sustainability

courtesy of College of Marin

This week students at College of Marin headed back to the classroom to start a new school year. One thing they might not have noticed is a change in what kind electricity the college is using. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

The College of Marin has been a long-time leader in sustainability efforts in Marin County. MCE has been providing alternative energy sources to the county since 2010.

courtesy of Straus Family Creamery

Straus Family Creamery in West Marin has for years been a leader in sustainable and organic farm practices in California. Now, what was a wild idea eight years ago has finally been realized: To power the machinery that feeds the dairy cows with their own poop. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Measuring and Improving Corporate Citizenship

Jul 18, 2017

In an era of expanding corporate hegemony, a growing number of smaller businesses are seeking to boost their image—and revenues—through good behavior, as “benefit corporations.”  Bruce Robinson reports on the standards that have been developed to encourage and measure those efforts.

Benefit corporations offer an alternative to the conventional corporate model, which, Heather Paulsen observes, is virtually compelled to consider little but its own interests.

Schoolyard Composting Project Bears Fruit

May 29, 2017
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  One good way to learn about sustainability is by practicing it. That’s what students at a Sebastopol campus are doing, through a hands-on composting project that is ten years old and going strong.

The composting project is also supported by grants from the Sebastopol Rotary Club, and gift certificates from Mary’s Pizza shack. It will continue, on a scaled-back basis, during summer school. 

Many Steps Needed to Move Toward Zero Waste

May 11, 2017

Recycling is up in California. So is composting. But we are still sending millions of tons of garbage to landfills. Various ways to cut that back were on the agenda at a Zero Waste Symposium at SoMo Village Thursday. 

Pursuing a Sustainable Economy

Apr 5, 2017

As the annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference marked its 12th year this week, a recurring thread was the many ways these ideas have taken hold in the wider economy.

Tiffany Camhi

Sausalito’s harborside restaurant FISH specializes in serving fresh and local seafood. But recently they have added fish shipped in from Florida and Kentucky to their menu. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi explains why.

The Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program has several recommendations for sustainably caught and environmentally friendly fish to eat.

Tiffany Camhi

Most recognize Petaluma based World Centric as a provider of compostable packaging to cafes, restaurants and retailers. But the core value of the company is to educate the public on environmental, sustainability and global world health issues. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports now that work is being recognized.

World Centric, along with Abacus World Health Partners, is hosting a B corporation mixer in Sebastopol on September 13. Find out more information here.

Farm School Digs Deeper Than Dirt

Jul 7, 2016

Northern California is home to a growing number of innovative and holistic farms and farmers. A new Farm School program in Sebastopol is out to help export those practices more widely.

  The Farm School doesn’t just teach aspiring agrarians what to do on and with their land, says Director Miriam Volat, it also strives to help those students find land they can work.

Vineyard Sustainability Campaign Showing Progress

Jul 5, 2016

Sustainability is on the rise in Sonoma County’s vineyards, and that movement is gathering attention much further afield.

    To assist local vineyards in moving toward sustainability, the Sonoma County Winegrowers organization has compiled a fat binder of best practices, many of them developed by a team at UC Davis. It’s not a series of steps that must be taken, says Executive Director Karissa Kruse; more like a menu of possible actions.

Native Americans Invented 'Environmental Management'

Jun 2, 2016

  Native Americans were skillful stewards of the natural bounty inherent in the North Bay. And they were surprisingly proactive in how they went about it.

Find details about the “Tending the Wild” conference at Pepperwood this weekend here.

Economic Concerns Dominate Food Forum

Mar 17, 2016

Five years after Sonoma County’s first Food Forum laid the foundation for the county’s Food Action Plan, a second session yesterday focused on the economic forces that challenge farmers and the long-term prospects for sustainable local agriculture.

High costs for both land and housing in Sonoma County are hurting small and new would-be farmers, notes Agriculture Commissioner Tony Linegar. And he’s got a suggestion to help ease that bind.

Sustainability and the Next Generation

Oct 21, 2015

Wednesday was Sustainability Day at Sonoma State, but the keynote speaker for the event warned that attaining “full spectrum sustainability” will require long-term and sweeping changes in all areas of modern life.

There is no question that confronting climate change is a political challenge, says David Orr. But it is less about elections, and more about recreating a way of governance that rests on fairness and balance, rather than dominance and profits.

Seeking a Sustainable Niche in the Operating Room

Jul 15, 2015

  Hospitals are notorious sources of voluminous waste. Rob Chase wants to change that, and has launched a new business aimed at moving the process forward.

