning on popcorn for a delicious snack that will have people asking, “What does this remind me of?”


1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds. Shake skillet often and cook until white seeds are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic, onion, and salt. 2. In a large saucepan, combine popcorn kernels and oil. Cook over medium- high heat, covered, until popcorn kernels start to pop. Once popping, continue cooking and shaking the pan intermittently until popping ceases, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Pour in butter and toss to coat. Finally, add seasoning, toss again, and serve.

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine


• 3/4 cup popcorn kernels • 2 tablespoons flaky sea salt • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic • 2 teaspoons granulated onion • 1/3 cup canola oil • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

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On March 2, Read Across America Day is celebrated by students, teachers, and community members in towns throughout the country. They chose that date to pay homage to one of the most beloved children’s authors who was born that day: Theodor Geisel. That name may sound unfamiliar to you, but “Dr. Seuss” should ring a few bells. His name alone is so associated with literacy that in 2007, the author of an article in U.S. News &World Report that chronicled the history of 1957 — the year “The Cat in the Hat”was published —wrote, “Greece had Zeus — America has Seuss.” In 2001, Publisher’s Weekly released a list of the bestselling hardcover children’s books of all time in the U.S. Of the books in the top 100, Seuss authored 16, which is more than any other author on the list by a long shot. But Seuss did not break into the children’s literature industry easily. Seuss and his nearly 50 children’s books almost never got off the ground. His first children’s book, “And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street,”was denied by more than a dozen publishers. Legend has it that Seuss was on his way home to burn the manuscript when he ran into an old friend who suggested another publisher. The rest is history. 1 BOOK, 2 BOOK WHO WAS THEODOR GEISEL?

birthday to mark a day dedicated to celebrating reading. After all, he’s often quoted as saying, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”

Given the enthusiasm for reading Dr. Seuss has fostered in children for the past eight decades, it’s no wonder the National Education Association chose his

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