Imagine over 600,000 acres of wilderness. You are surrounded by blue sky, mountains, rock formations and a cornucopia of plants including creosote, palo verde, cacti, and ocotillo. As you walk around, you have the opportunity to see bighorn sheep, mountain lions, kit foxes, mule deer, coyotes, greater roadrunners, golden eagles, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, prairie falcons, desert iguanas, chuckwallas, and red diamond rattlesnakes.
Last month, the Comité Lost Hills En Accion, a group of community members that I work with to advocate for public health and community wellbeing measures in Lost Hills, invited representatives from Caltrans to do a presentation on the expansion of Highway 46. Highway 46, which runs through the Lost Hills community, is also known as a "Blood Alley" for the high number of motor-related deaths that take place on it. The current Caltrans proposal is to expand the highway from 2 lanes to 4 lanes.
The United States contains 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes about a quarter of the planet’s resources. Much of this consumption stems from our “throw away” lifestyle, whereby many products are used once and then thrown away. This started in the 1950s, when the plastics and chemical industries sold the American public on the convenience of single-use disposable items. In 2011, the average American produced 4.4 pounds of household garbage per day, twice as much as in 1960.
Candice Meneghin serves on the board of the Fillmore and Piru Basins (FPB) Groundwater Sustainability Agency as an environmental representative for the Santa Clara River Environmental Groundwater Committee. She also serves on the board of a local nonprofit, Friends of the Santa Clara River, which both fills the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) seat as the environmental lead for the committee on the Fillmore and Piru Basins GSA, and fills the environmental representative seat on the Mound Basin GSA on the low Santa Clara River.
In some California basins, sustainable groundwater management can mean the difference between whether a species goes extinct or a community’s drinking water becomes contaminated. The stakes are high.
Last week, Berkeley’s City Council unanimously passed a resolution that will drastically reduce the amount of disposable food ware from the city's restaurants. Berkeley’s new Disposable Free Dining ordinance is a game-changing step forward in the global movement to stop plastic pollution from endangering waterways, wildlife, and communities.
When I applied to be a door to door canvasser for Clean Water in my senior year of college, I figured it would be a pretty cool part time job until graduation. Little did I know that Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund would be my first employer out of college as well! After just under a year and a half in the Northampton field canvass office, I have accepted a job as Clean Water’s Massachusetts Drinking Water Advocate.
Giving Tuesday – the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving – is a day to remember and celebrate what we love, and the things for which we’re truly thankful. It is in part in tended as an antidote to all the shopping and crass commercialism.
Some of this weekend’s "bargains" will end up in a landfill or incinerator when they break or become obsolete, maybe as soon as a few months from now. Many of our purchases can have other big environmental and social impacts, too. They can be over-packaged and non-recyclable, and offshore or irresponsible manufacturing can pollute air, land and water and endanger workers’ health and the communities where they operate.