Get Solar at GreenLife July 8-10th!

wsne-install

Visit the GreenLife area of Summer Fest this year to witness solar power in action and find out how to get solar for your home. Local solar installer and GreenLife sponsor West Seattle Natural Energy will be powering the GreenLife Garden Stage with a solar trailer! (Solar powered music and dance, yeah) If that’s not enough, visit their interactive booth to see solar panels up close and in action. WSNE’s own, Keith Hughes will be presenting Solar Works! on stage as well.

Solar Works! The truth about costs and benefits of going solar in the NW:

About West Seattle Natural Energy:

West Seattle Natural Energy only employs the best installers and electricians. Our eight- person team is comprised of full-time and on-call employees who share the highest standards of excellence. This camaraderie is especially evident when the WSNE staff unites to donate time, skills and materials to great causes such as Master Builders Ramp-a-thon. We maintain a sterling reputation of 100% Customer Satisfaction by employing an honest sales force, setting manageable schedules and delivering premium quality installations. Every employee on our team delivers every single day. By anticipating common installation issues and fully educating our customers, we guarantee jobs that have no frustrations, no bait and switch — and no financial surprises.

Try an Electric Bike at GreenLife July 8-10th!

ebike

Why do those old, out of shape, non racing bike riders keep passing me? Perhaps they have a secret weapon. Come hear more about electric assist bicycles from Stu Hennessey owner of Alki Bike and Board. He’ll guide you through the latest models and features to look for when considering an electric bike.

Alki Bike and Board is a featured sponsor of this year’s GreenLife area at Summer Fest. They will have a many electric bikes for you to demo all three days of the event (July 8th, 9th, and 10th) and will be giving a talk about what it’s like to Ride Clean:

Electric Bike Community Discussion: 

About Alki Bike and Board:

Located in the heart of the Admiral Junction in West Seattle, Alki Bike and Board is a staple community business. Not merely selling bikes and boards, they support sustainable business practices and advocates for carbon neutral policies and lifestyle. Along with other area non-profits, they host many community safety and awareness rides. Truly a shining example of local business in action!

Local Youth Activist, Aji Piper, Appears on DemocracyNow!

Aji Piper on DN!

Yes!

I watch DemocracyNow! every morning (and so should you 🙂 ) and was pleasantly surprised today when I heard a familiar name mentioned, Aji Piper (at the 32:22 mark). Aji is a West Seattle teenaged environmental activist involved with Our Childrens Trust, a non-profit org who had a recent win in court regarding their landmark Federal Climate Change Lawsuit. This unprecedented lawsuit brought by 21 youth basically states that by allowing fossil fuels to be exploited, the US government and the fossil fuel industry are threatening the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of future generations. This landmark suit drags the shadow cast by fossil fuels into the light as a constitutional issue (genius). Support this group if you can.

I met Aji last year when he performed his song “Danger” on the GreenLife stage. You have to take a few moments and listen to this young mans tune. It’s a very striking song.

SWS thanks you Aji for being a brave, outspoken, artistic activist.

Resilience During Times of Crisis

Believe it: Many of our WS neighbors are experiencing crisis- homelessness, hunger, gentrification, drug addiction, crime and more. How will we support our most vulnerable populations? What happens when we find ourselves in crisis? As more challenges come, what can West Seattle learn about resilience and strong communities from the economic crisis in Spain?

We’ll host a public discussion at the Admiral Bird on Saturday April 23rd 6-8PM to hear those living through real struggle and how they deal with crisis.

Join Sustainable West Seattle in listening to stories of coming together, and pooling resources to survive economic crisis.. Learn about the resource and time sharing projects West Seattle is using to build resilience in our community.

Guests: 

Please come by and join the discussion!

More info:

Since 2008, working people in Spain have been experiencing an impoverishment of the middle class. A slow elimination of safety nets and social services, lay-offs of public employees, wide-scale evictions, homelessness while homes stand empty, and a rising cost of living without a rise in wage. Despite media propaganda, armed forces at public protests and failed reforms, popular resistance movements in Spain have endured and adapted from the 15 Million people movement called Indignados to form a third party, Podemos, to challenge the Spanish two-party system.

