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Earthday Report Card

Earthday Report Card

Santa Barbarans take credit for not only starting the modern environmental movement but also for inspiring Earth Day. Like many conceits, this notion has almost as much fact as fiction to back it up. In fact, former U.S. senator Gaylord Nelson is the one credited for hatching the first Earth Day back in 1970. But Nelson said his visit to Santa Barbara after the catastrophic oil spill of 1969 spurred him into action. Read story.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Earthday Report Card:
City of Santa Barbara

For many moons, the City of Santa Barbara appeared to rest on its environmental laurels-conspicuously coasting on a history of considerable accomplishment. But in the past two years, that's all changed. From top to bottom, people at City Hall appear to have gotten green religion, and to the extent they're singing from the same page, it had better be on recycled paper. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earthday Report Card
The Independent

During its 20 years in operation, The Santa Barbara Independent has distinguished itself with the speed and diligence with which it has embraced a host of environmental passions. But when it comes to the mundane details by which such causes are put into meaningful practice, The Independent's customary speed and zeal has been notably lacking. There have been some exceptions, however. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earthday Report Card:
Higher Education

If any sector of Santa Barbara life should be on the cutting edge of environmental know-how, it should be our colleges. It's no secret that UCSB has long been a bastion of clean living, at least as far as the environment is concerned. Its Environmental Studies Department has educated many about what must be done to live sustainably. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earthday Report Card:
Cottage Hospital

Hospitals are supposed to be healing spaces, not community purveyors of frightening substances like neurotoxins and dioxins. But, considering the volumes of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic devices used in medical settings-plastics that leech chemicals called phthalates-and the mercury-containing equipment used and infectious waste incinerated daily, that's pretty much what they have been. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earthday Report Card:
Homeowners

More homeowners than ever before are retrofitting their homes with solar panels, according to those in the solar industry. Ironically, estate owners who may use as much energy as an entire downtown residential block are reluctant to install solar paneling. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earthday Report Card
Builders

Even before the word was on everybody's lips that buildings generate 48 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, the Santa Barbara Contractors Association (SBCA) was all over it, thanks to years of prodding by some of its more visionary members. The SBCA initiated the Built Green program so that builders can earn points for environmental friendliness. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earthday Report Card
Small Businesses

From Java Jones, which now offers organic, fair-trade coffees and compostable plastic utensils, to travel business Green Pleasures, which at no extra fee makes contributions to offset your trip's carbon usage, Santa Barbara's small businesspeople are making exceptional efforts to be environmental citizens. Since 2000, the annual Green Awards have honored five businesses that exceed the call of commerce to save the Earth. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earthday Report Card
Agriculture

There is perhaps no more appropriate landing ground for eco-savvy sensibilities and future-conscious principles than the farmland of Santa Barbara County. Our rolling rangeland accounts for some 723,000 acres-approximately 90 percent of all privately owned land in the county. Add to that the fact that ag activity is invariably "upstream" from the Pacific Ocean, and you get a situation in which broadly applied agricultural techniques can have a sweeping, positive impact on the community. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earthday Report Card
Santa Barbara County

Assigning a grade to Santa Barbara County is a difficult prospect, as efforts toward reducing its residents' impact upon the land involves examining the likes of college students in Isla Vista, affluent families in Montecito, and ranchers in North County. However, the county has made notable progress to ease the burden it and its residents place on the land on which they live. Read story.

Thursday, April 19, 2007
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