Eco Vista Project Sourcebook – Michael Bean – January 2020
• • •
We’ve got to start looking at what we pretend we can’t see
it will save us, or it will break us
and you’ve got to stop telling yourself what you don’t know
’cuz you know what you know
What You Know
on Light Comes In
published by Bandcamp 3
• • •
– Climate Chaos
– Equipping Ourselves to Participate in the Climate Solutions Debate
– Adaptation – Visualizing Local Consequences of Sea-Level Rise
– Adaptation – Acknowledging Other Effects of Climate Chaos
– Carbon Reduction – Calculating Methane Release at Tajiguas Landfill
– Carbon Reduction – Combining Package Delivery & Trash Hauling Functions
– Installing Public Telephones
– Community – Gathering Places
– Collecting Placemaking Ideas in Portland and Other Cities
– Gathering Places – Designing a Mini-Piazza(~)
in Anisq’Oyo’ Park across from Markets
– Culture & Aesthetics
– Music – Revitalizing IV’s Music Scene
– Sculpture – Beautifying IV’s Downtown Loop
– Beautifying IV’s Student Residential Zones
– Restraining IV’s Dysfunctional Festivals: Deltopia & Halloween
– Opening a Drop-in Day Center
– Articulating Housing Strategies
– Retrofitting Buildings
– Writing a Sustainable Retrofit Guide for Apartment Owners
– Redevelopment & New Construction
– Writing a Sustainable New Construction Guide for Apartment Owners
– Minimizing Use of Concrete
– Reorienting Buildings along North-South Axis
– Land Use Planning
– Establishing an Experimental Zoning Designation and Test Site(s)
– Recognizing and Supporting Parallel Economies
– Understanding Poverty and Wealth at UCSB and in Isla Vista
– Instituting Universal Basic Income
– Greenhouse Gas Reduction – Employing Peer Pressure
to Reduce Personal Carbon Use
– Encouraging SCE Customers to Choose Renewable Electrical Utility Option
– Planting Fruit, Nut, & Shade Trees
– Studying the Blue New Deal Proposal
– Forming Temporary Sculptures with Natural Materials
– Pressing CA Legislature to Make PG&E a Public Utility
– History – Articulating a Cohesive Narrative
of How We Landed in this Predicament
– Addiction – Offering a Smoking & Vaping Cessation Program
– Disposing of Toxic Chemicals and Materials Safely & Responsibly
– Minimizing Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields
– Toughening Municipal Water Standards
– Rethinking the Sewer System
– Establishing an Earthling FYI Training
– Expanding Tenure Criteria
– Promoting Reliable Sources of News and Analysis
– Understanding Our Relationship to Phones and Other Devices
– Permaculture – Converting IV’s Lawns to Food Forests
– Building a Certified Community Kitchen
– Preparing for Emergencies
– Planning for Deep Resiliency
– Water – Drilling & Maintaining Emergency Wells
– Cultivating a Deep-Rooted Zero Waste Ethic
– Rethinking June Moveout
– Reducing Contaminants in IV’s Recycling Stream
– Fostering Recycling Literacy
– Reducing Litter
– Opposing Reliance on Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles
– Repairing Public Trash Receptacles
– Installing Pocketed Skirts around Public Trash Receptacles
– Opening a Repair Workshop
– Creating a Makerspace
– Training Riders and Calming Traffic
– Mapping & Marking Accident Sites
– Closing Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant
– Optimizing Transportation & Parking
– Water Conservation –
– Irrigating – Installing Graywater Systems
– Irrigating – Collecting Rain Water
– Saving Some for the Fish
– Organizing a Tool Library
• • • • • •
• Climate Chaos – Equipping Ourselves to Participate in the Climate Solutions Debate –- Climate activists (e.g., Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, etc) are clamoring for government leaders to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but what evidence do we have that the decisions they reach will be at all helpful, appropriate, humane, or just? Based on past experience, it seems likely that what the US Federal government will deliver will be ineffective and expensive boondoggles that serve primarily to enrich giant consulting, engineering, technology, and fossil fuel companies like Bechtel, United Technologies, Monsanto, Exxon Mobil (~), etc. We need to become literate in pertinent disciplines that bear on climate science and climate science skepticism. We also need to get acquainted with the wide variety of methods being proposed including greenhouse gas reduction, conservation, carbon sequestration, geo-engineering, resilience, adaptation, and retreat so we can advocate effectively for the kind of world we want to live in. Recommendations: List the disciplines we need to know our way around in. Start enumerating the “solutions” being floated. Begin articulating criteria for acceptable responses to the crisis. Get to know our congressional representatives and senators. Outline a curriculum for equipping activists, students, and the public to participate intelligently in this discussion.
