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Earth Day 2019 Special: How San Diegans Are Decreasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 April 22, 2019 at 10:24 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 Dire warnings this earth day, tempered by hope and a legislative proposal to halt to climate change. I'm jade Hindman and I'm mark Sauer infer. Maureen Cavenaugh. This is KPBS midday edition. Speaker 2: 00:16 Sure. Speaker 1: 00:22 It's Monday, April 22nd those still not universally embraced the alarm over human exhausts simmering. The planet is blaring from the Arctic to the Tropics on Earth Day 2019 cataclysmic storms, wildfires, droughts, and floods in recent years have demonstrated to billions of people that long predicted climate change is upon us. Armed now with massive amounts of data scientists across multiple disciplines are able to demonstrate current effects of our changing climate and what we can expect unless drastic action is taken. Now joining me is climate expert David Victor Co, director of the laboratory on international law and regulation and Center for global transformation at Uc San Diego. Professor Victor, welcome. Nice to be with you when it feels like many people and political leaders are finally starting to pay attention that joining scientists and calling for drastic action to reduce and ultimately eliminate fossil fuel emissions. Is that view accurate? Is there still time to do something? Yeah, I mean there's always time Speaker 3: 01:19 to do something. The question is how long will we delay? What will be the consequences of those delays and then how are we actually going to make reductions in emissions? You know, a lot of people are talking about the need for policy companies, governments, and so on. When you take a step back and look at the data, you don't yet see this in the global emissions data on that. That's the problem that we're dealing with Speaker 1: 01:38 in what are some of the critical actions that must be taken around the globe in order to hold warming? Well, the key thing is to be is to reduce Speaker 3: 01:44 emissions. Last year, emissions went up almost 3% per year. They've been going up pretty steadily since international diplomacy on the climate change problem began in the late 1980s we need to reverse that trend, so we need to be, we're lowering emissions by four or 5% per year, not raising them by two or 3% per year. There are a lot of different gases. The most important one over the long term at least is carbon dioxide, mainly from burning fossil fuels. So fundamentally this is about a transition away from conventional fossil fuels towards new technologies that I either don't use fossil fuels or technologies that burn fossil fuels, but then cap capture the pollution and store it safely underground before it goes in the atmosphere. And do we have technologies now to make a big enough impact? We have a lot of technologies that are available now. It's not clear that there are enough to stop global warming and reverse it. Speaker 3: 02:34 That's going to require new innovation. You know, one of things that makes this, this problem so difficult is that you have to do a thousand things simultaneously. You have to deploy new technologies that we already have available, you know, advanced renewable systems, better nuclear power plants, uh, improved energy efficiency across the boards, kind of can do all that that we know how to do. And at the same time invest in new ideas and test them out so that radically new technologies that are available in the coming in the coming and, and all of this requires an incredibly long term, long time horizon. And that's something that a lot of societies have a hard time dealing with. And what about the political climate? The presidents of the United States in Brazil promote policies that court catastrophe election season is upon us here in the u s will climate change finally be the key debate? Speaker 3: 03:18 Have public attitudes changed enough to back the sacrifice leading to meaningful change? Well, it's hard to tell. So in this country there are some parts of this country that are where climate change is, is a centerpiece of politics here in California and New York state is new legislation being discussed actually today and New York state to kind of on the coast of the country. It's a regular topic, middle of the country, it comes and goes. Um, my guess is the next presidential campaign we'll see more discussion about climate change, probably not a lot of concrete action. And I think that, and that's just the United States, the rest of the world, you know, with exception of a few countries in Europe, the rest of it was not really talking about climate change on a sustain, on a sustained basis. And that's the key problem because ultimately this is a global problem and so you need global reduction in emissions and that requires cooperation. Speaker 3: 04:03 Certainly the federal government right now has not been doing what you would need to do to create trust and institutions in order to make more effective international cooperation on this topic and progress on meeting even the modest goals of the Paris accords is lagging. The goal there was to keep warming below two degrees centigrade compared with preindustrial levels. What have we get to four degrees or six degrees of warming by century's end? Well, you know, we're on track to do that. Uh, there's a lot of talking and not a lot