Apr 26, 2017
by Tish Levee
To me, this is the bottom line. All life is interrelated; how we act affects all other beings. How can we act in loving ways to our Mother and our Family? Here are three ways to do so.
One of the wettest winters on record obliterated the drought in over 92% of California, but the drought changed how we use water forever. Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, an Oakland nonprofit studying water issues, said, “It would be bad if the message from this wet year went out that the problem is over,…We don’t have enough water to waste. That’s a hard one [to understand] when you see floods and endless rain.”
Even with this year’s record rainfall, it’ll take years to recharge the groundwater. As Governor Browns aid when he lifted mandatory water conservation measures, “Conservation must remain a way of life.” So, we still need to practice all the water conservation tips we learned these past five years. Replacing your lawn with drought-resistant landscaping is a great way to start! Get rebates from your local water agency; check at scwa.ca.gov/residential/. You could take this on as Daily Acts Community Resilience Challenge.
Daily Acts, located in Petaluma, has registered nearly 31,000 actions to build resilience over the last seven years. Register for the Community Resilience Challenge at communityresiliencechallenge.org/node/add/action, joining thousands of individuals and groups taking action to save water, grow food, conserve energy, reduce waste, and build community. If you need ideas, the website offers 25 suggestions to get you started.
Without bees, our diet would be extremely limited. About one-third of our food depends on their pollination. There’s been a substantial die-off of bees in recent years. Although a number of factors are involved, the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is a major one. Additionally, the recent drought in California – the 4th largest honey producer in the nation – reduced both honey yield and bee populations; less rain means less flowers available to pollinate. Planting a bee friendly garden to replace your lawn is one way to help sustain the bee population. Local sustainable gardener Kate Frey’s book, The Bee Friendly Garden, is a great resource.
Recently, I was thrilled to see all the solar panels in the west county. But we need a lot more of them. If you’re thinking about solar panels, think about going with a Sonoma County company and “Power Local!”
Solar Sonoma County (SSC), a program of the Center for Climate Protection, offers a free service to help you navigate the many solar options and determine if solar is right for your residence or business. solarsonomacounty.org.
(By the way – even the coal industry is going solar! Ironically, in order to save $8,000 – nearly 1/3 of its annual electricity bill, the Kentucky Coal Museum is installing 80 solar panels.)
In March, wind turbines generated enough electricity to meet the electric needs of 136% of Scottish households –about 3.3 million homes.
Here in California turbines on wind farms in 2015 generated 12,180 gigawatt-hours of electricity –over six percent of the state’s gross system power, not including the hundreds of homes and farms producing electricity with smaller wind turbines.
Last July, Sonoma Clean Power contracted with NextEra Energy Resources to build a new wind farm in the East Bay. When completed later this year, the 46-megawatt project will provide SCP with enough energy for up to 46,000 homes.
SCP, the Sonoma County Water Agency, and the Sonoma County Library have partnered to bring library patrons a great way to improve water and energy efficiency. The available for a three-week loan at the Central SR, Sebastopol, and Guerneville libraries, is filled with great tools and information to help lower your carbon and water footprints. And, you get to keep the faucet adaptors and four LED light bulbs. Go to sonomacleanpower.org/programs/ and click on the icon for the Toolkit.
© Copyright Tish Levee, 2017
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