by Suzanne Fellenz, Maryanne Murphy, and Kate Woods
On Election Night a fierce and contentious political battle culminated in a huge victory for small, rural San Benito County, when local voters drew a line in the sand to prevent Big Oil from contaminating their community. Members of our own Fracking Action Committee were thrilled, having supported the local efforts by hosting an educational (and fun!) Global Frackdown rally in Hollister.
While many are wringing their hands over the results of the national election, the Golden State shines brightly with enthusiastic dedication to environmental causes. Candidates and measures that we supported achieved major victories in both local and national contests.
The new Gardening with Purpose program’s goal is to create a “wellness bridge” between local low- and high-income families. Members of the Loma Prieta Food Committee and the Green Youth Alliance will develop two gardens: one at Fair Oaks School in Redwood City, where more than 50% of the K–8 students qualify for free or reduced lunches, and the other at the Laurel School in Atherton, a community of well-off residents.
The Beekeepers Guild of San Mateo is working with members of the Green Youth Alliance to convince cities in San Mateo County to remove restrictions on beekeeping. Their goal is to ensure the survival of bees, which are essential to maintaining plant diversity—which is in turn essential to maintaining diversity of food sources.
On October 15, 2014, an historic victory was achieved in the Bay Area. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s ("BAAQMD") Board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution directing Air District staff to develop a rule with the goal of tracking and reducing refinery emissions by 20 percent via an aggressive implementation schedule. The BAAQMD Board of Directors resolution will advance protection of Bay Area communities by committing the agency to develop a strategy to achieve further emission reductions from local petroleum refineries.
California’s fall—the perfect time to try a Sierra Club outing. Take a look at the listings of hikes and join the Loma Prieta Chapter for a beachside stroll or a vigorous hike in the coastal range.
California’s golden season is almost gone. With cooler weather and clear days, now is the great time to get out and see the natural wonders of our area! As the fog lifts, clear vistas emerge and reveal our familiar landscape in a new, softer light.
Working at home saves on gas, but how green is your home office? Energy Star computers, copiers, printers, scanners, and fax machines help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Remanufactured cartridges (including packaging) keep metal and plastic out of landfill and reduce the amount of petroleum used in manufacturing. Recycled or treeless paper conserves energy and prevents wasted resources. Use the back side of printed sheets for copying, faxing, and printing. Buy office furniture free of formaldehyde and other toxics (see greenseal.org). Arrange your home office to maximize airflow and natural daylight, reducing use of air conditioners and lights. Save money while saving the environment.