Beyond Oil for Earth Day 2015
Apr 22, 2015
by EmPower Solar
This Monday, April 20th, marked the five year anniversary of the BP Oil Spill. The disaster leaked 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, not only wasting a valuable resource, but irreparably damaging the economy and ecology of the region.
However, there’s another American oil spill that left a very different legacy, and it’s also meeting a milestone this week – the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California inspired U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson to organize the very first Earth Day. And today is the 45th annual Earth Day.
The first Earth Day brought together 20 million people across the country’s major cities. The founding mission of Earth Day was to mobilize the American people to protect the nation’s natural resources with the same vigor that they protested the Vietnam War. Twenty years later, Earth Day grew into an international event, when millions of people celebrate environmental progress and rally for further protection. Earth Day has also inspired similar demonstrations around the world, such as this past September’s People’s Climate March.
Some environmental supporters highlight the economic benefits of the natural world, such as the ecosystem services our planet provides, or the value of our nation’s natural capital. Others champion the benefits of biodiversity for all of life on Earth, or the importance of environmental justice. Whatever supporters’ environmental philosophy, Earth Day encourages ongoing support for clean air, water, soil, and energy.
All of these important causes inspire us to work at EmPower Solar every day and bring clean, renewable energy to our communities. We’re energized by empowering our neighbors to take charge of their homes & businesses and generate their own electricity. Together with our clients, we’ve generated enough solar power on Long Island and New York City to avoid more than 2.5 million gallons of oil “that’s equivalent to taking 3,600 cars off the road. This solar achievement has prevented nearly 49 million pounds of greenhouse gases from being emitted into our atmosphere” and, put $6.6 million dollars back into our pockets as solar savings.
Many of our team members have been dedicated to the environment for their entire career. Tara Bono, our Marketing Manager, served as Program Coordinator at Citizens Campaign for the Environment for 5 years. Tara, Melanie Rausch, and Matthew Brill participated in Worldwide Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF), bringing sustainable agriculture to France, North Carolina, California, and Montana. Melissa Boo, our Media Manager, started her own organization “Locally Long Island – with a mission to connect Nassau County’s green living resources with each other and with the community. Matthew Mathosian, Gregory Sachs, and David Schieren are all Solar Decathletes, designing 100% solar-powered homes (and even America’s first solar-hydrogen home). Previously, Zachary Lerman, our Sales Manager, worked at an environmental markets brokerage in New York City, where he focused on raising equity, debt, and tax equity capital for commercial- and large-scale wind and solar projects. Steven Engelmann, Commercial Sales Representative, was a pioneering entrepreneur in clean energy technology and the PV industry, founding his own sales, design and build firm in 2004. Joey Naham, a member of our Site Audit Team, has been active in the Long Beach environmental community for years, and designs organic and native landscapes.
Our team is made up of all sorts of environmental enthusiasts “policy advocates, expert hikers, organic farmers, bird-watchers, and dozens more. We’re always grateful for the opportunity to bring clean energy to Long Island and New York City, empowering the neighborhoods where we grew up. To date, we’ve empowered nearly 1,000 homes and businesses, and are proud to have installed 11.3 MW of power across Long Island and New York City. And this year, we’re celebrating with an Employee Earth Day 5K. Keep an eye out for us on the boardwalk in Long Beach!