Category: Health

The Farm That Could

In 2019, Governor Newsom signed AB 1486 into law which connects developers interested in building more affordable homes with surplus public land suitable for housing. In the Bay Area, the housing crisis is nothing new. Using public land to create affordable housing is a step towards solving the crisis. However, taking Happy Lot Farm and Gardens land to service one need would also be squandering another need, in this case, urban farming in food deserts.

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Portola Garden District Returns to Its Roots

Down a busy street overflowing with groceries, taquerias, Chinese medicine shops, and small businesses, an unassuming dead end is home to a thriving community garden, which also got greener during the pandemic.

The Farm That Could

In 2019, Governor Newsom signed AB 1486 into law which connects developers interested in building more affordable homes with surplus public land suitable for housing. In the Bay Area, the housing crisis is nothing new. Using public land to create affordable housing is a step towards solving the crisis. However, taking Happy Lot Farm and Gardens land to service one need would also be squandering another need, in this case, urban farming in food deserts.

Dryer Vents Blow Hot Air & Microplastics

New research confirms that air vents on tumble dryers – rather than washing machines – may be a leading source of microplastic fibers from clothing in the environment. The insidious little particles are being found, among other places, in ocean-caught fish, beer, and even fecal samples of newborn babies.  

Trees Tell A Tale of Two Cities

Trees do far more than add shade and property value to a city block; they can remove harmful pollutants from the air, reduce flooding, and perhaps most crucially in a changing climate, they can reduce heat. A 2019 investigation by NPR found that Oakland’s poorer neighborhoods are almost universally hotter than its richer regions (in fact, the city had one of the strongest correlations between heat and income in the country).

Red Meat Has Big Hoofprints

Red meat has a big carbon footprint. Yet American dietary guidelines recommend lots of it! How much do you eat? Even dialing it back a little can boost your climate resilience.

Purple Air Warnings Not Enough

If late fall fires start up again after the October deluge, Alameda County will already have smoke alert protocols in place. The county developed specific thresholds and delivery systems for alerts over the past two years. “Our geography…

Cleaner Air, Fewer Health Hazards from Bay Area Refineries

In July, the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District voted 19-3 to amend its Regulation 6, Rule 5, requiring fossil fuel refineries under its jurisdiction to reduce particulate matter emissions from their fluidized catalytic cracking units (“cat crackers” in refinery parlance), a major point source of pollution. The move gave the Bay Area the nation’s most health-protective and stringent regulation on particulate emissions, a recognized health hazard.

North Bay Towns Embrace Drought Gardens

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.

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