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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

The Probiotic Woman

There are people who hear "fermented" and think "spoiled." Not only would they avoid eating something fermented, they would steer clear of a festival dedicated to all things fermented. But those are people who haven’t yet met Katie Falbo.

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Using Film and a Brompton Foldable Bike to Preserve the Planet

Most mornings, Beezhan Tulu hops on his bright green bike and rides down Highway 101 from his home on the Gaviota Coast to the most westerly bus stop in Goleta, where he folds up his bike, pays the $1.25 bus fare, and completes the last leg of his 20-mile trek into Santa Barbara. Beezhan, a local filmmaker, purposefully does not own a car, and his Day-Glo bike is his sole means of transportation.  

But that hasn’t always been the case. 



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Another successful Earth Day! Thank you.

We are proud to report 37,364 people attended Santa Barbara Earth Day this year! It's beyond inspiring to see so many people gather to share information, participate in community building, and celebrate this year’s theme “Local Roots,” which encouraged meaningful actions to help make a global impact. The festival was organized around the CEC’s five initiatives: Drive Less, Choose Electric, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, and Eat Local.

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Why Earth Day Matters More Than Ever

On April 22 – the official, nationally designated Earth Day – my email box blows up. Not just from the usual business of managing our local Earth Day festival, but from the mass of e-newsletters and Facebook posts calling attention to the day. They come from every corner of society. A statewide religious consortium. Elected officials. A local attorney’s office. Some are fluff, others are sincere calls for action, and others call into question what it’s all for.

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Ingenuity and Volunteerism at Earth Day

Fourteen-year-old Catalina Russell has grown up with Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival. Since before she can remember, her mom has been bringing her to the celebration that strives to inspire the community to protect and preserve the world we live in. Five years ago, when she was just nine years old, Catalina decided she wanted to do more than passively enjoy the festival. She signed up as a volunteer to help the event she had come to love – and she’s kept coming back to volunteer every year since.

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Courtney won a bike and left her car behind

Last month CEC conducted a drawing to give a local resident a new bike (special thanks to the Isla Vista Bike Boutique for donating the cruiser). We picked the person who made the best case for using the bike to replace their vehicle trips. The winner was Courtney Mercier.  She received her bike in time to hit the streets with thousands of local cyclists this Cycle Maynia – Santa Barbara’s month-long celebration of biking.

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Noah tests the efficiency of his family’s electric vehicle

Although he’s been known to play a video game or two, Noah Z. is not your ordinary teenager. Recently, Noah decided he wanted to express his concerns about the world his generation is inheriting by shedding light on a simple way that American drivers can reduce their carbon footprint. His experiment won him a medal at the Santa Barbara County Science Fair and has him thinking about the future. The idea started when he and his family checked out the Green Car Show at CEC’s 2012 Earth Day Festival.
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Alex F. is using her new bike to reduce car trips

CEC recently conducted a drawing to give a bike to a local resident who could make the best case for using the bike to replace a car. (Special thanks to the Isla Vista Bike Boutique for donating the bike). Winner Alex Frost tells us her story and how she will be using her new bike to get off fossil fuels:

What made you consider ditching your car for a bike?

The company I work for just moved to downtown Santa Barbara. I live towards the top of "downtown" between the Arlington and the Santa Barbara Bowl – definitely within biking distance, just under 2 miles. I am also involved in many activities after work that are downtown (kickboxing, pilates, volunteering, coed softball), all within biking distance from home and the office.

Even though my life revolves around the downtown area, I still drive to work every day. I know it doesn’t make sense to drive a few miles, but my other alternatives aren’t working. I need a bike!

Have you tried getting around without your car before?

I’ve tried walking, but it can be challenging because I'm involved in so many activities. I typically use my lunch hour to squeeze some fun into my schedule. When I tried travelling by foot, it’s absolutely impossible to get back to the office in just shy of an hour, with boxing gloves, yoga mats, softball mits, or whatever the day's activities entail (believe me, I tried!). I even tried the electric shuttle service once, but I found the schedule was a bit too unpredictable and I was back to the office even later than if I had walked.

How will owning a bike make things easier?

It’s quicker than walking, easy to ride around town, and I don’t have to drive my car a shamefully short distance to get to work. I have been looking for a bike ever since I moved closer to downtown, but many of them are above my price range.

In a moment of hopeless desire, I bought a bike basket. Unfortunately, it sits unused. I know it’s longing for a companion to wheel around in the fresh air, wanting to carry my gym bag to and fro, and frolic in the breeze. But alas, the basket sits alone, desperately awaiting its mate.

Now that you’ve won a bike, what’s your plan?

I’m going to attach my bike basket immediately! Then, I’ll plan out my routes to work, and try out the bike rack at my office. I’m planning to bike to work every day. I’ll also bike to my extracurricular activities and the farmer's market.

On the weekends, I'm usually down at the beach, which is also close enough to bike to. Plus, all the summer festivals are coming up soon, and they are within biking distance too! I will probably only use my car for occasional trips out of Santa Barbara.

Happy pedaling, Alex! Enjoy the ride.

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