   New Gen Surgical founder and CEO Rob Chase believes the time is ripe for bringing a focus on sustainability into hospital operating rooms, as industry leaders are increasingly recognizing the linkage between their patients and the world they live in.

New Tools for Financing Sustainability

Apr 30, 2015

  The 10th annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference this week examined ways to finance endeavors that align with indivuals' personal values. The options are expanding.

  In discussing “Capital for a Sustainable Future” the theme for this year’s Sustainable Enterprise Conference, economic analyst Marco Vangelisti outlined four emerging trends that will shape the American economy in the near future.

Sustainability in Education

Apr 19, 2015

  

  Most pathways to long-term societal sustainability begin by thinking differently about that objective. So says the San Diego educator who co-wrote the book on Sustainability in Higher Education.

Dr. Chase will be speaking at Santa Rosa Junior College Monday afternoon, April 20 on “Sustainability in Higher Education:  Strategies for Transformation.” His talk is at 12:15 in Newman Auditorium. 

Marching for Peace, Sustainability and Justice

Sep 24, 2014

  When a crowd of artists and advocates for peace, sustainability and justice marches through downtown Santa Rosa on Saturday, they will not be alone. The local action is part of a worldwide day of similar events, all instigated by a group with Sonoma County roots—100 Thousand Poets for Change.

Crafting A Lexicon of Sustainability

Jun 30, 2014

When we talk about something—food, for instance—it’s essential that we all understanding the same meanings for the words we use. That’s the reasoning behind the Lexicon of Sustainability.

There’s another way that language shapes the food choices in his own home, explains Douglas Gayeton.

    Food, of course, extends beyond agriculture, as does the importance of sustainability. One important example is fish.

Farmer's Little Helper: Beneficial Insects

May 22, 2014
courtesy Quarter Acre Farm.

Spring is bug season. Andrea Davis-Cetina sees plenty as she walks through Quarter Acre Farm. She's especially happy to see green lacewings this year, beneficial insects that prey heavily on pests like aphids, leafhoppers and mealybugs. 

Researchers like Riccardo Bommarco, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, work to help farmers such as Davis-Cetina find the best was to re-introduce insect habitat onto their farms. 

Sustainability in Local Government

Apr 30, 2014

Leadership on policies and practices to promote sustainability, reduce waste and combat climate change is increasing coming from responsive and local sources—city and county governments.

Analyzing 'The Good Company'

Apr 29, 2014

When a Sonoma State economics professor set out to identify and profile examples of honorable and successful businesses, he first had to assess the qualities necessary to be a “good company.”

  While size  and growth do not disqualify a company from being "good,"  SSU business professor Robert Girling notes that some laudable businesses do choose, quite consciously, not to grow beyond a certain point.

Accelerating 'The Crash Course'

Mar 10, 2014

  Chris Martenson’s cautionary “Crash Course” on coming economic and cultural changes is packed with information, but it runs rather long. So he’s working on an abridged version, and gave some local viewers an advance look at it last week. Afterward, he talked with KRCB’s Bruce Robinson.

  Everyone will be affected by the changes Chris Martenson anticipates in his Crash Course. But he says that different generations see them quite differently.

Rolling Out Sonoma Clean Power

Sep 1, 2013

  The organization and governance of Sonoma Clean Power has been finalized; now the new green electricity provider is moving into the specialized realm of buying and selling sustainably created electrons. 

Even before the specific rates have been established, Geof Syphers, Chief Sustainability Officer for Sonoma Clean Power, is confidently predicting that their pricing will hew close to what utility customers are currently paying.

 

Teaching Permaculture

Jun 17, 2013
Kelly Ryan for KRCB

Practicing sustainability in small scale farming is a good start. But an even bigger impact can be had by teaching it. That’s what a new enterprise near Sebastopol is out to do.  Reporter Kelly Ryan takes a closer look.

Anticipating New Economic Realities

May 7, 2013

Say goodbye to cheap oil, high-wage manufacturing jobs, and rampant consumerism, says energy analyst Richard Heinberg. The coming new economy will get along just fine without depending on them.

As the era of inexpensive fossil fuels wanes, so too will big agribusiness go into decline, Heinberg predicts. But already he sees a resurgence of family farming rising to take over the critical role of providing sustenance for local communities.

Connecting Faith and Food

Apr 3, 2013

Food, faith, and sustainability go hand in hand with the support and encouragement of a new initiative that is taking root in Sonoma County.

Although he is coordinating the local effort, Steve Schwartz points out that it is modeled on some like-minded national initiatives.

"Shift Change" documentary examines coops worldwide

Jan 28, 2013

  A new documentary examines worker-owned cooperative businesses, from a huge complex in Spain to small start-ups here in the Bay Area.