Solar is a natural and renewable source of energy that contributes greatly to sustainability. But have you wondered how exactly? Let’s discuss the environmental benefits of solar energy and its positive impacts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. First things first, let’s look at the carbon emissions that we produce. The average U.S. household has a carbon footprint of 48 metric tons per year, and to put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to 5,401 gallons of gasoline burned. Needless to say, even a single household contributes significantly to the world’s carbon footprint. Globally, we produce about 50 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions yearly. The energy use of homes accounts for about 11% of that or about 5.5 billion tons. That’s the same as burning 561 billion gallons of gasoline every year. Unfortunately, this number is continuously rising, escalating greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. By adopting solar energy in your home, you’ll help mitigate the harmful effects that threaten the health of the Earth.
To truly understand why and how solar energy is sustainable, we need to look at how it’s produced. As we know, solar energy is derived from the sun, a renewable and limitless resource. This means that we’ll never run out of sunlight (at least, not for billions of years!). The sun provides constant light, and this light is composed of particles called photons. These photons are what your solar panels absorb and turn into electricity to power your home. Solar is, therefore, an unlimited source of energy!
By using solar power systems in your home, you’ll lower the negative impacts on our environment. Here are the environmental benefits of solar energy.
Reduce Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The 5.5 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions from homes come from all the electricity it uses: lighting, air conditioning, heating, refrigeration, appliances, and much more. 60% of the electricity sources are fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, contributing greatly to climate change.
Solar energy produces up to 96% fewer CO2 emissions than traditional non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels. This means significantly less carbon dioxide is being released into our atmosphere with solar energy, slowing down the Earth’s rising temperatures.
Decrease Water Pollution
Traditional sources of energy, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, are major causes of water pollution. Fossil fuel plants rely heavily on water use and require vast amounts of water to generate energy. This negatively impacts local water supplies due to the increase of acidity and toxicity in the water, contaminating lakes, rivers, lakes, as well as drinking water. Solar energy only uses a moderate amount of water for maintenance (no water is used to actually produce power!), reducing the possibilities of water pollution.
Lessens the Demand for Non-Renewable Resources
The earth has a limited amount of fossil fuels. We won’t have coal, gas, or oil forever. Solar encourages us to focus on extracting cleaner, more sustainable sources of energy. This lessens the need for non-renewable resources while minimizing the harmful effects on our environment.
Reduces the Carbon Footprint of your Household
Be an active and direct supporter of sustainability. By adopting a solar energy system in your home, you will reduce your carbon emissions significantly than if you continued to use energy from fossil fuels. This means you’ll be doing your part to mitigate global warming and climate change.
Improves the Health of All Living Things
By going solar, not only will you contribute to the improvement of the earth’s health, but you’ll also help the health of yourself, your family, and other living things. The increasing fossil fuel consumption and rising climate change affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and much more. This causes respiratory and cardiovascular issues, disease, and other illnesses that can lead to poor, declining health. You’ll make great efforts in minimizing health risks by switching to sustainable solar energy.
Given these environmental benefits of solar energy, it’s safe to say that solar makes a huge difference in improving the earth’s health. A healthy environment means healthy living for all. Going solar protects your family, your home, and your future.