Result: Over 130 community members showed up to the initial hearing for the latest Bicycle Master Plan, and 300 CEC followers signed our letter of support. After months of further meetings and public input, the Master Plan was approved thanks to community support.
Santa Barbara community members showed up in force on Thursday, October 29 to express their concerns about a new “watered…
Nearly every seat in the house was taken at the Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday, July 21 for the Bicycle…
Over the last three months, Santa Barbara City staff and consultants have carried out an impressive community engagement campaign to…
As a clinical nutritionist, registered dietician and cooking instructor, Gerri French knows a few things about food. And as host of the Santa Barbara Food and Farm Adventures Meetup Group, which meets every two weeks at various locations throughout the county, she also knows something about farms.
Last March, Kent Epperson bought a house in Ojai after months of fruitlessly searching for an affordable place in Santa Barbara. With that move, his short bike commute to his office near the intersection of Calle Real and North San Antonio Road in Santa Barbara abruptly changed to an hour and a half drive every day between the two cities.
Recently, Eva Inbar and her husband, Michael, purchased a set of road bikes. Avid cyclists, the two have been biking for decades, and they don’t have plans to quit anytime soon. No matter that they are in their late 60s.
Last June, Phoebe Wolfe Lyons decided to participate in the Santa Barbara Triathlon — her first experience with such an event. No matter that she had never swum in the ocean before. No matter that she was only eight.
Most mornings, Beezhan Tulu hops on his bright green bike and rides down Highway 101 from his home on the Gaviota Coast to the most westerly bus stop in Goleta, where he folds up his bike, pays the $1.25 bus fare, and completes the last leg of his 20-mile trek into Santa Barbara. Beezhan, a local filmmaker, purposefully does not own a car, and his Day-Glo bike is his sole means of transportation.
But that hasn’t always been the case.
Fourteen-year-old Catalina Russell has grown up with Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival. Since before she can remember, her mom has been bringing her to the celebration that strives to inspire the community to protect and preserve the world we live in. Five years ago, when she was just nine years old, Catalina decided she wanted to do more than passively enjoy the festival. She signed up as a volunteer to help the event she had come to love – and she’s kept coming back to volunteer every year since.
When Kelly Schmandt Ferguson took a job in Santa Ynez last year, commuting to work by bus was no longer an option for the Santa Barbara resident. Concerns over increased gas expenses and the environmental impacts of fossil fuel emissions as well as the desire to “support a technology that [she] believed in” led Kelly to research leasing an electric vehicle.
Like other schools across the country, the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) has its own program to entice students, faculty, and staff to reduce driving and choose more sustainable modes of transportation. The Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, seeks to reduce traffic congestion, traffic emissions, and the demand for parking on campus and serves those who commute to UCSB by foot, skateboard, bicycle, bus, carpool, vanpool, or train.
As the cost of hybrid and electric vehicles continues to decrease, the switch to fuel-efficient cars becomes more appealing – but the purchase or lease of a new car isn’t right for everyone. While a hybrid or EV may be on your horizon, an easy way to bypass the fuel pumps today is, of course, to dust off your bicycle. Just riding your bike one weekday out of five can help to significantly increase your effective mpg rating.
Santa Barbarans are leading the way in the clean energy movement. We've met locals who are installing solar panels on their homes and helping others go solar. We've heard from people who are driving electric vehicles and powering them with energy from the sun or commuting to work by bike or bimodally. Read our most popular personal stories from 2013 for a dose of inspiration going into the new year.
Recently in Not Your Father’s Carpool Part 1, CEC reported on new findings by U.S. Pirg indicating that young people are buying fewer new cars and driving less – demanding a new American Dream that is less dependent on the one-car-per-person model.
Coupled with this is another trend: the rapid development of social media and mobile technology that make it easier for people to connect directly with someone who has something they need.
When 18-year-old Lauren Mok leaves her apartment in Isla Vista for classes across town at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) and uses an iPhone app to offer a ride to a student she doesn’t know, she occasionally reflects on something a professor recently said:
We’re in the middle of a social revolution, where technology is changing the way we do everything. Even, it seems, activities as mundane as driving.
I used to be uncomfortable with the concept of grace. I had been asked to believe that grace was something bestowed upon us from above, but that idea didn't fit with what I was observing around me in the natural world. Then a few months ago I had an encounter with grace that changed my life forever.
But first, some background.