Border Partners: Promoting Sustainable Technology
Few affordable, energy saving products are available to buy in Palomas, even if people had the money to purchase them. But making use of the generous sunshine on our border could produce tremendous savings on household utility costs. Our area receives 85% of possible solar radiation in a year, thus it’s one of the best places on earth for the use of solar energy.
A solar oven typically costs at least $200. A solar water heater, if you can find one, costs at least $500. Yet, with Border Partners initiation, more and more households are learning how to use our locally produced solar products to stretch their personal resources. Our challenge has been to develop models that cost less so people can afford to buy them. By using donated and recycled materials, we’ve reduced the cost of our solar cooker to about $75 for labor and materials. We use old propane tanks and recycled wood to reduce our water heater costs. Both the solar cooker and the water heater are produced in our Palomas workshop by local residents. Your donation can provide a local family with solar technology. Contact us to partner with a local family in this project.
Our program is listed in the Solar Cookers World Network.
Cement block is an expensive building material that provides little insulation from the winter cold and summer heat. But cement block is the primary construction material of many homes along the border. Worse: many homes do not have heat or cooling systems in a climate where temperatures get near freezing in winter and over 100 degrees in summer. Papercrete block insulates far more efficiently.
Many predict that climate change bring even less rain in coming years to this already-parched land. So conservation of water is crucial. Rain barrels help collect water for use on the gardens. Gray water systems divert appropriate heousehold waste water tog water garden crops, instead of simply sending it down the drain.
Although in experimental stages, wind generators hold the promise of producing inexpensive power, utilizing the natural energy of the moving air that crosses the deserts and sweeps across our lands.