For many people, the words ‘food network’ bring to mind faces of celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray, Guy Fieri, and Emeril Lagasse. When Alison Hensley, local food enthusiast and co-founder of the SOL Food Festival, hears those words, she sees a different set of faces.
3,292. That’s how many disposable diapers the typical baby uses in its first year, and all of them go into a landfill.
80. That’s about how many cloth diapers Dexter used in his first year, and none of them went into a landfill.
Despite their appreciation for the environmental benefits of solar power, Donna and Patrick Will thought converting to solar energy would never make financial sense for them. However, after hearing about the Solarize Santa Ynez Valley program, the Wills decided to take another look at solar.
For years, Peter Tatikian and his wife, Kelley Skumautz, have made a game out of avoiding buying single-use plastic bags. This has been especially interesting when it comes to picking up after their terrier/chihuahua mix, Ollie. It takes a little more creativity on every dog walk. “We have become very inventive in finding bags to pick up poop,” Peter says. This has included paper wrappers, tortilla chip bags, frozen vegetable packaging, and even the plastic mailing sleeves that magazines get mailed in.
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.
On April 22 – the official, nationally designated Earth Day – my email box blows up. Not just from the usual business of managing our local Earth Day festival, but from the mass of e-newsletters and Facebook posts calling attention to the day. They come from every corner of society. A statewide religious consortium. Elected officials. A local attorney’s office. Some are fluff, others are sincere calls for action, and others call into question what it’s all for.
When Georgianna Wilson committed to the Eat Local Challenge for the month of October, she didn’t think it was going to be that challenging. She was already signed up for weekly produce boxes through Plow to Porch, a local CSA program, and to top it off, she won one of the local food baskets in the Eat Local Giveaway by CEC and Edible Santa Barbara.
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.
To me, huge stockpiles of stuff is crazy making. What I see are expiration dates and things calling out “do something with me!” The idea of buying cases and pallets of merchandise individually packaged screams waste, so I prefer to source household staples in simple, sustainable quantities.
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.
Last month CEC conducted a drawing to give a local resident a new bike (special thanks to the Isla Vista Bike Boutique for donating the cruiser). We picked the person who made the best case for using the bike to replace their vehicle trips. The winner was Courtney Mercier. She received her bike in time to hit the streets with thousands of local cyclists this Cycle Maynia – Santa Barbara’s month-long celebration of biking.