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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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The Electric Vehicle Ripple Effect

Nearly everyone who works at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital knows that if you’ve got questions about solar panels or electric vehicles, Dr. Timothy Rodgers probably has the answers. During the lunch hour, you can sometimes spot Timothy, a specialist in Internal Medicine, in the hospital’s cafeteria — and a couple times a week, he’s chatting with someone curious about green technologies.

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Setting an example for the next generation

Sue Selle was introducing her science students to ways they might reduce their carbon footprint -- including the many forms of alternative-fuel cars available in today’s market. Then came the question: "Ms. Selle, do you drive one of those cars?" The answer was no. She shared her reasons, but her words felt hollow. "I always try to be a role model to my students, to practice the environmentally-conscious actions that I teach about. I didn't like that I couldn't do that in this case."
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Commuting in “Kelleafy”

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.

 

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Five Ways Colleges Are Coaxing Students Out of Their Cars

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.

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Tesla: More Cost-Effective Than You Think?

Kenneth can drive between 24,000 and 30,000 miles in a year, nearly double the amount of the average driver, according to the Department of Transportation. Such heavy vehicle use — and gas —has consequences, as Kenneth realized. His mounting gas bill coupled with a growing realization of the repercussions of his CO2 emissions on the planet’s climate convinced him to look at purchasing an electric vehicle. Then, when an EV charging station was installed outside his office building, he took it as a sign. Transitioning to an EV, however, wasn’t without its bumps.
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Most popular personal stories of 2013

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.

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Employees plug in at lynda.com

lynda.com is a rapidly growing online learning company that offers thousands of video courses to help viewers learn software, technology, creative, and business skills. With growth comes the challenge of recruiting, and the largest motivation for installing workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging stations came from the Human Resources department.
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Noah tests the efficiency of his family’s electric vehicle

Although he’s been known to play a video game or two, Noah Z. is not your ordinary teenager. Recently, Noah decided he wanted to express his concerns about the world his generation is inheriting by shedding light on a simple way that American drivers can reduce their carbon footprint. His experiment won him a medal at the Santa Barbara County Science Fair and has him thinking about the future. The idea started when he and his family checked out the Green Car Show at CEC’s 2012 Earth Day Festival.
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Steve H. Prefers to Bypass the Pump

Steve Hahn has been interested in sustainable transportation and electric vehicles for as long as he can remember.  Growing up in Detroit, he was steeped in the car culture, as well as the big city’s trains and subways. Later in life he moved to Santa Barbara and began working for the Metropolitan Transit District (MTD). Residing close to work, Steve drives a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) every day. It seemed like an efficient and sustainable decision, and “bypassing the pump has also been nice.” He has enjoyed it so much so that he even converted his neighbors, creating Santa Barbara’s very own EV Neighborhood.

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