On Saturday September 24, more than 40 people in Los Altos joined a demonstration for clean energy in one of thousands of events that took place across 170 countries for “Moving Planet,” a global day of action to “move the planet away from fossil fuels.” The worldwide event was organized by 350.org.
“The planet has been stuck for too long with governments doing nothing about the biggest problem we’ve ever faced: the climate crisis,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, the international climate campaign coordinating Moving Planet – a day for people to get the earth moving, rolling towards the solutions we need.
From Cairo to Quito, from Dhaka to Denver, hundreds of thousands of people found ways to demonstrate their commitment to a safe climate future — without using a drop of oil.
In Los Altos, bikers and walkers visited creative, environmentally sustainable projects taking place in the local community. Mayor Ron Packard kicked off the tour, identifying a number of things the City of Los Altos has done to advance sustainability and noting that “We need sustainable solutions for the health of our planet. This group and this tour demonstrate that our citizens want a clean energy future.”
Stops on the tour included:
- The Packard Foundation Construction Site. Tour guests learned from Margie Suozzo, head of GreenTown Los Altos, that this building is designed to produce on-site all of the energy it needs, will be carbon neutral, and will meet the greenest building standard in the U.S.: the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification. The building will be the first LEED Platinum building in Los Altos. Learn more about the Packard Foundation headquarters.
- Almond Elementary School Living Classroom Gardens. Vicki Moore, founder of the Living Classroom, told tour participants about hands-on, garden-based lessons offered to Los Altos School District children. These popular activities support curriculum instruction in science, math and even history and give elementary and junior high students in our community an opportunity to connect with nature. Learn more about the Living Classroom.
- Los Altos High School Parking Structure Solar Array. The group heard from Sybil Cramer, Green Team Parent Liasion, about the $250,000 per year in electricity savings that the school district is realizing from the solar photovoltaic shade structures. Participants also learned about other green initiatives at the school, including the process and requirements that the school met to become certified as a green business.
- Los Altos History Museum “Riveropolis” Workshop. Tour guests heard from Linda Gass, curator of the exhibition Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future, which opens October 8, about the impact of climate change on our water resources. The tour group was then invited to participate in a tree-building workshop to help create Riveropolis, a hands-on social sculpture of an orchard river. This interactive exhibit will be installed October 15-16. Learn more about the Shaped by Water exhibit.
Part of Packard Foundation’s mission is “conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems.” And they’re walking the walk. The building is designed to be replicable – a model for other local commercial buildings to emulate. We’re proud that Packard Foundation is in Los Altos and that they will offer our community this incredible building to educate and inspire us all towards greater sustainability.