- Michele Gerstel
What A Night! Check Out Our Event's Highlights
Updated: Oct 19, 2022
GreenTown Los Altos’ 2022 Dinner & Auction, held on Oct. 2, was truly a perfect evening in every way. The crowd was overflowing with joy at being together in person in the beautiful Los Altos History Museum courtyard. The weather? Beautiful. The food? Amazing. The company? The best. The speakers? Inspiring!
Policies for net zero In 2035
We heard from Sen. Josh Becker who, in his short time in the California Senate, has been incredibly effective at getting targeted climate bills passed and signed into law. Among them is a bill ensuring the state leads by example, setting a target for state agencies to achieve net-zero in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2035, 10 years before the 2045 goal set by and for the state. Wouldn’t that be a fantastic achievement!
He also highlighted some areas that need attention and support. While the legislature mandated a roadmap for the cement industry (which generates 8% of global GHGs) to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2045, state purchasing does not require low-carbon concrete purchases. It’s a key opportunity. Becker anticipates that there will be some difficult legislative decisions on the horizon that will be needed for California to achieve its climate goals, and he looks to each of us to persist in supporting aggressive climate legislation so that California can continue to be a climate leader! Email us here (where should I link?) to get on a mail list announcing these opportunities.
Next, Don Bray of Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), reminded us of the power of collective action. SVCE is a public community choice energy agency that was started by Los Altos and 12 other communities, to provide clean power at competitive prices and to help customers shift away from fossil fuels. Since SVCE first delivered power in 2017, we have reduced energy-related greenhouse emissions by more than 30%! Further, SVCE is building out the clean energy supply, including a solar plus battery storage plant in Kings County and a geothermal plant near Mammoth, and offers an array of incredible programs that citizens can take advantage of to accelerate the shift to clean energy. See svcleanenergy.org to learn more.
He highlighted a few that provide the biggest bang for the buck:
Support for shifting to EVs - transportation is responsible for about 50% of greenhouse gas emissions in our area. Learn more here.
Incentives for electrifying your home - home heating and cooling and water heating make up 80-90% of greenhouse gas emissions. Shifting to electric would drastically cut those numbers. Learn more here.
Support for adding solar plus battery storage. See here.
More programs are coming down the pike, SOON, to further support the shift from fossil fuels to clean energy! Keep an eye out at svcleanenergy.com
Drumroll please…meet our local heroes!
Steve Schmidt is a shining example of living the green lifestyle. He and his family drive electric cars, use heat-pump technology to heat their water and heat and cool their home, cook with an induction cooktop, eat low down the food chain, their landscape is native and drought tolerant, and they don't fly anywhere! Well almost. For these reasons and more, Steve was honored as GreenTown’s 2022 Environmental Hero and with an official commendation signed by County Supervisor Joe Simitian and a proclamation from Sen. Becker. He also received a Superman cape from friend and former California Energy Commissioner, Jeff Byron and his young grandson, William. Congratulations Steve and thanks for all you do!
Galen Rosenberg was recognized this year as GreenTown’s 2022 Community Partner of the Year. Galen works tirelessly at Los Altos High School to promote safe cycling for all and is a key partner with GreenTown on its ReCycle Bike Drive. But his efforts go beyond cycling advocacy. He sits on the district’s sustainability task force to move environmental initiatives forward and along with the schools Green Team, shared in the school’s honor in 2021 as a U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Award recipient. Los Altos was one of only five high schools in California and the only public high school in the state to win the award. Galen was honored with a proclamation from Sen. Becker.
Hot EVs on display!
We had four Electric Vehicles (EVs) on display at the event to spur event-goers to "electrify their lives."
The owners of these EVs, who are passionate advocates, were on hand to discuss their experience with EVs and to showcase the environmental and money-saving benefits. If you’re considering an EV, visit www.electricforall.org or SVCE's EV Assistant to compare among more than 100 options.
Thanks to all those who made Electrify Your Life!, the 2022 GreenTown Dinner & Auction, a success. We exceeded our fundraising goal for the event and are so appreciative of your support. The funds from the event help GreenTown build a stronger and more sustainable future, supporting our programs in electrification, transportation, eating green, zero waste and conservation. Learn more about these on our website.