Related Topics: Climate, Governance, Learning, Organizing
• Climate Chaos – Adaptation – Visualizing Local Consequences of Sea-Level Rise –- We in IV don’t seem to have much sense of how global climate chaos may affect our lives. Yes, we’re experiencing extended droughts, wildfires, urban conflagrations, and storms. But the shape of future consequences isn’t tangible. Several years ago, a group of people in Santa Barbara set out / sought to get permission to paint a blue line on city streets and sidewalks to indicate how much of the city would be underwater given sea-level rise projections. The real estate community freaked, out of concern that it would depress property values. So the initiative failed. Recommendations: Get topographic maps covering IV, the airport, both sloughs, and Goleta. Research well-grounded scientific estimates of sea-level rise for different years. Ask folks at UCSB Geography and the UCSB Library Map & Imagery Laboratory (MIL) for help in plotting corresponding elevations. Collaborate with people in other departments like the Art Department, College of Creative Studies, Department of Theater and Dance, and Film and Media Studies. Host a film series on sea level rise and larger climate chaos issues. Consider organizing a large-scale art installation to help people visualize what may become of IV. Will it become a peninsula, an island, or a popular destination for recreational scuba divers? Explore options for ephemeral, temporary, and permanent performance and design elements, e.g., posters and signage showing the retreating shoreline and ocean intrusion into the slough and airport, street theater, a line of people in blue T-shirts people joining hands around IV Island, blue tape, blue surveyor stakes, blue chalk, durable signage, and/or blue highway paint. Host a town hall to discuss what intelligent adaptation might look like. Where could UCSB go? What would the relationship between town and gown be then? What about residents who aren’t students, staff, or faculty? Could we do a better job of planning this time? Could we create an intentional community grounded in social justice and ecological sustainability? Even if we didn’t have to move, what could we learn and adopt from this exercise?
Related Topics: Art, Climate, Film Series, Land Use Planning, Learning, Street Theater
• Climate Chaos – Adaptation – Acknowledging Other Effects of Climate Chaos –- Questions: What other consequences of cascading climate chaos may Isla Vista and the UCSB campus have to deal with? Recommendations: Compile a list of possible climate-induced or -exacerbated breakdowns. Consider drought, torrential rain, local flooding, salt water intrusion into the water table, death of trees and crops, incursion of tropical diseases as temperatures warm and vectors like new species of mosquitos expand into the South Coast, climate anxiety, debilitating moods, water & food scarcity, economic collapse, martial law, starvation, fascism, epidemics, etc.
Key Distinctions: lost decade, slow onset, Conference of the Parties (CoP), 1.5°C, 2°C, 3°C, major emitters, frontline communities, climate science skeptics, deniers
Related Topics: Mood, Preparing for Emergencies, Planning
• Climate Chaos – Carbon Reduction – Calculating Methane Release at Tajiguas Landfill –- Over time, as organic waste deposited in the landfill decomposes, it releases methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Recommendations: Research and calculate IV’s contribution to methane production through the waste it sends to Tajiguas landfill. List and map the various food waste collection, composting, green waste collection, chipping, and mulching operations in IV. Calculate how much kitchen waste, uneaten table scraps, and spoiled produce is generated from IV restaurants, markets, and houses. Survey some households, co-op houses, sororities, and fraternities to gauge how much food is consumed and how much wasted. Consider siting a green waste dumpster in downtown IV (perhaps at the Park District?) for public use to divert more yard waste from the landfill. Talk with processors to learn what materials are suited and unsuitable for the process they use. Articulate the different methods or technologies being used, e.g., hot composting, vermicomposting, industrial composting, the chop & drop method of turning prunings into mulch on the spot, chipping, and the County’s rotating shredder(~)* and heat sterilization method. Develop signage to help sensitize people as to what items belong in what or whose bins. What kinds of organic waste are still getting sent to the landfill? Design programs to capture and process them.
[* Call South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station at 805.681.4345 &/or Joey, the mulch guy at 805.681.4981.]
