Thursday, December 03, 2009

Teens 'n' the Environment

Hey, I'm back! First blog update in three months!

So, today at the City Hall Farmers' Market, some debate team students from Santee Education Complex south of downtown had set up "SMEELA," the Santee Mini Environmental Expo of Los Angeles. What this was is that several tables were set up with representatives from environmental organizations like Treepeople and government agencies like the South Coast AQMD. So, it was a nice way to get some info about environmental stuff going on in the City; I'm considering going on a tree-planting trip with the Treepeople. Also, the more mentions the kids get on blogs, the more points they get toward a competition to win a trip to the U.N. So, go Santee!

This reminds me of how much more environmentally aware kids are these days. There is actually an Advanced Placement test in Environmental Science now; until recently I didn't even know they even offered that subejct in high school at all.

When I was a teenager it was a major chore just to recycle, having to separate our waste ourselves and haul things over to Cal State Long Beach. Nowadays, in most cities you can just toss anything recyclable in a blue bin, and you should be able to recycle more than you throw away. Plus, there's all sorts of ways to save energy in your home, save water on plumbing, and generate electricity without polluting the air.

You probably know I'm a city planner, but what I do specifically is work on Environmental Impact Reports, making sure CEQA documents get written and processed properly in the City of L.A. So as much as there are a lot of things that need to be done, I'm also quite aware of how much progress we've made over the last decade. The City of L.A., for example, has grown from 3 to 4 million people over the last 20 years, but in total we're actually using less water now.