The “Cool Cities Challenge” launched this January in SoCal’s LA and Irvine, and the North Bay’s Petaluma. The program is designed to kick start climate action at the micro level.
Petaluma made international news earlier this year for enacting the nation’s first ban on new gas stations. The city of 60,000 in southern Sonoma County also moved this year to prohibit natural gas in nearly all new construction, and hasn’t allowed new drive-thrus since 2008. It aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.
The conundrums of whether or not to spend water on gardening during a drought are many. Growing backyard food is not just enjoyable, it also cuts down on greenhouse gasses from food transport and storage. Maintaining – or expanding – ornamental gardens is therapeutic but also can sustain pollinators and wildlife that are struggling to survive human-made hurdles.