Related Topics: Composting, Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Recycling
• Climate Chaos – Carbon Reduction – Combining Package Delivery & Trash Hauling Functions –- Isla Vistans receive lots of packages and produce a lot of waste. Swedish researchers(~) made a intriguing observation: package delivery trucks arrive full and leave empty, meanwhile trash and recycling trucks arrive empty and leave full. They wondered if it would reduce fuel consumption to have the trucks bringing packages also pick up landfill or recyclables (?) at the same time. [Fact check.] This question calls for some sophisticated mathematical modeling. When is it more efficient to take parcels to distribution centers (?) and when is it better to deliver them directly to recipients’ addresses. The branch of mathematics known as operations research could provide this sort of logistical analysis. Recommendations: Ascertain how much fuel (and what kinds of fuel) do delivery services and trash / recycling pickups currently use? Who uses gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel? How much carbon does that represent? What plans do different outfits have for implementing electric-, hybrid-, or hydrogen-powered trucks? Study the Swedish program. Have they designed special trucks? How far have they gotten? How is the program working so far? Assuming that several commercial package delivery services operate in Sweden, which delivery services are participating? How did they work out which delivery services would be included this? As this proposal would require the development of infrastructure outside Isla Vista, open conversations with the United States Postal Service, MarBorg Industries management, County of Santa Barbara Solid Waste Division (?), and City of Santa Barbara (~) Department of Public Works (?). Identify operations research authorities at UCSB and ask their thoughts on design issues, choices, and tradeoffs they see for such a project. (Source: BBC 191222n)
Related Topics: Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Operations Research, Transport
• • •
• Communicating – Installing Public Telephones –- Public telephones have all but disappeared. (See list of pay phone locations.) Yet public telephones serve real needs: Folks who–for whatever reason–lack a cell phone still need to make calls. Cell phone users frequently experience having their phones run out of charge. Mobile phones get lost, broken, or stolen. People get behind on their phone bills and have their accounts suspended. In large-scale power outages, cell networks may be down while simple landline phones continue to work. There are reportedly still a handful of pay phones sprinkled around the Santa Barbara area. ViewTel(?) based in Portland, Oregon (?), has begun offering free stationary public phones in several communities. Recommendations: Get corporate contact info from one of the remaining pay phones in the area (e.g., at the temporary MTD bus station at Chapalla and Figuera Streets (~), at the 7-Eleven at Storke(ø) Road and ____, (somewhere in Old Town Goleta perhaps?), (somewhere on Milpas perhaps?) and where else?). Contact the company to ask what they would require to install one or more pay phones in IV and how quickly they can make repairs. Contact ViewTel(?) to find out about their mission, the service they offer, and if they would consider serving Isla Vista.
Related Topics: Community, Infrastructure
• • •
• Community – Collecting Placemaking Ideas in Portland and Other Cities –- Portland, Oregon’s City Repair Project has nurtured tons(~) of delightful projects in nearly every one of Portland’s 92(?) recognized neighborhoods and inspired similar efforts in other cities. Recommendations: Check out co-founder and architect Mark Lakeman’s talks on YouTube.com and neighborhood projects on CityRepair.org. Organize a field trip to tour Portland and document cool neighborhood amenities, projects, and groups. Consider producing a video documentary, podcast, article and/or catalog of project ideas.
Recommended Reading: Mark Lakeman’s /A Placemaking Guide/ (~)
Related Topics: Community, Infrastructure, Placemaking
• Community – Gathering Places – Designing a Mini-Piazza(~) in Anisq’Oyo’ Park across from Markets –- There seems to be a lack of convivial, non-commercial gathering places in IV. The west end of the Madrid walkway through Anisq’Oyo’ park used to be more of a gateway and small gathering spot. It widened out a bit, had attractive slipcast(~) ceramic pavers on the walkway, and stone planters on either side. Acoustic musicians would occasionally play there. Unfortunately, the space was too confining. Women often felt unsafe using that entrance because the stone planters constituted a pinch point where certain men would sit on either side and often make unwelcome remarks to women passing through. The space seems to call out to be made into an inviting–and safe–gathering place. If the space was enlarged into a semi-circle without the confining ‘running the gauntlet’ feel, it could be an inviting public space for people to gather and musicians to play. Recommendations: Assess whether this design would jeopardize the nearby pine trees. Solicit sketches and ideas from community members, passers-by, community leaders, Park District staff, and people in the Art Department. Pitch designs to the Park District.
Related Topics: Community, Design
• • •
• Culture – Music – Revitalizing IV’s Music Scene –- IV used to have a vibrant music scene, with many bands, numerous practice spaces, and more performance venues. A number of artists and bands got their start here and then rose to national prominence. These include Rebolution, Jack Johnson, Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO), Zack ____, Green Day (?), FmlyBnd(~), Rainbow Girls, …, and [who else?]. Most every weekend, groups would give outdoor concerts on the Anisq’Oyo’ Park stage and amphitheater. A large storage facility on the low 6500 block of Madrid Road, known as “The Sheds,” served as a practice space, hangout, and incubator for many bands. Unfortunately, it was gentrified out of existence when the property was raized(~) and redeveloped as the second ____(?) apartment complex in 19__/20__(?). For several years, the property now known as UCSB’s Embarcadero Hall was a club and venue for touring bands and local bands. [What were the names of the clubs? The Anaconda and ____? Which was first? What years were they open?] A house at 6674(?)-B Pasado, known as “The Pink Mailbox,” served as a punk venue for over a decade. The Biko Garage, i.e., the garage at Biko House, hosted (and still hosts) shows by touring bands. Borsodi’s Coffeehouse provided a stage for performances [Fact check]. A mix of houses (like Rainbow House), coffee shops, and restaurants held open mics. Recommendations: Study the current music scene with a view to injecting new life into it: Who’s offering open mics? What houses are currently serving as practice or performance spaces? What venues are currently available? What factors or forces led to the comparative senescence / sleepiness / dormancy / death of the music scene(~) now? [Look into university & county efforts to discourage large parties, the County’s Noise and Social Host ordinances [What else?], Park District ordinances, Park District deposit and fee requirements]. Interview musicians and past residents for their perspectives on how it used to be and what happened to restrict music in IV? Reach out to musicians to find out what they need, what would make a difference for them. Several years ago, Ray(~) ____ [Research], an Associated Students External President for Local Affairs (EVPLA) made it a priority to organize weekly Spring concerts at the Anisq’Oyo’ stage and amphitheater. Talk up this idea with the current EVPLA and the EVPLA-elect after elections are held in the spring. Speculate on how to lobby AS effectively for this proposal. Challenge the EVPLA candidates this spring to incorporate this as plank in their platforms. Seek to institutionalize these concerts so they aren’t just a flash-in-the-pan passion of an occasional EVPLA. If Park District fees are inhibiting bands from performing in the parks, speculate on how to address this, e.g., organizing musicians and community members to press for fee elimination or reduction, or how to seek external funding, e.g., AS. Propose to the Park District that they set up a low-cost or free stage equipment program, e.g., a cart with microphones, mic stands, mixer, amplifier, speakers, speaker stands, and decibel level meter that can easily be wheeled from the Park District office over to the stage.
