Low Carbon Hero
Chef Debra has 30 years of experience with climate-friendly cooking.
By Debra Chase
An empty belly is the best cook.
– Estonian Proverb
When I was a kid we always had a garden growing. When it came time to pick tomatoes, my Dad would go out to the garden with a salt shaker in his back pocket. In the midst of the picking he would find one that looked especially good to him, sit down, split it open with his hands, Read more
Judy Corbett, a longtime Davis resident, is a winner of the Cool Davis Climate Solutions Award. She is stepping down after three decades as executive director of the award-winning Local Government Commission.
“It feels better to do something than nothing.”
That’s how local environmental hero Judy Corbett describes what has motivated her life’s work. It’s an understatement, coming from a woman whom Time Magazine has named a Hero for the Planet.
Judy Corbett has spent the last three decades as executive director of the award-winning Local Government Commission. This Sacramento-based nonprofit works with local government leaders throughout California to promote livable communities that include healthy, engaged people, a healthy environment, a more sustainable economy, and an equitable society.
The Local Government Commission promotes this by producing and sharing practical resources and by bringing local government officials together to learn from one another and from experts as they create local solutions to increasingly global challenges. Read more
Dani Lee shops at the Farmer’s Market for organic produce.
Dani Lee is one of those natural beauties who sparkles all on her own. Had you seen her in the 1970s you might have thought “mellow hippy”, but Dani is full of energy and enthusiasm about her dream job.
She is the Sustainability Manager for UC Davis Dining Services where, as an employee of Sodexo, she oversees myriad tasks . Dining Services feeds over 56,000 meals per week in the three campus dining commons and provides food for 1,000 events per month. It’s Dani’s job to help that division achieve zero waste as part of UC Davis’ goal of zero waste for the whole campus by 2020. Read more
Students on Emerson’s Earth Team who first installed the filtered water system and sold reusable stainless steel water bottles.
Linda A. Silverstein, a Green Team leader at the Emerson/Da Vinci Junior High campus, tells the story of how they dramatically reduced use of plastic bottles, held an inspiring ‘green screen’ film festival and cut their landfill trash by four.
Here in our wonderful little bubble of Davis it’s easy to take steps toward greening our schools, thanks to organizations like Davis Farm To School (DF2S).
DF2S works in conjunction with the Davis Joint Unified School District to hire parents and other adults interested in teaching students how to garden for fresh produce, how to compost and how to use the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Read more
Clara Perez put on a ‘zero waste’ movie night to start discussions with her friends on what they could do to reduce their environmental impact
By Kendall Essex
One of the most entertaining ways Clara Perez has found to help her community raise its collective environmental awareness has been to gather her tight knit group of largely Colombian and other Latino friends together to watch a documentary, eat good food, and discuss the topics raised in the film. She has even created a toolkit that provides a helpful outline for doing this type of event, as well as a nice way to document who attended the event. Anyone can use this type of toolkit when hosting their own event.
It’s a great way to get your friends together and help the environment at the same time.
Clara came across the movie Bag It, a documentary about plastics in the environment. She had the idea to invite her friends over to her house for a potluck and film screening. It turned into a small-scale, zero-waste event similar to Cool Davis Initiative’s larger Y.E.R.T. (Your Environmental Road Trip) film event held last March at the Veteran’s Memorial Theater.
Composting trash cans at Chavez Elementary School
After a very successful year at Chavez Elementary of modeling the city’s business compost pilot, this successful community schools plans to kick off the new year with further reductions in their carbon footprint and help students learn lifelong lessons in “making a difference.”
The inspiration for this program came from Ximena Diez-Jackson, DavisRISE (Recycling is Simply Elementary) Leader at Chavez Elementary. Composting helps increase carbon capture in the soil and reduces methane emissions by having aerobic rather than anerobic decomposition. So composting helps reduce the carbon footprint of each school.
With a team consisting of the principal, aides-titled lunch supervisors, the custodians and 650 students on the campus, they took the business model to heart and reduced their solid waste stream to half of a 32 gallon can. On August 22nd each elementary child will be reminded by their teachers with three simple words: “Remember To Recycle.” Every elementary school site will have the same template at lunch time to make it happen. Read more
Cathy Dycaico, MD, Co-Chair of the Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Green Team, tells the story of how a small group of individuals developed a project at their workplace that is expected to save $1000 per month, reduce related greenhouse gas emissions and has also provided a more attractive environment for everyone.
A significant water-saving landscaping project has been completed at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Office Building in Davis. The project includes a number of strategies for reduced water use and is expected to save approximately $1,000 per month in water costs.
Not only does the project provide water savings, but also a much more attractive and lively appearance for the clinic entrance, trees along the west side of the clinic for shade and interior comfort, and a meandering path to the employee vegetable garden.
This project was born at a monthly meeting of the Kaiser Permanente Green Team, a collaborative of representatives from several departments who meet at our Sacramento Medical Center to share ideas and propose initiatives to reduce our environmental impact.
Cesar Chavez Elementary School students Charlotte Mitchell and Aleta Ballinger-Dickerson recycle their lunch trays after eating at school last week. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo
Ximena Jackson, Davis RISE Coordinator tells the inspiring story of how Cesar Chavez Elementary School reduced its waste from 320 gallons per week to around 100 gallons a week in the space of a few months.