Monday, June 16, 2008
Santa Rosa...and more
The Green Tour is well underway! I have been having a great time exploring parts of California that I've never seen before, and Emily is SO happy to be in Northern California again.
Day 1 was a little slow, but still successful. Since I'm shooting all the LA spots later in the summer, we just drove straight up to Monterey...it was about 7 hours in the car. My plans to stop in at a sanitary supplies store that sells green cleaning products (advertised as being "so green you can drink them!") fell through because they were closed. We still got some footage around Monterey of their awesome bike paths and harbor and then continued up Hwy 101 to Santa Cruz. After searching for quite a while for a place to stay- pretty much every campsite and hotel in the area was booked!- we went into downtown Santa Cruz and had a great time enjoying the Saturday nightlife on the streets. From seeing "Support Your Local Businesses" and "Green Business Certified" signs in store windows and talking with a New Leaf Grocery Store manager, it is safe to say I saw evidence of Santa Cruz's environmentally conscious population.
On Day 2 Emily and I got up and headed straight to UCSC's campus. A majority of their buildings are surrounded by beautiful Redwood trees; bike and pedestrian paths meander through all the buildings, and there are numerous nearby farms and gardens that the students are involved in maintaining. In addition, we explored an alternative housing area (essentially it was a RV/trailer park on campus) and spoke with one of the students living there. There is something absolutely beautiful in thinking about being on a university campus that openly encourages and advertises low-impact lifestyles.
After stopping for a quick snack at "Emily's Bakery", we headed to Bonny Doon Vineyard to check out some 'green wine'. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring the camera inside but we did taste a few of their wines and learned all about their biodynamic farming techniques.
From Bonny Doon, we drove the 2 hours to Berkeley. After getting our bearings, we speak with five people hanging out in a small park, which was wonderful and definitely gave me some great perspectives on 'greening', but Berkeley's historical involvement in the environmental movement (social movements in general) is overwhelmingly important and I just didn't get an honest feel of it. I really feel like I should have spent a lot longer in Berkeley...but then again, maybe that's something to note... One of the guys we spoke with, who grew up in the area, mentioned something along those lines- he said that Berkeley has lost some of it's intensive, model-worthy initiatives that it sort of dominated over in the 60s and 70s. Something interesting to think about...
Day 2's evening was spent at Emily's amazingly sweet grandparent's home. We had a great night visiting with them. One of the nicest parts about the visit was that this morning we were able to get up and go for an awesome trial run in a nearby park. One of the most essential parts about the 'going green' movement is encouraging people to actually get out and enjoy what nature has to offer- Emily and I are definitely trying to do that as much as possible...and it makes things super easy when every other corner has a park or trail area.
This morning we drove to Santa Rosa and interviewed Rick, a great voice for electric vehicles and alternative transportation options in general. We spent the morning looking at all sorts of electric bikes, cars, and other 'toys' and chatting with Rick about his work. Not only did I feel like the Tour got a nice jump-start during my interview with him, but he definitely talked about a lot of issues that I need to keep in mind as I continue with my trip. Here are a couple:
Access- how does access (products, knowledge) affect 'going green' options for people?
Community and sharing- two huge parts of a 'green' life that is not advertised; do they strictly comes with the mentality?
Well. My time in the Infusion Teahouse in Sebastopol, CA is up.
Until next time...