• Culture – Sculpture – Beautifying IV’s Downtown Loop –- There are no public sculptures in IV. Recommendations: Design a set of uniform bases for mounting sculptures. Write design specifications to guide sculptors in creating vandalism- and graffiti-resistant sculptures for temporary mounting on standardized bases. Interview organizers including the Santa Barbara Arts Commission (?) to learn from their experience with temporary sculpture installations along State Street (e.g., the giant fish sculptures of a few years ago [When?] and the 2019 Tiny Libraries on State project featuring “tiny libraries” in the form of punctuation marks). Invite local art students and community members to submit their designs. Seek grants for the program. Rotate sculptures and change themes periodically.
[Research Resources: https://www.independent.com/2006/02/16/trout-migration/, sbsteelheadfest.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Barbara_County_Arts_Commission, https://www.edhat.com/news/tiny-libraries-project-to-enliven-state-street, https://www.sbac.ca.gov/, https://www.sbac.ca.gov/pianos, https://www.independent.com/2019/09/03/artist-call-for-pianos-on-state-street/, https://www.independent.com/2016/01/07/community-arts-workshop-gets-gates/, https://web.archive.org/web/20190825002549/https://pianosonstate.com/en, https://sbefoundation.org/community-programs/pianos-on-state/%5D
• Culture – Beautifying IV’s Student Residential Zones –- Despite the area’s abundant natural beauty, a number of forces combine to make the built environment in Isla Vista’s residential zones ugly and visually boring. These include local rental property owners who would rather not deal with the trouble and expense of maintaining large trees, the bark beetle infestation of local conifers due to our warming climate, the toll that partying takes on buildings and landscaping, vandalism, and the rough treatment afforded rental properties by students who resent paying atrocious rents. Consequently little thought or care is given to creating a beautiful environment for people in the areas of town dominated by apartments (i.e., most of Isla Vista). Recommendations: pollinator-friendly flowering shrubs and flower beds, murals, public and private sculpture, street graphics, what else?
Related Topics: Art, Culture, Environment, Landscaping, Permaculture, Urban Forest
• Culture – Celebrating – Restraining IV’s Dysfunctional Festivals: Deltopia & Halloween –- I’m including Deltopia and Halloween in this list of issues because they are both big headaches for a lot of people here // for the community each year and they cost the County a lot of money // millions of dollars [Fact check]. Those dollars could go towards providing more and better services to IV and Santa Barbara County // making IV and SBCo safer and more sustainable and provide a more robust social safety net. Deltopia was low key, creative, and fun when it started. As you may know, it actually began as an event called “Floatopia.” A few dozen local students got some inflatable rafts and some beer, paddled out to the ocean and had a blast. The next year it grew to hundreds of people. Students started inviting their friends from home. The third year saw thousands of participants [Research crowd sizes and costs by year]. Floatopia’s final year saw about 15,000 people packing the beach. Out-of-towners had no reason to care about IV and left tons of trash [Research amount]. The policing and cleanup cost the County a huge sum [Research]. Community leaders, the County Sheriff’s office, and local environmental organizations flipped out [Research what groups were pivotal in suppressing Floatopia] and that was that for Floatopia. The next year saw a huge police presence and virtual martial law. Deputies guarded beach access points to prevent people from reaching the beach. Students adapted by simply holding the party on Del Playa Drive (hence the name Deltopia). Similarly, Halloween in IV also used to be very cool and fun, with lots of creative costumes. It, too, got increasingly out of hand year after year as students invited out of town friends and certain publications promoted it. For the last several years, hardly anyone is goes out on the streets that night, just Sheriff’s deputies and UCPD officers. Boring. When can we stop wasting millions [Fact check] on unsponsored event nobody comes to anymore. Apart from the cliff falls, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries [Research number and types of Deltopia-related incidents by year], these unsponsored events cost the County beaucoup bucks, money that could be going to provide much needed services in IV and elsewhere in the County. I’ve heard that UCSB(?) spends $2 million to put up all the chain link fencing around town [Research]. Since no one individual or group sponsors Deltopia or Halloween, it’s not easy to shut these events down. Recommendations: Please do not invite people from out of town to come to Deltopia–or Halloween. Come up with more skillful (and more honest) social marketing campaigns. Ask student groups to come up with their own messaging asking people to keep it local instead of relying on UCSB’s official messages [Research UCSB’s recent Deltopia and Halloween public service announcements (PSAs)]. Request that whoever came up with the last year’s deceitful PSAs not get the job this year [Research PSA authors]. Let’s see if the folks who produce the excellent local Lucidity Festivals can help keep things calm this year.
