12/7 P2PLA Quarterly Meeting Recap

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On December 7th, Climate Resolve hosted the first Path to Positive Los Angeles (P2PLA) Quarterly Meeting. The convening included participants from various sectors of the community — health, local government, business, and faith. This allowed for a fruitful discussion and networking opportunity across sectors, as participants shared their experiences on implementing climate solutions in their work.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Rhoades from the LA County Department of Public Health, presented on the nexus between public health and climate change. Dr. Rhoades provided attendees with an exclusive preview of the department’s Urban Heat Island Reduction Plan — the County’s comprehensive strategy to alleviate health issues triggered by climate change. One element of the strategy includes installing cool roofs and implementing cool streets, two initiatives that the City of LA has already been implementing with the key support of Climate Resolve.

Climate Resolve’s Kristina von Hoffmann presented a climate communications training, giving participants tips from ecoAmerica’s “15 Steps” and “Let’s Talk Climate” guides. The training focused on research-based methods for starting conversations on climate impacts and solutions within the community.

Thank you to all participants (both in-person and through webinar) for joining us in successfully closing off this quarter. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey to help us improve your experience for next time! We hope you can join us at our next Quarterly Meeting in February 2018.

Posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge

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What does it take to become a Food Waste Warrior? Our interview with Clare Fox, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, may come to mind. To broaden the scope, the City of LA is taking the lead on answering that question by offering the Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge. Composting experts, urban farmers, nonprofit organizations, and beyond can all rejoice at this grant opportunity. Supporter and Climate Day LA Keynote Speaker, Mayor Eric Garcetti, is starting this challenge to raise public awareness for food waste prevention and recovery, and to catalyze innovation and resources to help Angelenos reduce food waste, recover food surplus, and turn waste into a resource. Although the challenge is expected to last a little over 60 days, the City intends for all projects to become replicable models on various scales (big and small) and sustainable beyond the length of the challenge.

Who can participate?

There are two types of grant opportunities available: an administrative grant and a project grant. Three grantees will be selected for the administrative grant category at $15,000 each. Non-profit organizations and neighborhood councils are invited to apply for this grant, serving as technical assistants and facilitators for project grantees. Administrator grantees work closely with project grantees to garner public engagement and networking–in person and through social media–to promote #FreeTheFood challenge for individuals living and working in Los Angeles. Another caveat for being eligible for the administrative grant is for the organization to demonstrate expertise in one or more of the four food waste challenge categories: food waste prevention, food donation, upcycled use, and composting.

The City will allocate $7,500 to each of the seven project grants available (one project for each of the seven City planning areas). Any organization or business is eligible as long as the project serves a defined geographic community and encourages public participation. The four food waste challenge categories (food waste prevention, food donation, upcycled use, and composting) apply to project grantees as well to divert food waste from landfills. Project deliverables include: measuring impacts in pounds of food diverted from landfills and number of Angelenos who participated through online pledges, events, and education efforts. At the end of the challenge, the City will showcase these metrics to set an example for future community efforts. The Bureau of Sanitation will use data for future pilot programs to reduce food from the waste stream.

Where can my organization apply?

The application is available on the City’s Department of Public Works blog. Applications can be submitted to Wendy Renteria (wendy.renteria@lacity.org; 213-978-0333). The deadline to submit your application is Friday, December 15, 2017. Projects are anticipated to start early next year on January 22, 2018. 

The City Sustainability pLAn Connection

In the Mayor’s Sustainability pLAn, the City sets an ambitious goal to achieve at least 90% landfill diversion rate by 2025 and 95% by 2035. Diverting food from the waste stream not only reduces methane gas emissions in landfills and encourages upstream food waste prevention, but it also addresses food insecurity issues in Los Angeles. Project grantees can take part in helping the city achieve its waste diversion goal through innovation and public engagement. Help LA become the modern zero-waste city you envision it to be.

Learn more about the Los Angeles Food Waste Grant Challenge here: dpw.lacity.org/blog/los-angeles-food-waste-grant-challenge.  

Posted on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Local Climate Leadership: Salem Afeworki

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Salem Afeworki, LEED GA, ENV SP is the Founder of Value Sustainability, an Orange County consulting firm that provides sustainability, climate change, and community engagement advisory services headquartered. She is a United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Local Pathway Fellow, One Young World Ambassador, a member of the LA County Sustainability Council and serves on the City of Irvine’s Green Ribbon Committee.

Tell us about your work on climate.

As a program director at Value Sustainability, I work with public agencies, private sector and nonprofits to integrate sustainability and climate change consideration in a way that benefits their bottom line. We help our clients deliver on their GHG reduction/sustainability targets, mitigate future risks and educate on the opportunities and challenges related to climate change and clean energy.  

What inspired you on your career path? And what or who inspires you now?

My first job was working for the United Nations in a peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (Africa), where I learned the importance of multidisciplinary and holistic approach to problem solving. Once I joined the private sector after grad school, I easily saw the business case for sustainability — how it guarantees business continuity/competitiveness and early adopters benefit the most through cost reduction, revenue generation, risk mitigation and brand building.

I am passionate about sustainability and knowing that I am a small part of the solution (not making the problem worse) — gives me the energy and motivation to keep on going!

What are the barriers you face in work — and what could make your job easier?

The greatest barrier in terms of getting my clients/communities to act on climate change/sustainability-related initiatives is lack of understanding how these actions benefit them or their families directly. Protecting polar bears is great, but it doesn’t inspire actions for the majority of the people. I believe highlighting the direct benefits (financial/economic), including how it helps create jobs and opportunities are key to advancing the agenda towards a sustainable and inclusive development.

A genie grants you two wishes that will help fight climate change. What do you ask for? The third wish is for anything you want (sky’s the limit!).

  • A political will and adequate government incentives to decouple economic growth from carbon emissions.
  • More investment to incubate and develop small businesses/social entrepreneurship (blend business methods with environmental and social goals) to promote clean technologies and solutions.
  • More focus on social sustainability as much as we work towards environmental sustainability. Owners (public or private sector) to address issues such as equity and environmental/climate justice as they design and build  projects.
Posted on Thursday, November 30th, 2017
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