Friday, November 27, 2009

Experiencing and Off-Grid Environment

I just spent a week connecting with some friends that are off-gridders in Mendocino and was struck by the power of their life experience living without tie-in to municipal utilities and how our project in San Francisco captures so many themes that are so relevant to our modern world: living with a limited water budget, staying attuned to our electrical needs, being aware of where our waste water goes. I spent over a week living with my friends and I was struck by the fact that so much of our time together involved discussions about basic life systems: potable water, electrical energy, and wastewater. My friends are so attune to their personal needs and what waste is being generated, and how to create more efficient systems.

I spent Thanksgiving in the city last night and watched my urban friends turn on hot water and let the faucet run with abandon, and left heaters on in basement rooms where no one resided. I was struck with how so many my urban friends have no idea what their own electrical homebudget is, yet they are paying large utility bills every month!

Here in the city, so many of us take for granted that we have complete access to these vital systems. How many of us could survive on a water budget of 10 gallons per day or an electrical budget of 2 kw a day?

I am very excited to start working with EcoCenter Team at Literacy for Environmental Justice, to craft educational literature around the systems we are bringing to our community in San Francisco that will help bridge the educational and experiential gap between these two worlds!

Monday, November 16, 2009

We have Power!

Friends! I am very excited to announce that this afternoon at 5:15 pm we hooked into our solar array. I was accompanied by Myla Ablog, Herons Head Park Manager; John, our Americorp intern; Joel of Lorax Developers, as well as the good folks at Occidental Power; and Mike, of All-Around-Electric.

We celebrated this moment by plugging in a power tool! As soon as we pulled the power tool out, one of the good men from Rebuilding Together came over to ask if he can charge up his iphone. Welcome to the 21st Century! This was indeed an incredibly exciting moment to be able to connect right into our power source, and know that our local power utility [whose name will go unmentioned] was providing us with absolutely zero power backup!

I am proud to announce that we are generating our own power and we are independent of the non-renewable energy czars!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Salesforce, Rebuilding Together, and Literacy for Environmental Justice Team up!

We are getting ready for a big day this week. On Tuesday November 17th over 200 high-tech volunteers who will be in town for Salesforce.Com's Dreamforce Conference, will be coming to the EcoCenter to paint, tile, side, landscape, and install cabinetry at the EcoCenter! This represents an effort by the good folks at and Rebuilding Together to "raise the roof" on a capital project in San Francisco that has been over 11 years in the making. Yesterday I spent eight hours with the incredible staff at Rebuilding Together, Orlanda and Kat and all of the professional folks they bring to the table to help ready the building for the big day. We primed and trimmed and cut our paths in preperation for the big workday

This is an incredibly exciting moment for our team and the community we serve!

This is the kind of infusion of energy we need to take the project to the finish line!

Here's a great quote from our press release:

“This workday is bringing us a thousand hours closer to opening the EcoCenter’s doors,” said Malik Looper, executive director of Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ). “The EcoCenter is a source of great pride in our community, and we welcome the contribution of Rebuilding Together and all those who want to build a more sustainable future for our youth.”

This workday is the largest that RTSF has hosted in its 20-year history. “This is the perfect project, and Dreamforce is the perfect partner,” said Karen Nemsick, RTSF’s executive director.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

EcoCenter Solar Array Installed Today!

It is with great pleasure I get ready to go down to the site this morning to watch our solar array being installed-the last two weeks Oxypower's team has been spending preparing the roof for our modules. Today is the day our 24 BP modules are launched on our building! Kristine Enea's Film crew-Shooterkat will be with us to witness this milestone moment. Installation will occur from 9am-4pm today. Come on down!