Related Topics: Culture, Social Marketing
• • •
• Dwelling – Houselessness – Opening a Drop-in Day Center –- Houseless people need access to safe places to hang out, and have access to services such as drinking water, hot beverages, lockers, a mailing address, a telephone, WiFi, computers, charging stations, bike tools, etc. Several years ago [From when to when?] Isla Vista had a church-sponsored day center that was a huge help to scores of people. It closed when the County bought the property and the church relocated. Recommendations: A drop-in day center can make a tremendous difference for people living on the street. Seek funds. To minimize the not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) resistance, look for suitable space in areas that are zoned commercial. For a comprehensive list of recommended day center amenities, see “Houselessness – Housing Strategies, Day Center Services, Local Meals, and Past Efforts.doc” file. [Note: an earlier version this list of amenities and strategies was given to City of Goleta Community Services staff (~) at their Community Open House on Goleta’s Homelessness Strategic Plan at Goleta Valley Community Center on 2019 Dec 11 Wed.]
• Dwelling – Houselessness – Articulating Housing Strategies –-
[Explain each proposal.]
– Drop-in Day Center
(See “Opening a Drop-in Day Center” entry.)
– Additional “Housing First” Subsidized Housing
with Supportive Services
– Storage Units
– DIY Tiny Houses
– Manufactured Tiny Houses
– Converted Shipping Containers
– Concrete Culverts or Stacked Culverts
– Carport-Style Shelters
– Pocket Hotel
– 3D Printable Houses
– Safe Parking Program
– Converted Minivans
– Hostel for Travelers
– Supervised Campground
Potential Partners: Jesse, David, Jon L
(See “Housing Strategy Links” for links
for most of the ideas above.)
Related Topics: Land Use Planning
• Dwelling – Retrofitting Buildings – Writing a Sustainable Retrofit Guide for Apartment Owners –- Some mom & pop apartment owners might like to green their buildings but may lack the requisite knowledge, experience, contacts, free attention, and/or money. Recommendations: Find out if any sustainable apartment retrofit programs or guides exist, and if so, are they any good. If not, consider writing a guide and compiling a resource directory. Outline typical retrofit interventions. Approach and enroll apartment owners. Seek grants. Hire an experienced contractor to serve as a retrofit coach. Document suitable conversion projects on video. Expand offer to owners of large buildings. Offer to help other communities set up similar programs.
• Dwelling – Redevelopment & New Construction – Writing a Sustainable New Construction Guide for Apartment Owners –- The State of California’s mandate to cities to create more housing stock to accommodate a growing population and the consequent pressure on the County of Santa Barbara to ease lot densities, zoning restrictions, and regulatory requirements may make it attractive to property owners // may induce(~) property owners to tear down existing buildings and redevelop their properties, remodel illegal dwelling units and bring them up to code, or erect auxiliary(?) dwelling units (AUDs) in back yards or other areas where there is sufficient space. What if there was // what if we had a new construction guide to assist property owners in designing more sustainable, energy and water efficient housing? How would they find out about it? How could we get it to them early in the design process? Could we partner with the County’s Department of Planning and Development to distribute a flyer, pamphlet, or book to property owners, contractors, and developers? What topics should it cover? Are there already suitable resources we could direct them to? Recommendations: Research helpful texts, websites, contractors, landscapers, consultants, and other resources. Open a conversation with Planning and Development. Talk with property owners to gauge their interest and enroll early adopters.
• Dwelling – Housing & Commercial Construction – Minimizing Use of Concrete –- The production and use of concrete accounts for up to 8% of US(?) human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. Researchers are working on a number of ways of formulating concrete that produce less CO2, but they currently aren’t available at scale. Recommendations: Follow developments in low-carbon concrete. Explore strategies for reducing the amount of concrete used in new construction. When affordable low-carbon concrete becomes available, lobby County and UCSB to require use of low-carbon concrete in new construction. (See also “Water – Collecting Rain Water” entry regarding applications for permeable concrete.)