of doing about climate change. And so we are on track for that. That kind of warming the Paris agreement set the goal of well below two degrees. So we're probably going to blast through two degrees. Uh, there's now been a lot of scientific attention to 1.5 degrees. And one of things that very interesting about the science in this area as the closer people look, the more unknowns we learn about. Speaker 3: 04:50 And that uncertainty is often used as an excuse for not doing something from a policy perspective. But in reality the unknowns about potentially catastrophic consequences or are even scarier than the unknowns about benign consequences and that that's where we are. The science is getting better and better at talking about things that could really go badly and things that we don't even really understand their probabilities of those. And meanwhile, the policy hasn't really caught up. And Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state, he's running for president and he says, we're the first generation to experience the consequences of climate change the last to be able to do something about it. What do you see as hopeful on this Earth Day 2019 well, so what I see as hopeful is that actually across the board on most other environmental problems, we've made a tremendous amount of progress. Climate changes is one of the really big exceptions. Speaker 3: 05:36 And the reason that's helpful is that tells us that while this is a harder problem than almost anything else we've addressed and the environmental front, that as we get serious about the politics of this, as we get new technologies, we're going to start to make some progress. So I think that's uh, that's very encouraging. I think it's interesting that you have, in addition to Jay Inslee, a, a couple of other candidates that are coming in, at least on the democratic side, uh, and William Weld on the Republican side and in the primaries that are going to make, put more attention on climate change. And then you've got the states continuing in some substance because of what's going on in Washington DC. The states are doing more and that the states has laboratories is, is really the philosophy here is that they can lead and they can demonstrate ways to reduce emissions that's going to make it easier for followers to follow. Speaker 3: 06:20 And I say that that's, that's pretty encouraging. Yeah. If they can do it in time. And you're giving a talk as part of Uc San Diego School of Global Policy and strategies, 30th anniversary celebration, what will you be discussing? Well, I'm going to be talking about exactly this issue is will we slow global warming and, and my key message is going to be we're going to do it but it's going to take us longer than the scientists would want. And so one of the things we have to grapple with is that the role of humans in nature has really changed because of this that are impacts on nature and on the climate are are going to be irreversible and we need to start grappling more seriously with the consequences of that including possibly directly engineering the climate so that we reverse some of the, some of the, or slow down some of the most harmful consequences of climate change. I've been speaking to a climate expert, David Victor or professor victor. Thank you very much. It's always a pleasure. David Victor will be one of the speakers discussing climate change and the challenge of sustainability on Saturday as part of a 30th anniversary celebration for UC San Diego School of global policy and strategy. The event is open to the public. Speaker 4: 07:34 It's a climate proposal that's received a lot of attention, but what exactly is the green new deal and could actually go into effect? Lisa Friedman has been writing about the proposal. She's a reporter with the New York Times climate desk, so Lisa Friedman, thanks so much for joining us. Speaker 5: 07:50 Thanks for having me. Speaker 4: 07:52 So the green new deal is a nonbinding resolution at this point. And supporters who touted as sort of a policy package to tackle climate change, what are some of the goals laid out in this proposal? Speaker 2: 08:03 Okay, Speaker 5: 08:04 yeah, that's right. I mean the green new deal is a nonbinding congressional resolution. Um, even if it were to pass Congress, uh, and there's no sign of that, nothing would actually happen without the force of legislation. Um, but the idea is that it sets out are a combination of addressing climate change and addressing larger societal problems like inequality. At the heart of it, the green new deal, it says that the United States needs to, um, get on a tenure mobilization to becoming carbon new control that is taking out as much carbon from the atmosphere as it, as it puts into the atmosphere. Um, well before mid century. So they want a 10 year mobilization to start as soon as the, as, as legislation might pass, which they'd hope to see would be the organizers, uh, in, in 2020 or thereabouts. Speaker 4: 09:04 Mm. And, and these goals seem to be pretty ambitious. How would they be achieved? And what are the actual provisions in the green new deal? Sure. I mean they are Speaker 5: 09:13 pretty ambitious. There's a number of other goals included in there, like a retro fitting all buildings in the United States to meet energy efficiency standards, investing huge amounts of money into the electric vehicles and other clean transportation efforts and eliminating ultimately the use of fossil