Healdsburg Highlights April 2012
As a kid I remember piling into the family station wagon with my parents and six siblings on Sunday afternoons, and driving to Sonoma County to visit friends. I always sat in the rear seat with my sister Monica and we counted things as we drove north on Highway 101—old bathtubs in pastures, horses, and the number of people who littered. It wasn’t unusual to see someone tossing garbage or a cigarette butt out the car window. But today if you throw anything from a moving vehicle you are slapped with a $1000 litter fine (if you’re caught). No one asked us at the time what we thought about instituting a litter law; government just stepped in and mandated it. Litter is still an enormous problem today. CalTrans pays approximately $41 million annually to clean up the California highways but can you imagine what it would be like if there wasn’t a litter law in place?
Plastic Bag Ban
A big litter problem that is under consideration to be a countywide ban: plastic bags. According to the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency out of an estimated 232 million plastic bags distributed in Sonoma County, 10% are recycled and the rest often become litter or jam and damage landfill and recycling center equipment. The Agency has been nice enough to hold meetings in the nine cities to solicit the public’s input about instituting a plastic bag ban but I say why waste their time? Do you think we as a society are going to be responsible and resolve the plastic bag litter problem on our own? I say let the waste management agency implement a regional mandate to ban plastic bag use in Sonoma County. You can find out more about the initiative by emailing Patrick Carter, Waste Management Specialist: email@example.com or visiting www.recyclenow.org.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
~Native American Proverb
If you’re wondering what you can do to live a greener lifestyle check out Healdsburg’s Earth Day celebration. On Saturday, April 21, from 11am to 5pm, a group of students from Healdsburg High School’s Progressive Club will host their annual Earth Day celebration in the downtown Plaza so the community at large can participate. “Our goal is to host many of the progressive elements of our community in celebration. We’re also here to educate and empower each other to take action to preserve the world we live in,” said Rebel Fagin, HHS teacher. The students have invited Congressional candidate Norman Solomon, KPFA’s Miguel Molina, Amy Jolly of the Climate Protection Campaign, Rosa Azucena Becerra from the Committee for Immigrant Rights, Don McEnhill from Russian River Keepers, Ray Ballestero from Fair Trade, Ivis Sanchez from the North Bay Organizing Project, and 4th District Supervisor Mike McGuire to speak. There will be environmental and social justice organizations represented at over 30 booths, food, and a variety of entertainment, including Hoytus and One Heart, Happy Accident, Hannah & Sky, The Hopheads, Tricky Dick & the Hooligans, Attila Nagy, Bees Don’t See Blue, Stare at the Sun, and the HHS Jazz Hounds. As well as popular music, the American Indian Movement’s Native Resistance Drum Group, Danza Azteca Xantotl, and Yo Yo Man will perform. Let’s support the youth of Healdsburg in making this a successful Earth Day celebration for our community.
In the meantime here are a few ways you can lessen your environmental impact:
Buy used – Visit some of Healdsburg’s “gently used” shops like Favorites Consignment Clothing, Salvation Army on Lytton Springs Rd., Healdsburg Classic Antiques, Shoffeitt’s Off the Square, Mill St. Antiques.
Recycle e-waste – take your old stereos, speakers, cell phones, computers, printers, etc. to Goodwill Industries on Healdsburg Ave.
Share with friends – share things like books, newspapers, magazines and movies between friends and neighbors
Buy reusable bags – they’re cheap and you can use them a lot longer than a plastic bag. Shelton’s Market sells a great reusable bag called “Chico.”
As individuals we may not be able to solve global climate disasters or reduce greenhouse gases but we can take action even if it’s something as simple as turning off an unneeded light.
See you at the Earth Day celebration on April 21 in the downtown Healdsburg plaza!