Sunshine on My Shoulders
Sunshine on her shoulders makes her happy.

As long as the mutants don't spot the glare, Gale's solar-powered farm is safe.

Geri Lavrov/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Sunlight powers our world, so if you're knee-deep in nuclear winter, you might want to skip this entry. Come back and read this when you glimpse the sun finally poking through the atomic ash clouds.

Still here? Good. As I was saying, sunlight is a potent energy force. It powers the Earth's vegetation, warms the planet and can even fire up a lifesaving gadget or two. As you roam through the half-looted storehouses of this devastated world, you'll likely come across any number of solar-powered LED flashlights, radios and glowing lawn squirrels.

While you might aim to ride out the apocalypse inside a fortified anti-zombie fortress or an underground bunker, passive solar design offers an excellent opportunity to maximize the sun's energy -- while also conserving energy in the pre-apocalyptic world. Homes designed with passive solar power in mind collect solar energy during the day, soaking it up in the walls and floors through large, south-facing windows. These surfaces then emit heat during the night to keep everyone warm.

Sure, solar energy of this nature won't power your Xbox, but it will help you survive the ravages of winter.