fuels. The resolution itself doesn't offer a way to pay for any of those things. The reality of this is that it's very hard to say how much it would cost. And also, you know, there is the reality that not addressing climate change also comes with a very steep Speaker 4: 09:56 costs. Is there any actual legislation at this point to go along with a nonbinding resolution? Not on the green. Speaker 5: 10:04 I mean there's, there's lots of climate legislation moving through Congress right now. I'm very little of, it is expected to pass. You know, certainly we have a divided congress and a administration that doesn't acknowledge the scientific reality of climate change, much less, uh, you know, interested in looking at solutions. But there are a number of republican solutions that have been developing those focus primarily on research and development. Um, funding for things like nuclear and carbon capture technology. Democrats largely argue that those are our half measures are incomplete, but there's the beginning of a bipartisan discussion I'd say, um, on how to find solutions. Speaker 4: 10:53 And you mentioned earlier a Democrat, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez seems to be the face of the green new deal, but is this an idea that she came up with? I mean, where did the idea originate? Yeah, Speaker 5: 11:04 green new deal has, um, you know, the name certainly has, has been around for a long time, but this is something that was really popularized after the 2018 midterm elections by, um, both congresswoman Ocasio Cortez and a youth activist group called the sunrise movement. They laid out this, this strategy held a sit in, if you recall it, the office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who, uh, was soon to be the speaker of the House of Representatives to demand action on climate change. And when Ms Ocozzio Cortez joined the protesters and lend your support to this proposal, it really set this the solid motion. Um, and there's been a tremendous amount of attention to the green new deal ever since then. Speaker 4: 11:51 And so, you know, if, if this is just nonbinding Speaker 5: 11:54 resolution at this point and it's not actually a piece of legislation that has a chance of passing and going into effect, why is it getting so much attention and why does it matter to different questions? Both, both good ones. I think it's getting a lot of attention because of terrific marketing and the powerful Messenger. I think it matters because in very short order it's really concentrated attention on the issue of climate change. I mean, um, shortly after the midterm election, you know, myself and a lot of other reporters were being told that, you know, hey, you know, I know Democrats took the house but don't look for much to be done on, on or, or even really much attention to climate change other than some oversight this year. And in the wake of the green new deal, that dynamic has really changed. Um, it's brought an enormous amount of attention to the issue in enormous amount of pressure on Republicans to come up with their own answer. Speaker 5: 12:49 If they don't like the green new deal, what's their, what's their solution to climate change and really kind of crystallized this also as an election campaign issue for 2020, I think you're going to see the green new deal discussed a lot on the campaign trial. You're gonna see it. Ask them here. It asked about at debates. I think if you're a person who cares about climate change in a voter or cares about climate change, I think what you really want to know are what your candidate wants to do. Um, is it to put a price on carbon? Is it to invest a lot of money in research and development? It's so where would that money come from? Does the candidate believe that nuclear energy is, is or should be? An answer to decarbonisation all of those things and many more are some of the tough policy questions that should underlie questions like, do you support the green new deal? I've been speaking with Lisa Friedman, a reporter with the New York Times climate desk. Lisa, thank you so much. Thanks so much. This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm jade Hindman Speaker 1: 13:59 and I'm mark Sauer sales of electric vehicles in California. Last year was a bright spot, a mid often dismal climate change. News market share for hybrid and electric vehicles in our state increased from 9.4% in 2017 to 12% in 2018 that's according to figures from the California new car dealers association. The increase came largely from deliveries of the Tesla model. Three ls, pricey sit in. That's gratifying to state leaders who've committed two and a half billion dollars to programs designed to get drivers to switch from internal combustion engines. Earlier I spoke with Brett Williams, senior principal advisor for transportation at the Center for sustainable energy. Welcome Brett. Thank you. We'll start with these, uh, encouraging numbers on electric vehicles. What are they tell you? What do they mean to you? I think it is an exciting time for the electric car. There are 1.2 million electric vehicles Speaker 6: 14:51 in the United States. A lot of people perhaps don't know that even in San Diego County there's over 30,000 electric vehicles, which is more than five or six states in the country. A big news story of last year was the Tesla model three which was the six best selling car, not just clean car, and it helped really bring Tesla closer to the