El Paso has historically had many issues with Air Quality throughout the region, especially those living in underserved areas of our community near the Electric Utility natural gas power plants, near the Marathon Oil Refinery, near recycling facilities, near landfills, by the border and ports of entry, and by the highway that has split up communities in El Paso. It is important to have access to real-time local air quality index monitoring statistics so you know if it's safe to run, play, and enjoy being outside. This is also a call to action to learn more about our local air quality, differences in issues throughout the city, environmental racism, environmental neglect, and to educate our leaders to clean the air for all of our residents. Below are a few links to help you stay connected to your local air quality data.
Air Quality News Links:
Sun Metro Brio bus is El Paso’s premiere Rapid Transit System, with lines already running along Mesa Street, through Downtown El Paso. In order to make the ride easier for patrons new amenities were added to various terminals including free Wi-Fi, ATM machines, ticket vending machines, canopies and information displays. The buses are a sustainable and environmentally friendly mode of transportation including electric air, better fuel economy and 38 passenger seats, at the low cost of $1.50 a ride.
Cycling is an emission free, healthy mode of transportation at no fuel or parking cost to the rider. The El Paso Department of Transportation has begun adding bicycle lanes to promote cycling and ensure the safety of cyclists. You can find a map of bike lanes in your area at:
http://gis.elpasotexas.gov/bikelanes/index.html. You can also find local El Paso B Cycle locations at: https://elpaso.bcycle.com/
Walking is by the far the simplest mode of sustainable transportation today, and comes with a great deal of benefits. There are no costs or parking hassles associated with walking, and you get to increase your personal health without adding to your cities’ pollution. New Urbanism champions the cause of walkable cities and the need to make places pedestrian friendly so more people will participate in walking as a mode of transportation.
Carpooling help you save money, puts less wear and tear on your car, and reduces traffic. Carpooling is a great way to alleviate traffic and carbon emissions by reducing the amount of cars on the road. There are companies which specialize in creating driver networks that connect people who can carpool together and share fuel costs. States and municipalities have even begun to create special carpool lanes and parking spots to incentives sharing a ride. https://www.elpasotexas.gov/commuterhub/alternative-transportation/carpool
Green Building concepts and sustainable architecture and design can help lower the energy needs of buildings while creating a more comfortable environment. There are many programs and techniques to improve our built environments and El Paso can create stronger building standards to reduce the energy and water needs for any property. Implementing renewable energy products such as Solar Energy and Geothermal heat pumps are additional ways to improve any building in El Paso. Here is an example of our own El Paso Chihuahua's Baseball Park: http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20150109&content_id=106041864&sid=t4904&vkey=team1
Here in the Chihuahuan Desert, our economy and quality of life depend on good conservation practices that ensure water sustainability for future generations. That’s why El Paso adopted a Conservation Ordinance decades ago that sets limits on outdoor watering. Conservation helps preserve our local aquifers for future generations. It also helps keep water rates down by delaying big investments needed for new and more expensive water supplies. Learn more about our water in El Paso here: https://www.epwater.org/conservation
We highly encourage residents to buy local when it comes to foods, herbs, honey, etc. Not only will you be supporting the local economy and citizens, but you will likely be eating foods that are naturally grown in this region. There are numerous farmers markets in the El Paso region, restaurants that use locally grown food, and opportunities for homeowners to plant their own gardens. We have a Master Gardeners group in El Paso, a local Permaculture group, and various associations focusing on quality food for the El Paso region. The La Semilla Food Center is a great example of quality food products in our region: https://www.lasemillafoodcenter.org/
There are numerous opportunities to learn more about Renewable Energy, Environmental Science, and related topics in El Paso's schools and universities. You can study Renewable Energy at El Paso Community College where they offer an Associates Degree in Renewable Energy Technology Systems. Riverside High School in the Ysleta school district has recently implemented a Solar Energy training program for local high school students so they can gain the educational experience to pursue new jobs in El Paso. Another example is the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where they have taken an active part in building and using renewable energy systems such as solar power installed on the campus. http://gogreen.utep.edu/energy.html
There are numerous outdoor activities that you can enjoy in the El Paso region. From hiking trails across the Franklin Mountains, Hueco Tanks State Park, and the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden. Take advantage of our state parks, hiking trails, biking trails, and the dry desert air. Learn more about outdoor activities in El Paso: https://visitelpaso.com/explore/things_to_do/nature-tourism/categories