Related Topics: Construction, Dwelling, Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Planning
• Dwelling – New Construction – Reorienting Buildings along North-South Axis –- Buildings that are oriented along an East-West axis are significantly more energy efficient than those that run North-South [Research energy savings]. They absorb more warmth from the sun on their long South side (thus reducing heating costs in winter) and provide more extensive shade on their north side (creating a cooler zone in summer). They also allow for better placement of solar photovoltaic arrays and solar hot water panels. Unfortunately, when developers and county planners laid out Isla Vista streets and lots in the 19__s [Research], they employed // their narrow lots imposed a North-South orientation on buildings throughout IV. While it would be prohibitively expensive and impractical to reorient existing buildings, it might make sense for property owners to consider this option when redeveloping their properties. Recommendations: Research advantages of North-South orientation. Find out if other jurisdictions have incorporated this insight into their new construction standards or guidelines. Incorporate N-S orientation in /Sustainable New Construction Guide for Apartment Owners/. Talk with County Planning and Development staff.
Related Topics: Carbon Reduction, Climate Chaos, Construction, Energy Conservation, Land Use Planning
• Dwelling – Land Use Planning – Establishing an Experimental Zoning Designation and Test Sites –- Our current way of constructing housing is two centuries years old, wasteful, toxic, and financially out of reach of the majority of people. We need to explore new concepts in housing and to do so we need places where such experimentation is allowed. Recommendations: Work with progressive design and planning advocates, the IVCSD, appropriate UCSB departments, and the County’s Department of Planning and Development to craft an experimental zoning designation for IV or somewhere nearby to facilitate work with new and old concepts in shelter design such as tiny houses, printable dwellings, geodesic domes, emergency shelters, pocket hotels, fired ceramic houses, indigenous stationary and nomadic dwelling designs, high-tech tents, sandbag igloos, straw bale and straw flake construction, repurposed modified shipping containers, underground housing, etc. Ask people who try out these designs to document their experience via journaling and to give periodic tours so the community can learn about the merits of different designs. As the IVRPD’s Tipi Village park at 6734 Sueño Road was an historical site of a small encampment that included a tipi, and as UCSB’s Art Department has built several novel housing ideas (including a set of modified repurposed shipping containers and a tiny house), explore potential sites with them. Consider lobbying to have such a test site incorporated into UCSB’s Long-Range Development Plan.
Related Topics: Dwelling, Land Use Planning
• • •
• Economy – Recognizing and Supporting Parallel Economies –- When government, media, and corporate types talk about “the economy” they generally presuppose that the market economy is the only way of meeting our needs worthy of consideration. Other ways of systems aren’t mentioned or else they’re tarred by characterizing them as the “black” or “gray” market. Yet a wide variety of other modes of economic activity exist, e.g., subsistence, sharing, barter, mutual aid, scavenging, charity, welfare, etc. Questions: What are the different means by which people, organizations, corporations, and governments support themselves? What are the ways you get what you need? How do you support yourself and your loved ones? By what means do others support you? What relationships are there among these strategies? (For example, the economy of sharing and generosity seems to require protection from market forces: as when a swap meet vendor wants to take all the good stuff from the community free bin and turn it into cash, or someone wants to take large quantities and ship it to relatives in their home country.) Recommendations: Articulate as many categories of means of support as you can. List all the ways you support yourself and your loved ones. Inquire: How can we draw attention to and support some of these other economic strategies? What pitfalls may be associated with different modes? Which of these ‘economies’ would you like to be more invested in, which would you like to rely on less? (Some examples of parallel / alternate / alternative / complementary economies: barter, sharing, generosity / trust / mutual aid, family, scavenging, savings, charity, government welfare, pensions, Social Security, and criminal economies.) [See list in “Economy – Recognizing and Supporting Parallel Economies (notes)”.]
• Economy – Understanding Poverty and Wealth at UCSB and in Isla Vista –- National media and many national politicians rarely speak of poverty, yet 41.7% of people in the US are poor. How many people here are impoverished? Recommendations: Research poverty and wealth in Isla Vista and at UCSB. How many students are houseless, living in their vehicles, or couch surfing? How many non-students? How do people manage to make it here? What resources are available to students and/or community members? What services are needed? What plans are in the works? What systems, policies, and trends are driving this impoverishment? What can we do about it? How can we make people more aware of this? Generate graphs to help people visualize the economic spread (~).
Related Topics: Economy, Houselessness
• Economy – Instituting Universal Basic Income –- How do Isla Vistans receive income and meet their expenses? [Parents, scholarships, wages, grants, loans, and interest income.] What are some other means of receiving income? [Renting property, owning a business and drawing profit from it, starting a business and selling it, taking a pension, drawing from savings or 401K program, Social Security, criminal activity, what else?] There are other ways to organize an economy. Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an idea that has been getting increasing attention. Several places have experimented with forms of UBI: The Canadian government implemented UBI in the town of Dauphin in the Province of Manitoba(?) for several years in the 1980s(?) [When exactly?] until a conservative administration took over [Which administration?]. Alaska’s popular UBI, the Alaska/n(~) Permanent / Development Fund (?) has been operating quietly for nearly 40 years. By taxing oil extracted from the state and investing the money in the fund, it pays each Alaskan citizen an annual/monthly(?) check/dividend(?) that has varied from $400 to $2,000 per year(?). Research [on which UBI/s?] showed that it / they had no effect on employment, that is, they did not disincentivize(~) people from working [Fact check]. This sort of program would probably have to be implemented at the state or federal level. Given that many jobs may soon be automated out of existence, how can we avoid scenarios in which masses of people are left without work or income? How can we take care that they can meet their basic needs and continue to participate in the economy? Recommendations: Research the state of the UBI movement. Find out what politicians, candidates, activists are advocating or working to implement UBIs. Consider how implementing UBI might distract from more important structural change. [See also “Economy – Shortening Work Hours” entry.]
