Here in Santa Barbara, the Community Environmental Council was born in 1970, between the oil spill and the first Earth Day (their first big party). Since then, they’ve been steadily working to improve our community by decreasing its waste, promoting efficiency in building and transportation, and through consumer advocacy and education. Here are a few of their recent accomplishments.
Last year, a “Solarize Santa Barbara” program effectively decreased the cost of installing solar and resulted in 50 new contracts in 3 months time for an annual production of 300 megawatt hours* of power from the sun.
In 2008, after convening a coalition of builders, architects and realtors, a three year building code was enacted resulting in energy savings of 560 megawatt hours annually.
CEC has worked towards installing public charging stations for EVs, and last year installed 60 in the tri-county region.
Through their “Rethink the Drink” program, water bottle filling stations have been or will soon be installed in nine local schools, daily filling stainless steel canteens that are being distributed to the students.
Carrot Mobs are fun, the opposite of boycotts. CEC promoted one to help a local coffee shop retrofit with energy efficient lighting. Coffee Cat doubled their sales that day which funded the new lighting that will save them 30%. I can say that it was rather empowering to know that the simple act of buying a coffee could help to make this happen!
*One megawatt hour = 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity (1000 kWh), about the average monthly use per home in the U.S.