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KPBS Midday Edition

How You Can Help The City Meet Its Climate Action Plan Goals

The city of San Diego has launched a social media campaign to encourage residents to work towards meeting the goals in the city's Climate Action Plan.

The goals include reducing each resident’s water consumption by 9 gallons, ramping up mass transit commuting to 25 percent and diverting 90 percent of trash from landfills by 2035.

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The eight-week campaign, #ItStartsWithOne, offers residents simple tips on how to conserve resources and money.

Cody Hooven is the chief sustainability officer with the city. She joins Midday Edition on Monday with more on the campaign.

How You Can Help The City Meet Its Climate Action Plan Goals
How You Can Help The City Meet It's Climate Action Plan Goals GUEST:Cody Hooven, chief sustainability officer, city of San Diego

The city of San Diego has set some ambitious goals in its climate action plan like reducing each resident's water consumption by 9 gallons. Ramping up mass transit commuting to 25 percent and diverting 90 percent of trash from landfills all by the year 2035. And those are just a few of the goals included in the plan so the city has launched a new social media program to make those big goals seem more achievable by getting everyone onboard to do one thing at a time. The program is called. It starts with one. And joining me to explain is Cody Houben chief sustainability officer for the city of San Diego and Cody welcome to the program. Thank you. Good morning. So tell us what this social media program is like. What do people who sign up find popping up in their Twitter or Facebook feeds. The city of San Diego. Pushing out this campaign called it all starts with one with a hash tag of course and then people are going to see some simple behaviors that they can take on to join in a movement to reduce their own carbon footprint. So we'll see suggestions like maybe swapping out of plastic water bottle for reusable water bottles. Saving water at home turning down the lights and they don't need them things very simple actions like that. Let's hear a clip from the first video reducing our impact on the planet and saving hundreds of dollars a year may sound like big ideas but small changes do make a difference like using less energy to shrink your electric bill. So what specific goals is. It starts with one campaign focusing on that big goal is really to remind people that they can make a difference. We think a lot about how you know solving climate change. Oh my gosh it's overwhelming or all big actions that are needed sometimes feel overwhelming to individuals or families and we're just trying to remind people that things that you can do at home or at work are really beneficial and contribute and demonstrate to your kids and your family that what you do is important. What kind of impact do you say could be made if for instance everyone drank from reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones. I mean picture all the plastic water bottles the sea at the beach at parks and sometimes just strewn about on sidewalks because they end up being trash. And if they don't make it into the trash or they fall out that's where they end up. So think about if we backed off on using all those and started using reusable bottles how many less plastic bottles you see. Now is it hard to convince people that they can make a difference just doing these really pretty simple things. It is and we're not really trying to convince people to change the way they live completely but just just thinking about how we can be a little bit more resourceful and conservative in the things that we use and being a little bit less wasteful. I think no matter what you feel about climate change or big global issues like that I think that's a value that we all used to have and I think we can come back to have just just being a little bit more conservative with our resources and our money. Now Cody what kind of progress has San Diego already made in reaching its interim sustainability goals. We are tracking our goals each year since we adopted our ambitious climate action plan in 2015 and so far making really great progress and that's largely thanks to what San Diego's are doing. The city is doing a lot from our part but we're seeing residents and businesses saving energy and saving water and we're tracking really well on our goals so far. It's going to get harder. We have really ambitious goals so we have a lot of work to do. But we're seeing people really joining in and a lot of times the reason is because they're finding ways to save money too which is important to everybody. Now we've heard that one of the most difficult aspects of this plan is figuring out how to get people out of their cars onto public transit and bikes. How does the Sustainability Plan handle that. We also are challenging folks to just try that as well. So some people prefer to drive and that's okay. But a lot of times people don't realize that once in a while if you hop on the bus instead of driving alone not only do you save time looking for parking. Sometimes you save money in paying for that parking you can get worked and. You could relax you can read your e-mail. You could read a book. We're encouraging people just to try something a little different. Maybe you're actually able to bike to work one day a week and then think of all the calories you burn the fresh air that you got before and after the stress relief. So we're really just challenging folks to just try something a little different and hopefully with these social media campaigns we see people challenging each other and putting new ideas out there. Now the first video came out last Tuesday. What type of feedback have you gotten thus far. We are actually seeing people challenge each other so people are posting selfies or photos of things that they're doing to contribute and to either of you know save reduce their own waste reduce their own carbon footprint maybe save energy at home. People turning down their conditioning using fans instead of air conditioning which saves a lot of money and put out new ideas that we didn't put out for them so it's really kind of fun to see people challenging each other. Is the climate action plan depending solely on voluntary cooperation as you say when it gets a little bit more intense as we go on. Will there be compulsory cooperation down the line something like penalties or tickets for not recycling property that kind of thing. That's not our intent. So our intent is for the city to do things we provide services to residents and businesses already. Our intent is really to adjust the way we provide those services to make it easier to make the more sustainable choices or make actions on our end. On the cities and more sustainable in the way we serve people so there's not going to be penalties for people who don't recycle that will never really I can't foresee that coming on an individual level but we just want to make sure that the choices that are more sustainable are easier to make for people. How will you know if they it starts with one campaign is a success. I'm not sure how you measure the success of a social media campaign but just seeing people use it and challenge each other to do sustainable actions every day. That's to me that's enough of a success as is the conversation that starting out in the public. And how do people sign up to receive these videos. They can go to our website or just go right on to Twitter or Facebook and look for the hashtag. It all starts with one great. I've been speaking with Cody who've been chief sustainability officer for the city of San Diego. Thank you. Thank you.