mainstream market. And the last thing I'd say really the, the less sexy but equally important story behind the model three was the mainstreaming of the electric car. There are now over 40 options from all major auto makers and those include not just small cars but large cars, crossover SUVs and minivan and of course some of the fastest cars ever made. So it's a pretty exciting time. Speaker 1: 15:32 And the the automakers are talking about bringing out even more lines as we move forward. Trucks is a, is an area of small trucks. Speaker 6: 15:38 Well that's right. And tracks is a little bit of a challenge with the towing a optimization problem, but they're working on it hard. They know that we'll open up a whole new segment of the consumer market as well. Speaker 1: 15:48 Right. As a former small truck owner, I wish they just get a small truck and it didn't worry about the towing. So I just throw the golf clubs and the plywood in the back and the bikes. Speaker 6: 15:55 Right. And there are a couple of companies that are taking a test to like approach Raven's coming out with an all electric, uh, luxury performance pickup truck in the next couple of years. And so we'll see some glimmers of that. Yeah. Speaker 1: 16:05 Oh, a lot more to look forward to it. Now, speaking of the vehicles themselves, a big promotion for the sales of them is the range is so much Speaker 6: 16:11 better than it used to be just a few years ago. That's right. We really have kind of turned a corner in the electric vehicle market with this new product class, which is the long range battery electric vehicle. You always had the plug in hybrid electric vehicles. So you didn't have to worry about electric range if he didn't want to. But now those battery electric cars are fully capable and they typically drive over 200 miles per charge. And for most people who drive on average 30 miles per day, that's more than enough just to plug into an outlet at home and you're good to go the next day. Speaker 1: 16:39 It takes all that anxiety out of it that we'd worried about and they're more affordable now. Right? Speaker 6: 16:43 Hey our, so the batteries did have an initially high costs. Those costs are coming down much more rapidly than people realized. But now with incentives, about a dozen of those 40 choices that are on the market now actually costs less than an average car. So we really are seeing a diversity, not just of car types, but if prices and segments in that regard. Speaker 1: 17:03 And there's still a rebate program a year nonprofit organization offers one explained that. And also while you're at it, there still are some incentives on the tax side, right? Speaker 6: 17:12 Absolutely. So the federal tax credit is typically about $7,500 per battery electric car, or about $4,500 per plug in hybrid electric car. Now that comes tax time, but year round the state is also offering a cash incentive. No organization is a nonprofit mission driven organization called the Center for sustainable energy. And we administered the state rebate on behalf of the states, California Air Resources Board. So what we'll do is we'll take your application, anytime you buy or lease a car, walk you through it and get you a check, which typically is about $2,500 per battery electric car, about 1,504 plugin. Now if you're lower income, you actually get $2,000 extra. So that 2,500 gets turned into 4,500 you start adding up the federal with the state and it's not, it's very typical to get $10,000 off an electric car at this point. Speaker 1: 18:02 And the, you can get this not just when you purchase it or even lease it, but it's ongoing. Speaker 6: 18:08 Right. So the, the federal program is the tax credit come tax time with IRS, but the state program, is that a running constantly open program? In fact, San Diego has a unique feature that we're piloting. So in California, the amount of the rebate you get depends on your income. So it can't be point of sale. You need a little bit of prequalification. Well, in San Diego you can apply beforehand and then you can get prequalified you show up at the dealership and they'll apply that as a discount at the time of sale and they'll finish the application and get reimbursed. You don't have to worry about it. Speaker 1: 18:39 Aside from some of these incentives, how much of the switches wrapped up in environmental awareness? How many Californians pride themselves and just doing the right thing and getting out of guests? Speaker 6: 18:49 I think that's changing a little bit. Certainly in the early markets there was a lot of pent up demand for real electric car products, right. And then the leaf and the volt came out in 2010 2011 and it was a little bit of a slow ramp up. Now what we're seeing with the diversity of products, we're also seeing a diversity of consumers that every woman consumer a little bit more frequently. If female maybe lives in an apartment dwelling, maybe has a lower income, and they have a wide variety of motivations that go beyond environmental motivation. However, of course, the electric car is still a one of the single best ways to decarbonize your footprint and increase energy security. So those motivations are up high as well. Speaker 1: 19:27 All right. In an election year coming up, of course, can this be a winning issue for presidential candidates? Push more tax incentives or reverse rollbacks on efficiency standards by the current administration all tied up in that Speaker 6: 19:38 