Sonoma County Climate Action

Educate, Organize, Act!

Join Us!

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SONOMA COUNTY!

350 Sonoma, an all-volunteer non-profit, is working to slow climate change and promote climate justice in the county. We're part of 350 Bay Area and inspired by 350.org, the international climate action organization founded by Bill McKibbon. We meet the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, 467 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa. Join us!

Support 350 Sonoma Actions:

Spring Legislative Update

100% clean energy is our top priority!  SB 100 — which would mandate that 100% of California’s electricity be generated from renewables by 2045 — would be a big step in the right direction!  It’s now in the California Assembly. Contact your assembly member (click on “Act Now”) and tell him/her to support SB 100!

Another ground-breaking bill now in the California legislature is SB 964, a bill that would require CalSTRS and CalPRS, the two biggest pension systems in the U.S., to take climate-related financial risk into account when making investment decisions.  It’s past time for California’s big pension funds to divest from oil giants like Exxon Mobil. Show your support for SB 964 by signing the petition!

Other important bills that we’re supporting:

AB 1775 (its companion bill in the California Senate is SB 834) would help prevent oil drilling off California’s coasts by giving the State Lands Committee more power to block unloading and transport of oil from new offshore drilling operations.

SB 1072 would help under-resourced communities compete for state funds in order to fund local projects that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help transition away from fossil fuels.  Another goal of the legislation is to help these communities increase jobs and economic development through investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable infrastructure.

AB 3232 would require the California State Energy Resources Commission to develop a plan that would reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from residential and commercial buildings to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Stay tuned for more info and actions!

 

 

Video: Pushing Back Pesticides

350 Sonoma Looking for Earth Day Volunteers! April 21 in Santa Rosa

Hello Earth Enthusiasts! Please spread the word about Santa Rosa Earth Day. This will be a fun Zero Waste volunteer opportunity, particularly for middle school, high school, or college students and teachers that you know. Enthusiastic students make great Zero Waste ambassadors! Sign up to help with compost and recycling stations at the celebration. We want to give students a chance to sign up first. It will be super fun and a great community service opportunity! For the first time ever, this will be a Zero Waste event, and we need your help to make it happen. I am giving the first sign-up opportunity to middle school, high school, and college volunteers.

Volunteers will help monitor the compost/ recycling/ trash stations so that materials go in the correct bin.  As a volunteer, you will help people sort their waste items (we will provide you with gloves and grabbers).  This is a wonderful opportunity to participate in educating the public about how to sort waste at home so that we don’t send valuable recyclables and compostables to the landfill.  AND, all volunteers get a free Santa Rosa Earth Day Volunteer t-shirt and reusable water bottle.

Click on this link to sign up: http://signup.com/go/VHVOMJz (you will not need to create an account to sign up).   Shifts are either from 11:00-1:00pm, 1:00-3:00pm or 3:00-5:00 pm.

 

Rebuilding for a Better Future

Rebuilding for a Better Future

In the wake of tragedy, we have a strong drive to rise up and find a way to come back even stronger from it. It’s in that spirit that 350 Sonoma is working in coalition with other local and regional climate groups to build a vision of a more sustainable and resilient community. 350 Sonoma spearheaded an effort to capture the main elements of rebuilding sustainable and resilient communities. This is just the first step in creating a common vision of the future of our community and world.

In recognizing the suffering of those who lost homes, we advocate strongly for solutions that do not add cost or complication to the process, and we call on our city and county governments and agencies, and other community leaders to join us in rebuilding for the future.

In summary, we promote zero net energy homes, the use of sustainable and fire-resistant building materials, wise resource management, and an intentional effort to create sustainable communities. Here is the document in full:  read more…

350 Sonoma Leads the Call for Sustainable Rebuilding

The Sonoma County climate and environmental community got together on October 30 and agreed to support 350 Sonoma’s plan to rebuild our neighborhoods to be sustainable and resilient. 45 attendees representing about 25 regional organizations discussed 350 Sonoma’s action plan to develop a specific vision including all electric infrastructure supported by solar and storage with the goal of net zero energy, sustainable building practices, rainwater management, and drought resistant regenerative landscaping, among other ideas. Sunny Galbraith from 350 Sonoma summarized the call to action saying, “This is an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild using methods that reflect best practices in sustainable design, materials and systems to achieve both reduced emissions and greater resilience to future climate impacts.”

 

Climate and environmental activists in the region are organizing around creating a strong case for electrification including cost analyses, digging deep to uncover potential sources of funds, and coordinating with other community groups and government entities to gather information about other similar efforts, educate and ask our city and county officials to take strong action towards rebuilding with 21st century methods.

 

Because our first commitment is to our community, these efforts are guided by three principles: solutions will not add to the cost of the rebuild, they will be incentive-based, and they can opt out if they choose. 350 Sonoma, with the support of other groups, has hit the ground running and is in the process of determining where action is already taking place and figuring out how to support existing efforts that fit the overall vision for an innovative rebuilding process. Early indications are that there is a general, community wide call for electrification and that the local community choice energy group, Sonoma Clean Power, is putting its weight and know-how behind that effort.

 

As Laura Neish, Executive Director of 350 Bay Area (and a Santa Rosa resident) summarized: “We aren’t just asking Santa Rosa and Sonoma County to model sustainable and resilient rebuilding at a neighborhood scale, we are supporting our community to model how we can all work together to recover after a major climate-related disaster.”

Santa Rosa Chooses Recology & Moves To Reduce Waste

Good news!  Santa Rosa just approved a contract with Recology, choosing it to be its new garbage hauler.  Recology has an excellent record both as a responsible steward of the environment and a company concerned with the well-being of its employees.

350 Sonoma worked closely with North Bay Jobs with Justice to encourage city councilors to choose a waste hauler with a strong track record of fair and safe employment practices, and  a sustainable, zero-waste approach.  We know that rates will increase to reflect the added costs fair wages and cleaner trucks and practices. The result will be rates in line with our region, better jobs, safer working conditions AND keeping key resources out of the landfill. Other cities working with a zero-waste philosophy have significantly reduced landfill requirements and spurred local economic growth by utilizing resources previously discarded.

Watch this space! 350 Sonoma is part of two coalitions working towards improving waste management in the county, the Compost Coalition working to bring a local compost facility back, and the Zero Waste Task Force, working with other community groups to get Sonoma County cities to adopt zero waste policies.

The BEAM Team is a group that has formed to support and further test the research of Dr. David Johnson, a New Mexico State University molecular biologist who has been investigating the microbial life in the soil.  Dr. Johnson has developed, applied and tested the results of a high fungal compost called BEAM – Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management­–with the goal of enhancing soil microbial community populations, structures and functionality to regenerate natural processes in soils of agro-ecosystems. His test plots have had very positive results in terms of the amount of carbon returned to the soil, soil nutrient availability, plant vitality and growth, and water retention. This research offers a different perspective than traditional soil science which has been focused on soil chemistry rather than soil life systems. The BEAM Team includes farmers, orchardists, grape growers and gardeners as well as climate activists. Current members are located in Sonoma, Marin, and Yolo Counties.

Interested in getting involved in this exciting project?  Contact Anna.

 

 

350 Sonoma is all in on Plastic Free July!

What is Plastic Free July? It’s a challenge to all of us to refuse single-use plastic! It’s not all that easy – straws, bags, plastic lids all get delivered to us automatically, so you have to remember to ask to NOT receive them (and shouldn’t it be the other way around?) Take the pledge here and learn about ideas for avoiding junk plastics. We have found it (mostly) pretty easy to avoid plastic bottles, cups, straws and bags by carrying our own. What do you do to avoid junk plastic?