Most people in Claremont now see that we need to live more sustainably. So let’s do it and celebrate the many health and environmental benefits that improve our quality of life and help make Claremont a wonderful place to live.
We know that local smog and air pollution affect our health and contribute to a changing climate, consequently we need to reduce our carbon footprint by making our homes, businesses, and institutions more energy-efficient. We also need to transition to clean forms of renewable energy and mobility. Using solar energy, walking, biking, plugging in cars, and riding public transportation reduce emissions. Doing this is healthier for us and for the planet.
We know that we are faced with a severe drought; consequently we need to regain control of our water resources and conserve water. We can enjoy the beauty of our local landscape and integrate drought tolerant plants that make our climate even more comfortable. We need to capture and detain runoff and work with nature to clean up what percolates into the groundwater we drink, local waterways, and the ocean.
We know that our urban forest is in decline due to drought and disease. We need to work together to develop an Urban Forest Master Plan and build a team that can regenerate and sustain this resource which is a valuable icon of Claremont our “City of Trees”. Not only do we want to continue to enjoy the beauty of our cultural heritage, our urban forest provides shade and cleans the air by producing oxygen while assimilating carbon dioxide and particulates. Our urban forest also muffles sound from freeways, provides a voice for the wind, and habitat for birds.
We know that it costs Claremont a considerable amount to haul away organic waste. This also creates noise, congestion, and emissions. We could save money by using this resource to provide mulch, compost, and biochar to improve our soil, retaining more moisture and nutrients for healthier trees and landscape. By feeding our soil we can feed ourselves with all that good kitchen gardens can offer. Enjoying fresh organic herbs, vegetables, and fruit improves our health while reducing the carbon footprint of the food we eat.
The recent issue of Sunset Magazine, which features the “West's Best Places to Live”, has selected Claremont as the “Best Suburb”, recognizing many characteristics of our community. But we should not be complacent Claremont … we need to be sustainable Claremont to assure we continue to be one of the best places to live.
Claremont is currently in first place in the Cool California Energy Challenge. We need your help to win. Please participate in this competition by signing up at CaChallenge.org. Doing this helps you become more mindful of your energy consumption and provides many useful suggestions you can act upon to reduce your carbon footprint. If Claremont wins this challenge we will be designated the “Coolest California City” and receive prize money that will help Sustainable Claremont serve the community. It will also help position Claremont for Georgetown University Energy Prize where we have been selected to compete with 50 other cities nationwide for a $5 million dollar prize.
Call (909) 625-8767 x238 to join Sustainable Claremont and participate in these endeavors. A growing number of families are already participating in CHERP and enjoying living sustainably in more comfortable homes. Living sustainably helps us deal with the many challenges we are facing.
Demystifying Sustainability is an initiative of Sustainable Claremont (sustainableclaremont.org).