If you are looking for a way to get directly involved with local environmental cleanup efforts, look no further. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has been doing solid work for a long time. Click here to see and subscribe to their wonderful email newsletter.
Just received a little note from our friends over at OWL Positive Broadcasting. SWS met with them as part of their journey down the west coast. Here is the teaser from their upcoming documentary “The Secret of Change”.
We have now finished filming, can you believe it!? Can’t believe how quickly the time has passed, seems like only yesterday we were staying with you guys in West Seattle. At the moment we’re in California staying with friends until we fly out to Mexico on Sunday, very exciting!
We’ve had an incredible journey filming with so many people and initiatives over the last few months and we have put together a very brief teaser (which you feature in) to give an idea of what is to come so I thought I’d share it with you.
I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share with as many people, in as many ways as you please ;-).
We are beginning work on a crowd-funder as we speak and aim to have that completed by the end of the month so we’ll let you guys know when that launches.
With love and gratitude
Chris & Zoe
Electric Cars: Opportunity and Risk
It’s been five years since I’ve written about electric cars. In those years the Leaf has replaced the Prius as the environmental car of choice and the Tesla Model S has won more automotive awards than Bryon Cranston has won Emmys. As I expected, electric cars are driving down the road towards the mainstream.
While the cost, range, and quality of electric cars has improved dramatically, the way those cars are charged has remained relatively unchanged. Sure Tesla has installed a network of fast chargers that in twenty minutes can add sufficient charge that road trips are now possible and many businesses have installed charging stations in their parking lots, but most electric cars are still changed at home overnight. The driver gets home, plugs in the car and in the morning the car is ready for another day of driving. Depending on your system and how far you’ve driven, charging may take from two to ten hours. Currently, the electric grid treats an electric car just like a blender.
As electric cars become mainstream, there will be a new rush hour on the grid right after the rush hour on the roads: millions of cars plugging in around 6 p.m., drawing power at the same time as stoves and heaters and TVs are firing up. This is a challenge not just to produce the electricity, but also to distribute it to all of those garages. If we don’t deal with this intelligently, then we might see a gridlock of electrons (i.e. brown-outs).
But this challenge is also an opportunity to make the grid better. The electric grid needs to be sized for peak demand. The rest of the day, those resources are underused. Creating off-peak demand helps the utility.
Very few drivers need their car charged up as soon as possible, but just want it ready for their daily commute by the next morning. How do we build a system that does the bulk of the changing when the grid has underused capacity (i.e. the middle of the night)? There are several approaches, each with advantages and disadvantages:
- Time-of-day metering, where the retail price of electricity drops during the time of day when the wholesale price of electricity is low and the grid is operating at much less than capacity (e.g. 11 pm to 8 am). This is fairly straightforward to implement, but is inflexible to events (e.g. a transformer goes down). This only requires advanced power meters and chargers that know what time it is and what time they should start charging.
- Real time pricing, where the utility can set the price based on the current situation and sends a message that appliances (e.g. car chargers) can respond to (e.g. delaying charging). This requires a much smarter system (i.e. the Smart Grid), but allows the utility to manage challenges like a substation fire or high wind-production during a time of low demand.
- Build a system that can handle increased peak loads; more generators, wires, transformers, poles… This is almost certainly the most expensive and dirtiest way to meet the challenge.
Currently in Seattle, we’re not doing any of these things. The cost of electricity is the same at 6p.m. as it is at 2 a.m. and the chargers that people are installing in their garages don’t know what time it is, much less the cost of electricity at that moment. I expect electric car growth to follow a hockey-stick pattern, which is common for new technology adoption (think smart phones): sales will grow linearly and moderately for a few years, then the next time that gasoline prices hit $5.00 a gallon, electric car sales will explode. Are we building the electric network that can handle this opportunity?
Where else can you go learn about homemade rose tea or fragrant rose syrups in West Seattle on a Saturday and go for “A Wild Edible Walk and Talk” on Sunday? Well there might be a couple of other places, but this one looks fun too! An excerpt from their Rose Blog Blast reads:
“Do you remember being in your grandmothers gardens when the most fragrant roses were in bloom?
Fragrance takes us back to a time in the past, where scent has been locked into memory. We may not even realize the memory exists until we smell something to jog the memory. My aunt Edna used to grow the most amazing roses. Her house was always filled with amazing food and flower scents.
When I moved here, the roses were not at all something I was looking forward to working with. I’ve since come to truly LOVE roses!
The term ‘Old roses’ does not refer to roses that were in the garden when you moved into your house….’old roses’ actually refers to antique varieties that came over with early settlers from China, Europe and the Far East. We’re talking old. These are cutting from the original plants, also called ‘own root roses’ meaning they are grown from cuttings from the parent plant, here on the property.”
West Seattle Land Use Committee -WSLuc
At this meeting as the Person of Interest we will have Paul Haury of the NERDS – Paul and his group have many notches under their belt from experiences with DPD along the Avalon Way Corridor.
