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Earth Day 40th Anniversary – A San Francisco Bay Area Perspective

by Marquette Turner

in Eco-Living, Features, Good Causes, Variety

International real estate adventurer and our good friend, Jim Walberg, lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in this article he speaks about what the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day means to his community.

Who could imagine 40 years ago that the idea of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson’s “environmental teach-in” had it’s beginning in a few key communities, including the Bay Area. After decades of focusing our world’s awareness about environmental issues that ALL of us experience each day, has now created a modern 21st century world that understands how we treat our environment is not a dress rehearsal.

An example of how the Bay Area has lead the way from the very beginning of this movement is Save The Bay. Save The Bay was founded in 1961, as “Save San Francisco Bay Association” by three East Bay women who were watching the Bay disappear before their eyes. Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick set out to stop the City of Berkeley’s plan to double in size by filling in the shallow Bay off-shore. They mobilized thousands of members to stop the project, and their resounding victory was repeated on Bay fill projects around the region.

This first modern grassroots environmental movement in the Bay Area won a revolutionary change – tens of thousands of Save The Bay members forced the State of California to acknowledge that the Bay belonged to the public. Save The Bay won a legislative moratorium against placing fill in the Bay in 1965, the McAteer-Petris Act. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) was established by the State to plan protection of the Bay, regulate shoreline development, and ensure public access, which at the time was almost non-existent. (Check out the State Of The Planet report from the United Nations to get an even better awareness of the importance of Earth Day.)

In the East Bay there are two groups that walk the talk of the principles of Earth Day. Sustainable Lafayette is a network of residents and organizations located in Lafayette, California, about 20 miles east of San Francisco, who are actively sharing ideas and solutions for how to make their homes, businesses, and community more sustainable. Many cities, towns, and counties across the country have created citizen groups to pursue sustainability. Lafayette’s approach is unique–to grow a “network” of residents who are focused on sharing real world success stories and best practices that will contribute to our community’s sustainability.

“Sustainable” means to live in a way that can be continued indefinitely without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The essence of this is a stable relationship between human activities and the natural world, which does not diminish the prospects for our children and their children to enjoy a quality of life at least as good as our own. This requires that we take no more from the environment then it can replenish, and give no more then it can absorb. In other words, adopting lifestyles that respect and work within the earth’s natural limits and maintain the health of the eco-system that we all depend on.

In Danville two sisters with successful first careers decided to get into the environmental space of fashion – A Lot To Say! PLEASE check out what they have created! Their thought was that for people to spread the eco word with apparel, there had to be something that was hip, interesting, fashionable and wearable.

They came up with a concept for a green t-shirt line that utilized the power of the written word. The message on the apparel was informative and empowered people to do more, even if it were only one small thing a day. They believed this kind of “in me, on me , around me” approach would be successful in educating people on the green space to embrace a new awareness about sustainability and responsibility to the planet. It was an immediate hit and snagged placement in the gift bags at the Grammys, Sundance and The Image Awards.

They have evolved into the pioneers of the ultimate sustainable, environmental shirt that is an amazingly comfortable fabric made entirely of RECYCLED BOTTLES. They next discovered a sustainable alternative method of dying other than using water based dyes – these methods is AirDye® technology from Colorep®, a forward thinking company that pioneered this technology that uses NO WATER in the application of color to fabric. That meant almost no water would need to be destroyed in coloring our shirts, thus helping to preserve precious water supplies. ALL of their shirts are made in the USA as part of their mission to keep people in our country working. All of us can make a difference in our homes, communities and the world. It just takes a commitment to DO IT!  Jim Walberg

Thanks Jim!

You can follow Jim’s real estate adventures at his blog

You can read the eco-friendly articles on MarquetteTurner.com here

Check out our sister-site, Clear The Air


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