Related Topics: Earning, Economic Justice, Learning, Working
• • •
• Energy – Greenhouse Gas Reduction – Employing Peer Pressure to Reduce Personal Carbon Consumption –- Addressing the plenary(?) session of the COP25 UN climate conference (~) in Madrid(?), Spain, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (~) spoke about the science of the climate crisis, reporting that humanity is releasing 42 gigatons [gigatonnes?] of carbon annually and that we have only (~)350 gigatons(~) remaining in our “carbon budget” until we will reach a 1.5° Celsius increase in global temperatures [Fact check]. This means that we have only a few years remaining for the major carbon emitting countries to reverse course and assist / support other countries to do the same. This issue requires action at many levels: planetary / international, national, state, community, household, and personal. Recommendations: Develop a model campaign utilizing constructive social pressure as well as social marketing to shift personal practices and encourage carbon activism among Isla Vistans. Study how much difference we can make at each level. Research what personal activities generate the most greenhouse gases and what we can do to minimize that. Look into the carbon implications of practices such as air travel, single-occupancy automobile use, commuting, heating, air conditioning, resource extraction, manufacturing, Internet purchases and shipping, reliance on products made and shipped from far away, fast fashion, refrigeration, big screen televisions, fast food, manufactured food, food grown out of the area, and waste transport and disposal. Encourage rental property owners to invest in energy saving improvements. [See “Sustainable Retrofit Guide for Apartment Owners” entry.] Continue political organizing to pressure educational, civic, corporate, state, and federal leaders to take dramatic steps. [Transcribe Greta’s talk from DemocracyNow 191211r.]
Related Topics: Climate Chaos, Energy, Social Marketing
• Energy – Encouraging SCE Customers to Choose Renewable Electrical Utility Option (~) –- Southern California Edison reportedly offers customers the option of subscribing to a renewable energy sourcing program for an extra $1 each month. [Verify.] Recommendations: Look into this program, how it works, and assess whether or not it’s helpful. Consider promoting it through Cool Eco Vista. Organize a social marketing campaign to reach the wider community in Isla Vista.
Related Topics: Climate Chaos, Energy, Learning, Organizing, Social Marketing
• • •
• Environment – Planting Fruit, Nut, & Shade Trees –- Recent research has shown a correlation between the presence of trees and the level of mental health in communities. Isla Vista has lost many of its large shade trees over the years leading to an increasingly exposed and sterile atmosphere. Most communities in the US feature a parkway between the curb and sidewalk where publicly owned and maintained trees can be planted; unfortunately, due to poor planning, IV has no parkways. A grassy eight foot wide public right of way exists along sections of some streets where the County plans to install sidewalks. Aside from our parks, a few public buildings, and these future sidewalk zones, the only spaces available to plant trees are privately owned. Rental property owners often fail to replace trees or plant palms that offer poor habitat for birds and other wildlife, provide less shade, and frequently drop heavy fronds. Bear in mind that trees require periodic care and pruning which can be expensive. Recommendations: Research communities that have instituted ambitious tree planting programs. Find out what organizations, agencies, and foundations actively support tree planting. Document the mental health and tree connection. Enroll Permaculture designers and arborists. Explore possibilities for public/private partnerships between property owners and public agencies such as the IV Community Service District, the County of Santa Barbara, and the IV Recreation & Park District. Craft incentives for property owners to plant and maintain fruit and shade trees throughout Isla Vista. Locate vacant tree sites particularly along sidewalks. Map areas of town that lack trees. Identify threats to young trees (e.g., inebriated partiers returning from clubbing on Bill’s Bus; children; holigans with knives or hatchets; cars). Brainstorm strategies for protecting young trees. Work with County Public Works to target streets where trees are missing, e.g., the 6600 block of Picasso. Seek grants to support tree planting and maintenance. Plan for a tree-planting campaign next winter when inexpensive bare-root trees are available at nurseries.
Related Topics: Aesthetics, Beautification, Carbon Sequestration, Economy, Environment, Food, Mental Health, Permaculture
• Environment – Studying the Blue New Deal Proposal –- The current Green New Deal proposals mostly ignore the degradation of the oceans. Recommendations: Study the provisions of Massachusetts Senator (?) and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s Blue New Deal plan.
