Follow Your Heart® products are made in our own unique, solar-powered manufacturing facility called Earth Island®, located just a few miles north of the original Follow Your Heart® café. In keeping with our mission and values, every effort was made to incorporate the maximum conservation of resources into the design of Earth Island®, including skylights, recycled carpeting, tank-less hot water, energy efficient lighting systems, and environmentally-friendly refrigeration.
The crowning achievement of this focus however, is the solar panel array, or photovoltaic system, on our building’s roof. The rooftop solar energy system is comprised of 756 solar panels, each capable of generating 150 watts, for a total of 113 kW (kilowatts). In addition to shading the building from the scorching Southern California sun (further reducing the need for cooling) the system is designed to supply our manufacturing-dependent electrical energy needs. At times, weproduce more power on our roof than we use. All of our excess energy goes back into the electrical grid, sending our meter spinning backwards as we become a co-generation facility, selling power to the DWP for use by other customers. You might actually be using green power generated by Earth Island® in your home or business!
Of course it’s great to save on energy costs, but there are also significant environmental benefits to replacing power, ordinarily generated by the consumption of fossil fuel, with clean and renewable power. Consider the following: Over the useful life of Earth Island’s® photovoltaic system, it will save the release of over 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — the equivalent of over 3,000 tons of coal burned, 12,000,000 auto miles driven, and nearly 1,300 acres of forest acres lost. Imagine what results could be achieved if we truly did make a commitment of this type on a larger scale. Earth Island® is just one small company, with a 20,000 square foot roof. The collective roofs of the southwestern United States could meet the energy needs of our entire country. The impact on our environment, along with the shift in our dependence on nuclear energy, coal, oil and gas, would truly change the world.
A few years ago, we were contacted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to inform us of our candidacy for their prestigious Green Power Leadership Award. With the environment on Spaceship Earth so clearly at risk, leadership in the area of environmentally sound business practices is something we consider to be an essential part of our mission. For those of us at Follow Your Heart® and Earth Island®, we’re proud that our facility embodies both the fulfillment of that mission and the advancement of our dreams.