Roughly 18,000 households in the Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation don’t have access to electricity. Although there have been efforts to connect these homes to the grid, remoteness and lack of funding have made it practically impossible. There’s an immediate need for lighting technologies, as most of those living on the reservation rely on costly and unhealthy candles, kerosene, and single-use batteries.
According to the Health Protection Agency chronic exposure to kerosene can cause respiratory irritation, restlessness, irritability, ataxia, drowsiness, convulsions, coma and death. The most common health effect associated with chronic kerosene exposure is dermatitis.
“Few of us realize how much a light can do to improve quality of life. When the sun goes down in these remote locations, that’s it,” said James Atkin, Goal Zero’s Director of Brand Marketing. “Without light, kids can’t finish homework, crafting jewelry and other items to earn more income ceases, and the elderly are more prone to falls. That doesn’t even include all the dangers and health issues that kerosene lamps cause.”
And for a number of people on the reservation, they’re about to experience a life full of light – thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Honnold Foundation.
GOAL ZERO Ambassador Alex Honnold started The Honnold Foundation in 2012, a non-profit seeking simple, sustainable ways to improve lives worldwide. Currently on a brutal climbing/cycling mission called, “The Sufferfest”, Honnold and professional climber and filmmaker Cedar Wright are making their way to Arizona to install solar power kits on the Navajo Nation, climbing 30+ towers and biking hundreds of miles along the way.
The Honnold Foundation has partnered with The North Face, Cliff Bar, and Goal Zero on the install project, along with Eagle Energy, an organization dedicated to providing the Navajo Nation with sustainable energy technologies. Honnold and Wright will be installing over 100 products/systems in the homes of elders living without access to electricity, providing solar lights and educational curriculum to five schools, and helping educate local entrepreneurs.
“We’re stoked to work with one of our top ambassadors and so many other great brands on a project like this,” said Atkin. “We’ve previously installed solar projects for the Navajo Nation and we’re honored for the opportunity to go back.”
If you’d like to donate please visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/northernnavajo. For more about the Honnold Foundation check out their website http://honnoldfoundation.org/. To see a short video from Eagle Energy on Lighting the Navajo Nation click here.
Update: Watch the recap of our Navajo Solar project here.