it can because, uh, electric fuel is local fuel electric cars like Tesla are made in California, a lot of jobs related to electric vehicles that are local and high paying and skilled jobs. So it certainly can. I think there's a lot of automakers who so long as they have clear consistent policy signals, they're ready to line up behind very aggressive goals like the state has. The state has a goal to put 5 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030 on our pathway to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to the point where we might need to do so, say 80% reduction by 2050 and a series of governors in California for example, you know, regulations going all the way back to the 90s but sorts Nager Brown and now Newsome have all lined up strongly and clearly behind these policy signals that support the automakers doing the right thing so that they can focus on getting the products out and the consumers can become aware and buy these cars. Speaker 1: 20:30 Well, I had been speaking with Brett Williams, senior principal advisor for transportation at San Diego Center for sustainable energy. Thanks Brett. My pleasure. Today, environmentalist oceans at Speaker 4: 20:47 the front line of climate change, California crab fishermen are being squeezed at both ends of their annual season by the warming waters. Here's the story of one crabber in crescent city near the Oregon border from the California reports. Amy Westerveldt, Speaker 5: 21:03 Ben Platt grew up in point arena, the sort of one doc town where kids used to be able to get out of school early to fish. My brother and I started fishing in the summertimes salmon trolling with their dad when we were both about nine years old. Ben Is in his 50s now for a while. He left the fishing business, going to college and then moving to La to pursue a music career, but life brought him back to boats. Speaker 7: 21:28 I went from drinking to dragon and that became a big problem for me. When I hit bottom, I was homeless in Los Angeles. I lived on the streets of La. It was in and out of jail and a lot of trouble. And uh, in my last day there I almost died out in a fight and we got stabbed and I don't, I almost bled out. So that was my wake up Speaker 5: 21:47 call. He went to Rehab in Fort Bragg and started fishing again with his dad. I had been gone fishing with him a little bit and I loved spending time with my dad again because I'd been out of touch for quite a while. So I stayed there for a year and then my dad died and I've pretty suddenly Ben took over his dad's boats and suddenly found himself a fisherman again. By 2014 he was fishing for crab and salmon out of half Moon Bay when trouble hit. We had just bought the house that year, so taking on the biggest debt of our life and then we had the demo. Cassie closure state officials postpone the opening of the crab season by more than four months. In 2014 a blob of warm water appeared off the Pacific coast that year. Encouraging the growth of a particular type of algae. It emits a neurotoxin called domoic acid, which crabs absorb, making them unsafe to eat. The last three out of four seasons have been delayed for the same reason, making the crab business unpredictable. Speaker 7: 22:45 We're asking these guys to sit around and either make no money or make hardly any money doing part time jobs, but they have to be on call because we never know when the season is going to start, so it's really hard for them to work and our boats are sitting idle for three, four or five months at a time now, Speaker 5: 23:00 Platts, not giving up on the ocean as a former salmon troller who had to shift to crab when the salmon population declined. He's used to adapting. He's building a bigger boat now and we'll head to Alaska this summer to fish for tuna. I'm Amy Westerbelt. In Crescent city, Speaker 4: 23:26 research shows global warming is an expensive problem costing the u s $250 billion each year as we reflect on our roles and saving the planet on this earth. Day One researcher is bringing light to a tool that just may have a big impact by cooling the planet. It's called solar, which Speaker 8: 23:46 is when small particles are put into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight back into outer space. You see San Diego climate change scientists, Kate Ricky is leading this new research. Kate, welcome. Thank you for having me. So how could geo engineering help fix this problem? But one thing that we do feel pretty certain about you engineering is that it is a tool that could be used to cool down the planet. Uh, we know, uh, at the basic level that GeoEdge solar geoengineering would work because it's exactly what happens whenever there's a large volcanic eruption basically. Um, for example, when, when Mount Pinatubo in the 90s, in the nineties or updated in the Philippines, it blasted a bunch of material up into the stratosphere. Um, that material made little particles that reflected sunlight and the planet actually cooled down by about a half a degree centigrade. Uh, so we've observed, uh, things like Geo engineering in the natural climate system in the past. Speaker 8: 24:44 So we know it would cool down the planet. How would you get the particles into that part of the atmosphere? So the most likely method would be to use high altitude aircraft, um, to basically spray aerosol precursors into the stratosphere, which would then form, um, very fine particles called aerosols that would sit in the