How Solar is Helping Planet Earth?
We talk in great detail about the financial rewards of going solar, so today let’s discuss the positive impact that solar energy has on our environment and home.
For many years, our society has hugely relied on electricity generated by oil and coal. This has greatly increased carbon emissions, pollution of our air and water, and created different types of hazardous wastes. The American Lung Association’s 2018 air quality report reveals that ozone pollution worsened significantly. They also found that 133.9 million Americans live in counties with unhealthy air.
This is where solar technology can make a difference. Here are the ways solar can decrease your carbon footprint and help protect the environment:
Reduce Air Pollution
Traditional energy sources involve the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are released into the atmosphere. Apart from respiratory health risks, these harmful gases may contribute to climate change. With solar panels, there is no need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. Solar panels could lead to a significant decrease in the emission of dangerous air pollutants.
Reduce Water Pollution
Did you know that 72% of all toxic water pollution in the U.S. comes from coal-fired power plants? Every year, they dump millions of tons of toxic metals like mercury, arsenic and lead into our waterways. Nuclear plants, on the other hand, release the nuclear isotope tritium into groundwater supplies. Thermoelectric plants waste vast amounts of water to facilitate cooling stages of energy production. Making the switch to solar is a big step towards reducing the need for power from these systems that continue to pollute our water.
Reduce Hazardous Waste
Apart from releasing 1.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, coal-fired power plants in the U.S. also create up to 120 million tons of toxic waste. These wastes are dumped in landfills, abandoned mines, and highly toxic ponds. Byproducts like coal ash and oil sludge contain dangerous amounts of metals. Nuclear-plant wastes are much worse as they continue to be radioactive for thousands of years!
With solar power, we don’t have to worry about hazardous waste management. Solar panels generate electricity by simply harnessing heat coming from the sun. Unlike coal, it doesn’t need fuel for burning so no waste is produced. It also eliminates the problem with radioactive waste storage.
Reduce Resource Mining
Coal-mining is probably the worst type of environmental abuse the planet faces. On top of polluting the air with methane, carbon dioxide and coal particles, it has destroyed over 300,000 acres of forest and 1,000 miles of streams. It also contributes to serious water pollution where acid runoffs leech into waterways, killing aquatic animals. As more individuals and companies switch to solar power, our need for coal-based energy decreases. In turn, it would lower the demand for coal-mining.
Protecting the environment also means protecting your family against pollution-related diseases and global warming. Solar energy can pave the way to a cleaner and better future! Together, we stand a chance against global warming. Let us help you in your solar journey.