COAST CITIES — California cities face the challenge of bringing down carbon emission levels by 11 percent by the year 2020 to meet the requirements of Assembly Bill 32. For Californians that means using less electricity and water, producing less waste and traveling fewer miles.
To help coastal cities meet those goals, California Department of Conservation representatives signed on Oceanside, Encinitas and Del Mar to take the Stand for Less pledge on Sept. 14, and share what they are doing to be more sustainable.
Oceanside shared its recycling program, which has successfully diverted 59 percent of waste. Recycling services includes curbside recycling and yard waste pickup and a green waste recycling facility.
Encinitas showed off the green features incorporated in its City Hall building. Solar panels that cover one-third of the roof help light, heat and cool the building. “In 20 years it save residents $4 million,” Encinitas Mayor Maggie Houlihan said. “It adds up. It’s good for the environment, good for the bank account.”
Stand for Less is a partnership between state and local government to promote a mindset of conservation, Mark Oldfield, recycling specialist for the California department of conservation, said. Also on board are SANDAG, San Diego County Water Authority, California Air Resources Board, California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, California Center for Sustainable Energy, San Diego Foundation, San Diego Gas and Electric, San Diego Air Pollution Control District and San Diego Environmental Services.
The idea is to use smart practices to make energy conservation convenient and cost effective for business. “We need to get the statewide message down to the consumer,” Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern said.
Coastal cities are doing quite a bit, but feel they can do more. Cities are encouraging developers to build green LEED-certified projects and are reaching out to residents with curbside recycling and xeriscape landscape workshops.
“We need to do more, but we’re getting there,” Houlihan said.