ASA's Eco-Friendly Practices
AIDS Services of Austin takes pride
in creating green solutions to red issues. We installed solar panels on our
roof in 2009. We recycle all electronics, batteries and ink cartridges. For
over ten years we have worked with Ecology Action to recycle paper and aluminum
waste, and we use paper towels made of recycled paper.
We now use only filtered water instead
of purchasing water bottles, and our soda machine is low energy. We have
updated most of our vehicles with late-model, energy efficient models, and our
lawnmowers and Weed Eaters are electric instead of gas-powered. We use no
pesticides and we use an organic pest control service.
Results from our move to solar power
In the first 12 months of having
solar panels, ASA has greatly reduced our energy consumption from coal-burning
power plants, saving 52,111 pounds, or over 26 tons, of Carbon Dioxide from
entering our planet’s atmosphere. After just a year of solar power, we have
recouped – after the $100,000 rebate from Austin Energy – about 20 percent of
the solar panel purchase and installation costs. Better yet, because our
generous donors underwrote the costs of the solar panels, our energy savings
are going directly back to our services, a move that will save ASA an estimated
$230,000 over 25 years (a return of nearly $10 for every dollar invested).
While we hope that there will no
longer be a need for an AIDS service organization in 25 years, the need to
preserve our environment will remain. From April 2009 to April 2010, the solar
panels on our roof have had the same effect as planting 893 trees, or 45 acres
of forest in local parks. Put another way, the solar panels have effectively
removed about 45,000 vehicle miles from I-35 or MoPac in just one year.