Earth Month on the Central Coast

April Great Story by Madison Montague, 2017-18 Central Coast Climate Fellow

April is a busy month for those working in Sustainability. For most of Earth Month, every environmental group steps up their engagement, working off the popularity of Earth day to make projects happen. The Energy and Climate Section at San Luis Obispo County is no exception. This month, we have presented seven benchmarking reports to city staff, prepped for the launch of the SLO Green Challenge Website, and tabled the Santa Barbara emPower booth on Earth Day. It has been an exciting time, and a lot has been done.

My favorite part of this month was tabling for emPower at the Santa Barbara Earth Day event. At our booth, we informed community members of all the energy efficiency programs offered at Santa Barbara County. We had kids sign on to a climate pledge, and adults sign up for the Sustainability Division’s newsletter or an emPower Energy Coach Site Visit. Those that signed up or made a pledge were given a free set of bamboo reusable cutlery or a reusable water bottle. We were quite the popular booth. Everyone wanted to get their hands on the reusable cutlery, but while they waited to sign up, they also got an earful of energy efficiency programs information. Although I live in SLO currently, I went to school in Santa Barbara, so it was exciting to be back in that community. I was happy to see a few familiar faces, including my Environmental Planning professor. He was very glad to hear that I was a CivicSpark fellow working in environmental planning and local government. I was equally glad to see him – it was his class that spurred my interest in sustainable planning, so it was great to talk to him about what I pursued following graduation.

As Earth Month comes to a close, I hope to see the energy and drive of April continue into May and through the rest of the year. Finishing projects and witnessing the hard work of other environmental groups has been invigorating, and I’m looking forward to continuing the drive for SLO County Programs.