stratosphere and reflect sunlight. The stratosphere is sort of a special area in the atmosphere. Um, where we live in the troposphere there's a lot of convection and so air is constantly moving around. That's what causes whether the stratosphere is, uh, convectively stable basically. So when we put particles into the stratosphere, they actually stay there for quite a while. On average when you put a particle into the stratosphere, it's going to stay there for about a year and a half. And are there any ethical concerns with it? I mean, how could you ensure that using that in one area wouldn't cause an adverse impact in another area? Speaker 8: 25:50 This is really the million dollar question is, is all of the ethical and social, um, issues that come up when we actually think about the reality of trying to implement to engineering in a very complex geopolitical atmosphere. Because basically if you want to cool down the climate over the u s using solar geoengineering, that's going to affect everyone else in the entire world. You can't just do an engineer over one country or one state or one town. Uh, so there would be a lot of governance issues to work out in terms of who gets to decide when we do geoengineering, how much we do, how might, uh, people or places where there's a harmful side effect be compensated. Um, and we'll this exclude, uh, some people who don't have power in the world, but who may rely on the climate more than anyone else. A lot of the really thorny issues to work out when we think about whether we should do, do engineering or not actually have to do with these, with these governance and ethical issues and his solar geoengineering already being used. Speaker 8: 27:11 Solar geoengineering is not being deployed yet. Um, we, I mean, we, we have other analogs in the world that we can observe that do similar things to what solar do you engineering would do. Like I mentioned, volcanic eruptions mimics sort of the activities of, of solar to engineering. Likewise, um, air pollution. So when we burn coal in a power plant, uh, that also creates these aerosols in the troposphere and they reflect sunlight. Um, so we know a little bit about, uh, what happens when we reflect sunlight using particles and we have some observations, but we haven't done the type of stratospheric geoengineering that people are proposing now yet. And as the research continues, how soon do you think we could see a governing agencies use Geo engineering? Oh my goodness. I hope not for quite a while still. Uh, we still have a lot of research to do to understand, uh, the details of the side effects and the best way we would want to do this. Speaker 8: 28:23 Uh, and especially there's still a lot of work to be done on developing global governance framework, I would say, uh, in terms of actually implementing a geo engineering as opposed to testing it, uh, it will probably be decades. So do you minimum, and do you look at Geo engineering as a solution or a tool? I think anyone who studies geoengineering would tell you, um, geo engineering could be a valuable component of the climate risk reduction toolbox, but it's absolutely never going to be a substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So on this Earth Day, what do you hope people will do in their everyday lives to preserve the planet? I hope people will remember that. Uh, there's a lot of wonderful, uh, ecosystems and natural phenomena in the world that, that took millions of years to come into fruition. Um, and that the actions that we're taking right now, uh, threaten all of these, uh, beautiful species and ecosystems. And you know, if, if we do take that seriously and, um, collectively take action to reduce our emissions, um, uh, we, we have the potential to preserve though that sort of natural heritage for future generations. I've been speaking with Kate Ricky, a climate change scientist leading the way for solar geoengineering. Kate, thanks so much for joining us. My pleasure. Speaker 2: 30:05 Whoa. Speaker 8: 30:15 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm mark Sauer and I'm jade Hindman. The Miramar landfilled holds more than half of the waste San Diegans dispose of each year. It's expected to reach capacity by 2030 food and yard waste makes up the largest portion of material that goes into the landfill at 39%. The city does not have a food waste collection program for city residents. That's where food to soil, a composting service for urban dwellers comes into play. I spoke with Sarah Bolts, Walla Messina founder and executive director of a Nica Small Earth Inc the nonprofit that started food to soil about the service. Here's that interview your company. Food to soil helps a lot of restaurants and people tell me about that Speaker 9: 30:58 need and how you're meeting that demand. So San Diego doesn't have an existing service for composting. Uh, we have the Miramar Greenery, which is at full capacity. So businesses and individuals are scrambling to find a syllabus that will help them compost their food waste. So food designers, just that we are a community composter where San Diego's neighborhood composter we like to say, and we're composting for the urban environment because urban dwellers don't always have the time or the space or the interest to compost. So what we do is we offer that support that our citizens need, either to help them compost themselves or we take the scraps and composted for them. And how many restaurants, individuals