The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Small Ripples have a Big Impact


Small Ripples have a Big Impact

By Susan Price

The impact you have on the world is greater than you imagine. Everything we do effects people in our lives as well as strangers on the street; and their actions in turn affect others. Therefore, every choice matters

Daily Acts was founded on this significant idea and we use the concept of the Ripple Effect to amplify the positive results from the work we do. From redefining sustainable and edible landscapes, to getting ever more creative in saving every drop of water, to fighting climate change right in our own back yard; we help our community connect to each other and their own power to grow food, conserve resources and build local resilience. The Community Resilience Challenge, an annual campaign running now through the end of May, is your chance to commit to do something that makes our world a more sustainable, nourished, and connected place.

We believe THE MIRACLE IS YOU. You start with where you are, affecting what you can directly influence. Beginning small can be a powerful first step. Maybe you can plant a garden and feed your family, or plant sunflowers and feed the bees, or host a potluck and feed your neighbors. Maybe you install rainwater harvesting tanks to water your landscape, or maybe you don’t have garden space so you choose to spend your money with local businesses or volunteer for a local non-profit. Then those actions ripple out, and your neighbor is inspired to install a greywater system from his washing machine and another neighbor transforms her lawn into a native garden. One average lawn sucks up an astounding 3,600 gallons of water during the summer months alone. Imagine the Ripple Effect when 97 people registered to do the same through the Community Resilience Challenge in 2015: saving over a million gallons of water in the first 12 months!

Some of these ripples get really big and have big waves of cumulative impact! Compost Coalition member Erin Axelrod has pledged to get 100 new compost piles started in Sonoma County to offset the loss of our local compost processing center. The Farmer’s Guild’s Evan Wiig is going to be asking restaurants to feature a meal sourced entirely from local farms in their first five years of production to help secure their future in our food chain supply. The Community Resilience Challenge has even inspired similar campaigns in other communities from coast to coast: all asking us to make a commitment to take action!

And our projects build relationships. When our dear volunteer Judy Mazzeo transformed her lawn into a native habitat, she met more neighbors in two months than in twenty years of living in her neighborhood. Nancy and Jim Hage had the same thing happen. This March, Daily Acts hosted multiple volunteer powered events including transforming turf at Petaluma Fire Station #3 (in the pouring rain) and sheet mulching Petaluma Junior High with ninety students from the 6th & 7th grades. The kids transformed a whopping 17,000 square foot traffic circle which is now saving 425,000 gallons a year and will be planted with a native plant garden designed by the students! Ripples from these projects will be felt for many years to come, saving precious resources and inspiring even more individuals to find creative ways to live more lightly on the earth.

What choices can you make today that change tomorrow? How far can you make your ripple go?

Featured Event: Join Daily Acts, the City of Cotati, and Oliver’s Market on June 4th for ‘Garden in a Day’. This exciting grass-to-garden event will be held at the historic Kotate Park and native plants of the region will be planted connecting community with the roots of Cotati’s past with a FREE, educational hands-on experience! Build relationships while volunteering for this beautiful project, be sure to register it for the Community Resilience Challenge so your ripples inspire others to connect to their own power to take action.

Sign up for the Community Resilience Challenge and Garden in a Day on Daily Acts’ website at