Agenda for WSLUC – Wednesday April 29 Meeting
– 6pm Southwest Library on 35th Ave SW:
- 6pm – Introductions and follow up on our Land Use 101 mini-seminar by Deb Barker and Cindi Barker
- 6:30pm – Person of Interest – Paul Haury
- 7:00 – Looking Forward – Discussion and Planning for helping to leverage the various West Seattle Land Use Action Groups efforts – MISSION STATEMENT!
Hot topics right now are
- the CVS Pharmacy at the Fauntleroy Triangle
- the NERDS ongoing battle with DPD about Avalon
- —- we need to gather hot button projects from all of West Seattle
West Seattle Land Use Committee -WSLuc
Celebrate Earth Week with your neighbors at the West Seattle Tool Library!
Save the Date, Sunday, April 19th from noon to 4pm for fun and food.
Activities for the whole family include,
- Healthy local foods BBQ, including veggies, burgers, brats, and delicious side dishes-Kids seed start and worm farming-Free garden tool sharpening and wheel barrow repairs-Free DIYBIKES.org bicycle repair clinics-Bio Char demonstrations-West Seattle Tool Library membership discounts-and for the current members, LATE TOOL RETURN AMNESTY!
Indoors or Outdoors at the Youngstown Cultural and Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.
Start Earth Week off by celebrating the success of the West Seattle Tool Library on Sunday April 19th from noon to 4pm. The West Seattle Tool Library is a project of Sustainable West Seattle and provides tools for DIY projects as well as for community organizations working toward an earth friendly society.
Second Use Building Materials and NOVO Painting are teaming up to combat the issue of used paint in Seattle. Without a paint stewardship program, Washington residents are forced to dry leftover latex paint with kitty litter or paint hardener and toss it in the landfill.
In effort to divert leftover latex paint from the landfill and get it into the hands of people that need it, Second Use and NOVO Painting are hosting a Used Paint Drive on March 28th from 10-4 at the Second Use Store in SODO.
There is no cost for individuals to drop off leftover paint, but there are the following requirements:
Paint must be in good, reusable condition. Second Use reserves the right to turn away unsatisfactory paint
Paint must be free of any solid matter
Paint must be latex
Paint will only be accepted between 10-4 on March 28th.
This is a one-time event, and paint donations outside of those hours will be refused.
In an effort to allow the most households to participate, we cannot accept quantities exceeding 25 gallons
Individuals or community groups interested in free used paint can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more information about paint distribution.
Please help our community responsibly dispose of their paint by sharing this event. Do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.
Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes
A film by John Wellington Ennis
“Pay 2 Play lays out a compelling case against corporate personhood.” L.A. Times
This humorous and provocative film connects the dots of Big Money in our ever-challenging election process. A layperson’s guidebook to taking back our democracy. Featuring Robert Reich, Van Jones, Marianne Williamson, Noam Chomsky, and many more.
6:30 doors open for snacks and social time
7:00 movie, followed by optional discussion
6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle 98126
Bus numbers 21 and 128
NO CHARGE, but donations gratefully received.
Help us minimize waste—bring your own mug.
Mayor Ed Murray inspired us all this week when he unveiled his Vision Zero traffic initiative. The plan is to eliminate all traffic fatalities which is a lofty goal indeed but there could be other refreshing results. The main component of the plan is to lower speed limits throughout the city which would lessen the impact in the case of an accident as well as provide a greater reaction time to avoid accidents. These lower speed limits drastically increase the chance of survival, especially for vulnerable users such as pedestrians and cyclists but will only increase the daily travel time by mere seconds and minutes. This slower pace may also be what our community needs at this time. The way our society has been moving ever faster through life is an ill that many of us bear. A slower pace may do us some good as described by Cecil Andrews in her book “Slow is Beautiful” . The slower pace also has the potential for reducing individual transportation carbon emissions. Let’s embrace this idea.
The first WSTB members meeting of 2015 is upon us! On February 19th, come
reconnect with fellow timebankers and learn about the changes taking place
to make us a more vibrant community in West Seattle and Burien.Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015
Where: Senior Center of West Seattle
4217 SW Oregon St. – parking in the lot off 42nd Ave SW
Time: 6:30 – 7:00 Potluck (bring a dish to share)
7:00 – 8:00 Members Meeting
Our meeting will feature:
– The future of WSTB and how it affects you as a member
– Inspiration with upcoming participation opportunities: future
speakers, timebank needs, and member interaction
– An opportunity to provide feedback on WSTB member meetings and activitiesAll attendees who sign in at the meeting will receive an hour of timebank
credit.This month’s speaker will be from Weed Warriors
Look forward to spring with some of our current member’s offerings and
requests: Garden Planning * Bicycle Repair and Maintenance * Pet Care and
Walking * Organization and Downsizing Assistance * Software and Design
Projects * Yoga, Baking, and Canning Lessons
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
- Community Media
- Electric Bikes
- Energy Blog
- Frontpage Article
- Green Homes
- Land Use
- Local Politics
- Native Plants
- Other Community Events
- Solar Nerd Blog
- SWS Events
- Tool Library
- Tool of the week
- Transition Town
- West Seattle Bike Connections
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- June 2016
- April 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009