Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

It’s official, Davis is California’s ‘Coolest’ city

By
From page OID15 | September 22, 2013 | Leave Comment

Three cities were honored in June at an award ceremony before the California Air Resources Board, wrapping up a yearlong CoolCalifornia Challenge in which thousands of households in cities across the state competed for the biggest citywide carbon footprint reduction.

Known for its longtime commitment to environmental sustainability, the city of Davis was crowned the state’s “Coolest California City” by the Air Resources Board out of eight cities that began the competition. Chula Vista and Tracy, which came in second and third, respectively, were named “Cool California Cities.” All eight participating cities used novel and creative approaches to engage households to take simple everyday actions to reduce their carbon footprint, and accurately measure the combined greenhouse gas reductions for each municipality.

ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols presented the mayors or representatives of all three finalist cities with a special award at the board meeting.

“Engaging households and civic groups is an essential part of the state’s ability to achieve the long-term climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving us away from our dependence on fossil fuels,”  Nichols said. “The CoolCalifornia Challenge helps us learn how cities can motivate individuals and households to voluntarily reduce their carbon footprint, and do it in a way that can be entertaining, fun and fulfilling.”

In all, the ARB-sponsored CoolCalifornia Challenge enrolled close to 3,000 participants in the cities of Davis, Chula Vista, Tracy, Sacramento, San Jose, Citrus Heights, Pleasanton and Pittsburg. Chula Vista had the most people involved, with nearly 700 households participating.

Together, the 1,000 most engaged households used 50 percent less energy than similar households and cut their energy use another 7 percent during the competition, equivalent to more than 220 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Like all of the cities participating in the first such year-long challenge, Davis successfully engaged hundreds of residents to track and reduce their energy use and miles driven — to collectively reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Davis has set a goal to engage 75 percent of its households in voluntary greenhouse gas reduction activities by 2015. Nearly 450 Davis households signed up for the contest. The city came out on top by earning the most points. While individuals and teams alike helped rack up the city’s overall points, two Davis Community Church teams, among the city’s top teams, contributed a combined 14 percent of the total points.

“Climate Change will be defeated by a constellation of individual actions,” Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza said. “As the government closest to citizens, cities must play an active role in spurring these actions. The CoolCalifornia Challenge brought Davis together like never before, and has set the stage for our continuing work to have 75 percent of all households engage in aggressive carbon reduction actions — from efficiency, to renewables, to active and electric-drive transportation. In partnership with the state, Davis will reach its goal of citywide carbon neutrality by 2050.”

Participants earned points for reducing their household energy use and tailpipe emissions — by bicycling instead of driving or hanging laundry to dry instead of using a dryer, for example. They also earned bonus points for beating their own personal benchmarks each month. Cities engaged households in the competition with city-sponsored block parties, at weekly farmers’ markets and through special events like the Cool Davis festival, which spurred ideas for reducing household greenhouse gas emissions with information, entertainment and family activities.

A CoolCalifornia.org website, developed through a partnership of ARB, nonprofit Next 10 and UC Berkeley, provided online tools to support the voluntary efforts by local governments and households. Individuals tracked their driving habits and home energy use with easy-to-use online software developed by UC Berkeley for the site. Points earned counted toward a city’s total, and also earned participants raffle tickets toward local prizes.

While the winning city gains bragging rights and recognition, ARB takes away valuable information about how to get individuals to voluntarily make changes to curb their carbon footprints and foster sustainability and green economic development. Because voluntary actions are included as elements in California’s climate plan, ARB has developed a variety of tools and resources to support these non-regulatory efforts.

The Challenge is part of an ARB-funded research project by the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab at UC Berkeley. The study will help inform future efforts to promote and quantify carbon footprint reductions and help establish best practices for citizen engagement.

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    A springtime ritual

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

     
     
    Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Ortiz lawn signs available

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Steadfast in their support

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4, 11 Comments | Gallery

     
    Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Quilters gear up for annual show

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

    League hosts a series of candidate forums

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

    Calling all Scrabble fans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

    Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

     
    Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

     
    Hotel/conference center info meeting set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

     
    DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Take ownership of your health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Not thrilled with lack of symmetry

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Keep your baby safe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Road diet? No, city diet!

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 5 Comments

    We’re reveling in our equality

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

     
    Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Core values on campus

    By Our View | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

     
    Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 3 Comments

    Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Sports

    UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Devils burn up the track

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

     
    Will Davis get an Old Soul?

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

    Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

    University Honda wins another President’s Award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8