are you servicing? So we have six restaurants who are part of our program. We have about 70 individuals, households who drop off their scraps every week with us for composting. And we compost at two community gardens, the San Carlos community garden and the ocean view growing grounds. Speaker 9: 32:05 And we also supply scraps. Our scraps are clean source, separated scraps. So we supply our scraps to two farms, wild willow farm and second chance because they are looking for scraps to make compost with. Uh, so that's sort of the network and it's growing. Uh, we also have four onsite composting projects at corporate campuses to order a general atomics. One is at viasat and one is at San Diego Mesa College. Wow. Certainly sounds like a big demand for what you're doing. Why would you people to compost? The simplest way to put it is because that's the only way you can close your loop. That respect to your food waste footprint, the soil gross food, it nourishes us and it is our responsibility to send those nutrients back into the soil. At least the nutrients that we don't use or that we discard, need to go back to the soil to keep it nourished, to replenish the nutrients that we took from it. Speaker 9: 33:06 So that's the reason you compost. And the other reason you would want to compost is if, if you're a gardener or a farmer, you want to grow nutrient dense food and incorporating compost in your soil. Keeping your soil alive is the best way to grow that nutrient dense food. But now is composting environmentally friendly? I mean, does it create value? Doesn't create methane. Okay, so landfilling creates methane gas because when all this organic waste goes into the landfill, it's managed and aerobically and aerobic means in the absence of oxygen and water. So when you manage an organic material and aerobically it's going to emit methane and methane is a greenhouse emission. So landfilling is creating that greenhouse emission by composting you reducing your waste footprint and thereby your carbon footprint. So absolutely composting is a way to reduce that carbon footprint and decrease that emission impact that you have on the environment. Speaker 9: 34:11 And if there's anyone looking to decrease their carbon footprint, how can they get started with composting? So I'd say go to our website, food to We discuss all our programs on that page and we start with saying that the first step you anyone can do is compost on their own compost in their backyard. Uh, we've presented a very recipe style, very simple style of composting. So go through those steps. We start with ingredients and tools and step one and step two and go through that. We've discussed all the tools you would need and inexpensive ways of getting involved with composting. And then the next step I would say is maybe stop by a community compost hub. Uh, our work days on the community compost hubs are listed on our website and you'll get a visual of what you've read on that page. So you'll see our, our hub manager is managing the food scraps that we've collected from businesses and residents. Speaker 9: 35:08 So that'll just give you a visual and you'll be able to then be more confident to go back and try it out in your backyard. And if none of this works for you, if composting on your own in your backyard is not the right solution for you, then look up one of our drop off programs. We offer two flavors of uh, program. Uh, you can sign up for a monthly subscription which allows you access to various dropoff hubs in the city. And every week you just bring your scraps and drop it off in the cart and we pick up every, take it to a community garden or a farm and compost over there. If you live far away and you don't have access to a dropoff hub or you don't want to make these weekly trips cause you're not generating that many scraps, you can sign up for what's called a bucket swap program. Speaker 9: 35:52 It's a people use program. We'll give you a bucket, an empty bucket, and a bucket of inoculated mulch. And you just keep making those layers. So layer of food scraps, layer of Mulch, the mulch helps contain the odors and absorbs the liquids. And then that way you can collect four, five, six buckets every month and then just drop off at a community compost hub maybe once a month. So that's sort of minimizes your trips and allows those who probably don't generate much to participate in the program. I mean, it sounds like there's a lot of options there. Even if you don't have a backyard at home, there's really no excuse. Absolutely. So you know, we pride, uh, in, in that we want to make composting accessible and affordable for everyone in San Diego and the range of programs that we're offering is designed to do just that. Allow everyone to be able to compost and make it affordable for everyone to participate. Speaker 1: 36:48 That was a Nica Small Earth Inc executive director Sarah Bolts Wallah Messina Speaker 1: 37:01 wanting to be as healthy as possible before trying to conceive Encinitas resident and Michelle Andrews paid closer attention to what was in her food, where it came from and how it was packaged. She later decided to decrease the amount of waste she was creating. Then she learned about going zero waste. Michelle refers to what she does now as living a low waste lifestyle. She's a stay at home mom now to Tilden age five and merit, who's one as part of our first person series, Michelle and her sons gave producer Brooke, Ruth a tour