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:
Last year, 350 Sonoma’s Regenerative Agriculture action group hosted David C. Johnson, researcher and microbiologist at the University of New Mexico, for training and workshops on his bioreactor technique for creating compost undisturbed by turning. The first Sonoma County bioreactors created during the workshops have been opened to reveal thick compost filled with worms. We are mixing the compost with our garden beds and making inoculate spray to spread the healthy organisms. Stay tuned for the results! Meanwhile, new bioreactors are being built for next year’s gardens. A bioreactor is used to create BEAM – a rich compost filled with mycorrhizae (fungal filaments) that are key factors in regenerating and improving soil, carbon sequestration and water retention, according to Johnson’s research.
A small team from 350 Sonoma and 350 Petaluma (our new subgroup representing the south county) will be meeting on May 15th with a member of Assemblymember Marc Levine’s staff. We’ll emphasize the critical importance of quickly achieving 100% clean energy in California. SB 100 is the current legislation mandating 100% clean energy, and it is currently stalled in the State Assembly after passing the State Senate. If SB 100 doesn’t make it out for a full vote this year, we will keep working to get it back into the legislative process. We will also ask for Levine’s vote on AB 3232, a bill that will promote the shift to all electric buildings. Other bills we will ask for AM Levine to join us in supporting: 2304 – atransit pass study, 1775 – to limit offshore drilling, and 2928 – promoting dense housing on BART properties. A million thanks to Kathy Dervine, Judy Pope and the 350 Bay Area Legislative Team for their leadership and guidance. 350 Sonoma will be setting up a meeting with Jim Wood as soon as the dust settles on this one.
It has been a big month for the Zero Waste team. We worked with the Santa Rosa Junior College student sustainability group to present Wasted, a deep and sometimes profane look at food waste throughout the world. The conversation that followed was lively and informative. We were also instrumental in converting the Santa Rosa Earth Day to a Zero Waste event. As part of the effort, our own Sunny Galbraith organized 30 middle school and high school student volunteers who sortied garbage, separating compostible and recyclable materials from trash while educating the public. In addition, several 350 folks are participating in the “Zero Waste Curious” trainings, where we are being trained by Portia Sinnot of Zero Waste USA to give 20-minute informational presentations about Zero Waste to the general public.
On May 10th, we participated in the second-annual Sonoma County Zero Waste Symposium, which featured an amazing collection of knowledgeable and inspirational speakers. This event, somewhat coincidentally, marks the beginning our push to get city councils and the county board of supervisors in Sonoma County to pass a Zero Waste resolution. The Zero Waste policy resolution was crafted by a large group of community and business members interested in promoting specific city and county action to reduce waste and climate warming emissions, while promoting good jobs.
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!
Recology, our new hauler, is working towards improving and increasing composting in Sonoma County. Read more here.
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.
We will have our next Zero Waste Action Group meeting on Monday, April 2nd, 6:30-8:00pm in Sebastopol. We focus on spreading the word and community organizing. We have so many exciting things to talk about and plan for! Email 350SonomaCounty@gmail.com for location.
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…
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.”