Sustainability Champion – Bill Cawthorne, Mesa Fire and Medical Department

Bill CawthorneFire Inspector Bill Cawthorne visits sites all over the City of Mesa to ensure that their fire safety regulations are all up to code. Some other responsibilities of a Fire Inspector are delivering information on topics such as fire safety, housekeeping, sprinkler systems, and smoke detectors, as well as researching, analyzing, and reporting on topics related to prevention programs.
Not only is Bill making sure we are all safe from fiery mishaps, he has always been personally involved with Earth-friendly practices. One of these being that he and his wife own two ecological modes of transportation: a fully-electric Nissan LEAF and what he now considers a “gas guzzling” Toyota Prius. Before purchasing the LEAF, Bill was in the process of completely overhauling his pickup truck to be electric. During the process however, his wife brilliantly suggested they use the money that would have otherwise been spent on renovations on a new vehicle that was already fully electric. I asked Bill what his favorite features of the LEAF are and said he thought it would be not buying gasoline, but his biggest praise is that it is quiet. He continued by saying, “You can hear birds singing when you go down the road; you can’t get that with a normal car”.

Bill and his LEAF have had an integral part in the implementation of the downtown Mesa charging stations. The city used his LEAF to test the new stations, Mayor Scott Smith even used the car during the grand opening of the stations, and Bill’s wife, Jan, frequently uses them to this day.

Regarding the charging procedure, Bill commented, “We never deplete the 100 mile capacity battery completely. We’ll run around 40 miles, which is about two days of commuting, and then charge it for an hour and half to two hours at night. I’ve never had range anxiety; I can’t go to Tucson without charging in between, but I can go to Glendale, Phoenix, or Scottsdale no problem”. He also added that the bookstore “Bookmans’ has had a free car charger for years”.

Besides his zero and low-emissions vehicles, Bill also generates his own electricity, enough to operate the house and his LEAF, with solar panels at his home, plants edible landscaping, collects about 7,000 gallons of rainwater a year, and he and his wife carpool to work at least 30% of the time. He commented, “I try to make my life as sustainable as possibly, reduce, reuse recycle…it’s been my mantra since 1970”.

Check out some Sustainability Savings Tips to see how your simple actions can lead to a greener future!

Fun Fact:

Bill is quite the Renaissance man. Not only is he a certified pilot and aircraft mechanic, but also a builder of amateur radios, cyclist, hiker, observer of the stars, horseback rider, and he just took up the banjo!

*Article and photo courtesy of Samantha Booher
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One Response to Sustainability Champion – Bill Cawthorne, Mesa Fire and Medical Department

  1. David Neff says:

    Bill is also a boat builder as well…He built his. I tried… Having known my friend since the late 90’s we worked together as Life Safety Systems Inspectors and technicians. A man of true integrity and for certain as the report indicates, “Earth Friendly”. Hi Bill and Jan!

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