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Free Solar Advice and Peace of Mind with Solarize

Who doesn’t dread that monthly moment of opening a mailbox or an inbox and finding a stack of bills waiting to be paid? Electricity bills, cable bills, phone bills, medical bills—like hungry young birds in a nest, they sit there silently peeping until their demands are met.

Ty Lewis, a city employee of Paso Robles, set out to eliminate or significantly reduce one of the more common ones in his pile: his electricity bill.

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From Solar Heated Boxes to Hot Air and Water

“6,000 Years of Solar” is a series about the history of solar energy technology drawn from John Perlin’s new book Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. The series profiles the fascinating people, from ancient Greece and China to late 19th century New York to today, who have made the present day solar revolution possible.

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In Memoriam: Joan Crowder

Long before she made a name for herself as a cultural writer for the Santa Barbara News-Press, Joan Crowder was a volunteer editor of the Santa Barbara Survival Times, a fledgling monthly magazine published by CEC in the aftermath of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.

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Drinking It In: Eliminating Single-Use Plastic Bottles

Rethink the Drink started in 2010 with a simple concept: provide schools with an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles and see if habit change followed. Four years later, we are proud to report that habit change is indeed possible. There are now 39 water refill stations in schools and community facilities across Santa Barbara County, and they have been used more than 870,000 times. Creating a single plastic water bottle emits 2.6 pounds of carbon dioxide, thus the amount of carbon dioxide emissions mitigated by our refill stations is more than 2 million pounds.

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Intern Spotlight: Logan McCoy

Logan McCoy works as the Environmental Program Coordinator for Patagonia in the Bay Area. Logan is a two-time intern at the CEC. Both internships took place during his undergraduate years as a student majoring in Environmental Studies Major at UC Santa Barbara.

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A Conservative Embraces Driving on Sunshine

Aaron is not your typical “go green” kind of guy. He thinks that the country’s solar industry has been too heavily subsidized. And don’t get him started on climate change. None of that, however, stopped Aaron from installing solar panels on his home or purchasing a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Come again?
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A Clean Energy Future

Cameron Clark is a local freelance website designer interested in clean energy issues and environmental sustainability. He is also a member of the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians.  

America is a country that rises to a challenge, albeit sometimes reluctantly. Winston Churchill observed: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they've tried everything else.” Nowhere is that more true than energy.

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Updated Alert: No on AB 2145

Original Alert:The California Senate Energy Committee was considering Assembly Bill (AB) 2145. The proposed legislation thwarts California’s environmental goals, infringes upon local government decision-making, and will effectively destroy the future of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in the state of California.

Result: 195 people took action and spoke out against AB 2145. The bill is currently in committee. We will update this as new information becomes available.

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Updated Alert: Cuyama Solar Project

Original Alert:The Cuyama Solar Project proposes to convert 327 acres of previously disturbed, over-drafted farmland in the Cuyama Valley into a solar facility that will generate enough power for 16,000 California homes and avoid the emissions of 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Show your support by testifying before the Planning Committee.

Result: 62 people took action and showed their support for clean energy.

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Updated Alert: Greenhouse gas emission threshold in Santa Barbara County

Let the County Board of Supervisors know that you support the lowest threshold possible for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. This Tuesday the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will consider options for setting greenhouse gas (GHG) emission thresholds from stationary sources. Their decisions will impact Santa Barbara’s ability to regulate GHG emissions for generations to come.
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E.P.A. Announces New Proposed Carbon Pollution Regulations

Today, with the announcement of new carbon regulations, the Obama administration is using authority granted to the E.P.A. by the Clean Air Act to tackle the U.S.’s largest source of carbon pollution: over 600 coal-burning power plants. The proposed regulations would seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from these power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

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Solar Design in Ancient Greece

“6,000 Years of Solar” is a series about the history of solar energy technology drawn from John Perlin’s new book Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. The series profiles the fascinating people, from ancient Greece and China to late 19th century New York to today, who have made the present day solar revolution possible.

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Intern Spotlight: Marjan Riazi

Marjan Riazi works as the New Student Requirement Coordinator for the UC Santa Barbara Alcohol & Drug Program. Marjan completed a 9-month internship at CEC following graduation from UCSB with a major in Environmental Studies.

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Using Film and a Brompton Foldable Bike to Preserve the Planet

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. 

 

 

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Another successful Earth Day! Thank you.

We are proud to report 37,364 people attended Santa Barbara Earth Day this year! It's beyond inspiring to see so many people gather to share information, participate in community building, and celebrate this year’s theme “Local Roots,” which encouraged meaningful actions to help make a global impact. The festival was organized around the CEC’s five initiatives: Drive Less, Choose Electric, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, and Eat Local.

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