Find Your Precinct Caucus Here

It’s very important that we all, as US citizens, participate in local democracy. After all, national democracy begins at the local level…believe it or not. We need the right people in all offices. If you follow climate change science, the urgency is obvious. We need top-down and simultaneously, bottom-up change to reverse our effects on the planet. We work locally, we vote nationally.

In order to vote for the presidential candidate you want to see lead the nation, you first need to get them on the ballot! Thats where the caucus comes in.

We, as thinking/mover/shakers/creators, have to spend time building a future. We are the participatory bunch, the able and willing. At 30+ years on earth, I’ve just come to realize this…I’m on the creative side. I strive to produce more than I consume. Part of this production is the act of voting..of producing results, literally, tallied results. I will produce a vote for the candidate I want to see nominated for president. I WILL CAUCUS ON SATURDAY MARCH 26th FROM 10am-2pm…and longer if necessary!

I hope you too stay positive, get out and caucus and most importantly…don’t get discouraged! We can do this! We are doing this! See below for how to find your precinct and caucus.

I’ll be honest, it’s not easy to find your precinct caucus. You first have to this website and enter your address to find your precinct number, then click and open the local precinct location list below to see where your Precinct Caucus will be held:

Caucus Locations by Precinct.pdf

More info on the caucus process

 

You better caucus!!

 

See you there… 🙂

COP21 Editorial

An important and amazing thing happened at the end of a year of tragically bad

news—and it was not even treated as a top news story. On December 13 it was

announced that 195 countries (out of 196 countries world-wide—near

unanimity!) agreed to limit the rise in the earth’s temperature to 1.5 degrees

Celsius.

Most of the environment groups that SWS uses for sounding boards have been

positive about the agreement. However, some groups think the agreement

lacked enough bite—there are no consequences if a nation fails to keep its

commitment. We have to trust that the 195 countries will honor their

commitment.

A number of countries are already imposing a carbon tax to help fund the

transition to a fossil fuel free economy. Where there is an absence of federal

action, a number of regional entities are imposing carbon taxes—for example,

British Columbia. Also, Seattle’s Initiative I-732 will be voted on in the next

election cycle.

The business sector increasingly recognizes the business potential in lower cost

energy and in ending subsidies for fossil fuel extraction, distribution, and

mitigation. This was a clear breakthrough at the Paris conference. There are now

more jobs in renewable energy, which is another reason for optimism among

this normally resistant group. An area of concern is how to achieve carbon

reduction in air transportation and the shipping and distribution of consumer

goods.

A bright spot is Boeing’s and Seattle airport’s announcement that they will

pursue the use of biofuel for their jet propellant. Meanwhile, protecting our farm

land from an onslaught of biofuel agriculture remains a concern. However, more

food is being grown locally and more people are eating seasonally, and this

could eventually help offset loss of food production due to the growing of

biofuels. It is becoming increasingly clear that relying on big agriculture as a

source of food is not in our best interest anyway. Algae-based biofuels may one

day meet some of our need for fuel.

Even though oil prices are low, electric powered vehicles (EVs) have never

been more popular. Electric transportation technology is growing fast. On

average, most cars are owned five-six years or less, so your next car may be an

electric vehicle! The Tesla Company has been improving battery storage

capacity and increasing recharge ability at a fast pace. Tesla claims it will be

able to produce a $35K car with a 1000 mile range by 2020. They are also

working on long-lasting home energy storage for Solar PV rooftop homes. I

think movement toward freedom from fossil fuels is gaining the momentum we

have been waiting for.

We all heard that hover boards and other electronic gadgets were a top holiday

gift. Happily, another top gift was LED light bulbs, which last twenty years and

are at least ten times more efficient than incandescent bulbs.

You can tell that I feel optimistic that we are moving in the right direction. I am

hopeful that the top down proposals that came out of the Paris meetings will

increase momentum toward a fossil-fuel-free world. At the same time we can all

become fossil-free consumers.

The transition to a fossil-fuel-free world is already happening. Sustainable West

Seattle can speed that along by setting annual goals and challenging the public

to participate. We have generally taken a bottom-up approach. We encourage

consumers to make decisions that will reduce both the cost of energy and the

cost to our planet. In 2016, with the ongoing subsidy from Seattle City Light,

we can work to bring affordable LED lighting to local homes and

businesses. We can challenge local industry to get on board and join in the

transition—we can consider a petition to local industries asking them to make a

commitment to the transition.

