Eco-Tip for 9-15-19
Upcoming Eco Events: Coastal Cleanup Day and Drive Electric Week
By David Goldstein, VC PWA, IWMD
When people want to know what they can do to immediately and tangibly benefit the environment, sometimes the answer is to pick up litter. When people want to know what single lifestyle change they can make to benefit the environment on a daily basis, one increasingly common answer is to switch to an electric vehicle.
Upcoming events will provide local opportunities to participate in both activities. Next Saturday is California Coastal Cleanup Day, and, as part of National Drive Electric Week, major events promoting electric driving will be held this Tuesday, Saturday, and next Sunday.
At vccoastcleanup.org/cleanup-sites/, you can find Ventura County’s cleanup sites, where, from 9 am to noon on Saturday, site captains will provide volunteers with buckets, bags, gloves, tally sheets and water. However, volunteers are urged to instead bring their own reusable supplies and to use a new phone app for tallying results. You can also help by completing a waiver, at vccoastcleanup.org/get-involved/ before arriving, and you should stay safe by wearing closed shoes and sunscreen.
Countywide coordinator Kelly Hahs, who works for the Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Watershed Protection District, said she hopes this year’s event will collect more than the 12,945 pounds collected last year by 3,008 volunteers, but “it is also important to capture all the lightweight ‘micro-trash,’ such as cigarette butts.” In addition to removing a visual blight and protecting wildlife from ingesting or becoming entangled in litter, Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers contribute to the environment by collecting and aggregating data. For example, this will be a key year for determining the downstream effects of Californians switching from single use plastic grocery bags to thicker, resuable plastic and other types of bags.
This Tuesday, at the Ventura County Government Center from 10 am to 2 pm, for National Drive Electric Week, an electric vehicle showcase will include ride and drive opportunities. Test rides will be available in electric cars, and also on e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-carts. The first 150 people to take a test drive will receive a free personal pizza from PizzaMan Dan’s. At 9:45 am, the Board of Supervisor will launch the event with a resolution in commemoration of National Drive Electric Week, driveelectricweek.org/1976; the Regional Energy Alliance and the County of Ventura are hosting the event to promote clean air and reduce carbon emissions.
Similar free electric car promotional events will take place in Chatsworth on Saturday and in Oxnard next Sunday. The Chatsworth event will be at 21431 Devonshire St., from 9 am to 2 pm (see driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1602 ), and the Oxnard event will be at 3610 South Harbor Blvd., West Channel Park, in the Channel Islands Harbor, from 9:30 am to 3 pm (see driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1592 ). The Oxnard event will feature not only electric cars currently available for sale, but also vintage cars retrofitted for electricity, electric bicycles, and electric watercraft. At all three events, electric vehicle owners will be available to share their experiences. Registering in advance for any of the three events and completing a short survey qualifies registrants for a $250 prize.
One advantage of events like this is the opportunity to compare options. Years ago, cars seemed to compete for which could offer the most cup holders. More recently, the competition seemed to be which can offer the most USB ports. Now, with electric cars, the focus is clearly on range. At these events, you can not only compare range among new models, but also among older, used cars. You can also talk to the cars’ owners about what they do to maximize range and charge cheaply, “including many who charge their car from their home solar system and are driving on sunshine,” said Kent Bullard, a member of the EV Advocates of Ventura County
Critics say these cars, instead of being called “zero emission vehicles,” should just be called “emission elsewhere vehicles” because the power plants making electricity still pollute. California has no coal fired power plants, but, as of two years ago, 29 percent of our state’s electricity was imported, and 32 percent of the imported electricity was from “unspecified origin,” according to a July 2018 report from the California Energy Commission. However, the more significant fact, according to the web site of the California Public Utilities Commission, is the mandate created by Senate Bill 100 of 2018, which is expected to result in 60 percent of California power coming from renewable sources by 2030. Renewable sources include wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and bioenergy. Many local communities offer 100 percent renewable power as the default for home electric systems, according to Bullard.
More information: vccoastcleanup.org
Waiver for clean-up: vccoastcleanup.org/get-involved/driveelectricweek.org