of their home to share some of the ways they reduced the amount of waste they're generating. Speaker 10: 37:39 This is our home. You can see we have one big great room as far as kind of low waste to zero waste thing. You can see that there's a lot of wood furniture and a lot of it is hand me down like, um, this right here is from my grandpa and my grandma had it in her house for almost 60 years. And same with this table. We got gifted it from a friend who's it was in her family. So really looking for solid wood pieces and just not creating as much waste. So you'll see that when you look around and any, any pieces, there's another old chair from my grandpa, um, and plants to help purify the air and scanning. Okay. Should we come to you both brought up, one of our biggest things is books. We love books. Um, we usually go to the library because we don't have enough space for them. Speaker 10: 38:33 But we've got, um, a few weeks ago, no months ago, we were gifted about, I dunno, four huge boxes full of books. So we're part of, um, a site called buy nothing, sell nothing. And it's full of people in the community that just exchange and gift toys. So, uh, some of the things you see here might be something that I might not buy, but they're second hand, which is awesome. And then anything new that we buy, it's would pretty much so like here there's some woodblocks and uh, uh, would wail roller. There's pretty much toys everywhere in this house, in all these drawers. We love musical instruments. So I dunno when we, when we acquire things except for that plastic drum, we'll try to, to get as natural as possible. And that one was gifted to us as well, which he loves. So these are, um, some place centers that we have and they, we have a wooden tool bench with all the tools and accessories. Speaker 10: 39:37 And I'm over here. We have a full kitchen with pots and pans and vegetables you can cut and everything is made out of wood and even a little cleaning set. They love to copy me cleaning. So I love wooden toys because I don't worry about any of the chemicals, especially with little ones. He's always putting things in his mouth. And that's a big reason why I adopted this lifestyle. Um, is mainly just to, for our health. And you can see right there we've got random wasteful products. Like these are three Starbucks mini cups. But we, we didn't go to Starbucks and get these, uh, my husband was on the set and these were extra and so we brought them home and repurpose them into birthday hats. You want to put your birthday hat on? Okay. That's mine. Oh, that ones here. Which ones is this one? Oh, this one here. So we try to reuse as much as we can as well and have some fun. Speaker 10: 40:43 You're hammering. I try to tell them anytime we have stuff like this, like what, where do you think this goes? You know, it doesn't just go to the invisible place and everything's fine. I try to tell them and teach them about that. And so we come up with creative ways on how to repurpose it. And I guess the biggest thing is to just develop an appreciation right for that stuff isn't always abundant. And we need to be resourceful and respectful. And I don't want them to get into this like me now, everything, I get what I want. So using things like this, I dunno, it's something fun. Teaches them about the environment. Let's see. I'm going to come with me to the kitchen. Come in. Speaker 10: 41:28 Oh, you keep changing it. Let's go. So the kitchen has probably one of the areas, biggest, no waste. And that's where we started. Um, I started with what I was ingesting and my body and thought, wow, everything's in plastic. I've got to be taking in all these chemicals. This Zucchini bread is made with almond meal or almond flour. And we got the almond flour from making almond milk. So we make our own almond milk and then the Paul, I'd be hydrated and Mister Tilton here sifted it and do a flower and then we used it in our bread. So finding ways that we can create as low as possible. Something. Here you go, bed, you can go sit down, you want butter on it? No. Okay. Speaker 10: 42:20 All of living life with as little plastic as possible. It comes down to behavior change and opening up yourself to learning something new. So really just sticking. If you have to go shop at a grocery store instead of a farmer's market or whatever, you just stay on the outskirts, like buy everything natural that's grown from the earth and you shouldn't have a problem. Granted you do have to think about pesticides and things like that. So often for organic guiding rock. Exciting for me when people reach out and ask me questions, which happens from some of my mama friends or when I see people make some behavior changes. So it's, it's so exciting to see that people are putting in the energy in it. And I love that. And my biggest thing honestly is my kids too. Like seeing my five year old pickup chat, trash just blowing by in the wind or saving food scraps to give to the goats, or we eat a bell pepper and the seeds mummy, can we save these implant them? It's amazing to see to see that Speaker 1: 43:35 that was Encinitas resident Michelle Andrews, and that first person feature was produced by Brooke. Ruth.

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On Monday's Midday Edition, we are bringing you an Earth Day special. We discuss ways San Diegans are decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and the politics of responding to climate change.