There is much to look forward to in 2016 following the Paris COP21. There is

also much to do. Please join us.

Annual SWS Membership Meeting

Entering our 9th year, Sustainable West Seattle is starting out the new year with hope and optimism. We intend to keep our focus on the projects and events that have been a part of the West Seattle close knit community for all these years.

We also would like to hear from our SWS members a well as our community members, ” What is important for you? “.
We would be glad if you could come to our annual membership meeting with that in mind.

On Martin Luther King Day, January 18th 2016 we will be meeting in West Seattle’s Admiral District at the Admiral Bird Cafe. Meet and greet starts at 6:30pm with our general membership meeting beginning at 7pm.

Included on our agenda is an open forum opportunity for you to tell us where you think we should direct our activities in particular in light of the Paris COP 21 agreement.

We will also be taking nominations and introducing our new board members for 2016. If you would like to have a greater voice in your community we would welcome your application to the Sustainable West Seattle board of directors.

City Fruit 5th Annual Cider Tasting!

City Fruit’s 5th Annual Cider Taste fundraiser will be held on Thursday, November 12th between 6:30 and 9:00 PM at the Pike Place Atrium Kitchen (1433 First Avenue). Tickets are limited, and must be purchased online. 

All tickets include one event passport, souvenir glass, tastes from ten Northwest cidermakers, and five small plates plus one amuse bouche from local chefs. Participating cideries include Alpenfire Organic Hard Cidery, Dragonhead Cider, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Grizzly Ciderworks, Nashi Orchards, Seattle Cider Co., Schilling Cider, Snowdrift Cider, Tieton Cider Works, and Whitewood Cider Co.

For the first time, this year’s event will feature six outstanding chefs including Ethan Stowell, Jerry Traunfeld, Thierry Rautureau, Daisley Gordon, John Sundstrom, and Erik Jackson who will create original small plate pairings to accompany the ciders. The evening will also feature a live auction and the chance to bid on cider-themed prizes and unique local experiences.

All event proceeds will benefit the 2016 harvest, which brings fresh, local fruit to over 50 meal programs and food banks across the city.

Hope Lives at The Grassroots

Hope lives at grassroots.  

By Stu Hennessey, VP, Sustainable West Seattle

I don’t know why things cannot get done when folks get elected and are paid well. A lot could be learned by our elected officials if they would come down to the grassroots level.

I have served on the board of Sustainable West Seattle for the last 3 years and have experienced a lot of reason to be hopeful. With an all volunteer staff and a small working membership I have seen many accomplishments in the past 3 years. Instead of complaining and retreating these folks that I have been associated with roll up their sleeves and get things done. Being a part of these local victories for the greater good fills me with hope for the future.

You too can be a part of the solution as openings are becoming available. If you are not at the table you might end up on the menu.

I am at the end of my 3 year term limit but I will not disappear.

To reflect on a few highlights, I am most impressed with the collaboration and facilitation of various projects such as Solarize Southwest  Seattle, The annual Greenlife Festival and the West Seattle Bike Connections.

In 2014 Solarize Southwest Seattle with help from SWS signed up 667 registrations and solarized 111 households creating 684 kilowatts of renewable power.  This helped to create a record year for rooftop solar installations in Seattle. Sustainable West Seattle hosted and advertised workshops in partnership with Seattle City Light, Northwest Seed and Sustainable Burien to get the word out and sign up customers.

This year we also saw a record attendance at our annual Greenlife Festival during the West Seattle street fair.  The information that was shared and the community coalescence that occurred were ravenously consumed by a diverse crowd.

The West Seattle Bike Connections group made great strides to enhance a healthy and happy alternative to the usual gridlock leaving West Seattle. Safer and improved routes to work centers and other neighborhoods are now being implemented due to the advice and experience of our local everyday cyclists.

More accomplishments with the West Seattle Tool Library and the Community Orchard of West Seattle or the community gatherings at West Seattle Meaningful Movies and the growth of the West Seattle Time Bank offer many opportunities to get involved. Bring your talents to any of our remaining board meetings for 2015 and begin to be a voice in your community for environmental, social, economic and soothing justice. See you there!