Related Topics: Economy, Environment
• Environment – Forming Temporary Sculptures with Natural Materials –- Our high-tech, low-touch society distracts us from experiencing nature very deeply. Recommendations: Watch artist Andy Goldsworthy’s /Rivers and Tides: Working with Time/* video documentary with others. Afterward, go to the beach, a meadow, the woods–any natural area–and respectfully gather natural materials with which to craft beautiful forms. Is there a spot in the landscape that calls to you? Get to know that spot using all your senses. Start with a simple construction. Try combining elements. Tell your inner judge to take a hike while you experiment. (Repeat after me, “Mommy and Daddy, get out of here! Nobody asked for your opinion!) Play with different materials, pieces, combinations, forms. Let yourself be curious. Keep returning your attention to the pieces you are using, the natural processes that created them, and the place where you are. At some point, you may get a sense of what your creation wants to become. Breathe! Human beings–i.e., you!–belong here; you are part of the web of life and have a vital part to play.
Recommended Viewing: Andy Goldsworthy’s /Rivers and Tides: Working with Time/* DVD Video – Docu Rama(R) Documentary NVG9643 – Approximately 90 min – ISBN 0-7670-6609-X 7-67685-96433-0 (* italics or quotes for film titles?)
Related Topics: Aesthetics, Art, Culture, Environment, Healing, Nature, Play, Sculpture, Spirituality
• • •
• Governing – Pressing CA Legislature to Make PG&E a Public Utility –- Pacific Gas and Electric (~) (PG&E) has admitted its electrical transmission equipment started the Camp Fire and other of California’s recent massive wildfires [Factcheck; Specify the other fires linked to PG&E]. These fires killed __ people, torched __ square miles, and ____. PG&E has subsequently declared bankruptcy. Governor Gavin Newsom(~) has refused to approve their initial bankruptcy proposal because it fails to adequately address safety concerns and prevent future fires. [Factcheck.] Neo-liberal and libertarian think tanks, pundits, and politicians exert relentless pressure for public officials to sell off publicly owned resources(~) to for-profit corporations. Institutions and infrastructure like Social Security, the Veterans Administration, schools, water districts, roads, bridges, etc., (what else?)–some even advocate that everyone should have to pay for private fire protection! It’s rare that we citizens have an opportunity to take a private utility public. PG&E is the largest electric utility in California [Factcheck]. Even though we in Santa Barbara are supplied by Southern California Edison (SCE), not PG&E, let’s use this opportunity to advocate for public utility ownership. Recommendations: Find out what groups and politicians are advocating to make PG&E a public utility and support them. Lobby our state congressperson(~) ____, state senator ____, Lieutenant Governor ____ (?), Governor Gavin Newsom(~), and any other relevant public officials. Organize a letter-writing campaign. Write letters to the editor of local and regional papers.
Resources: Solartopia radio show on KPFK.org
• Governing – History – Articulating a Cohesive Narrative of How We Landed in this Predicament –- Politics is made out to seem so convoluted and confusing. Questions: Could we develop a clarifying history that would make this realm easier to understand? What are the key landmarks and inflection points that have led us to our current situation? What authors can we look to?
Resources: videos of Danny Sheehan’s courses at UC Santa Cruz
• • •
• Healing – Addiction – Offering a Smoking & Vaping Cessation Program –- Although smoking is has declined somewhat in the general population, many people are cutting their lives short, degrading their health, producing secondhand smoke for those around them, and wasting their money on tobacco and vaping products. Recommendations: Research successful smoking cessation programs and social marketing campaigns and implement them in IV. Press the IV Recreation & Park District to design vandalism-resistant smoke detectors and install and maintain them in their public restrooms.
Related Topics: Healing, Social Marketing
• Healing – Disposing of Toxic Chemicals and Materials Safely & Responsibly –- People seem so careless about disposing of toxic and hazardous ingredients and materials. This ignorance puts their–and others’–health at risk and harms animals, plants, soil, and the ocean. Recommendations: Compile a list of helpful reference books, web sites, and apps on food ingredients and common toxic household, industrial, and environmental toxins. Research common toxins and other hazardous materials and start a list of them, along with where they are found, their dangers, how to avoid them or protect yourself from them, and how and where to best to dispose of them. List local resources. [Split this entry between Health and Recycling sections.]
Related Topics: Environment, Healing, Recycling, Safety
• Healing – Minimizing Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields –- We are increasingly surrounded by electronic devices. These devices emit invisible electromagnetic fields (EMFs) which can have biological effects including cancer. Recommendations: List common sources of EMFs including cell towers, WiFi, cell phones, cordless phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, televisions, large-screen displays, Bluetooth devices, and smart meters. Ascertain what research has been done about EMF health effects, particularly in Europe. Compile a list of resources including researchers, authors, books, articles, conferences, web sites, podcasts, etc. Outline steps people can take to mitigate or eliminate EMF exposure. Find out what’s happening in IV, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, and the United States in terms of new technology and political resistance to EMFs.
Related Topics: Governing
• Healing – Toughening Municipal Water Standards –- In /Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with What We Drink/, author Seth M. Siegel(~) recounts San Diego’s experience with severe water quality problems [Research SD’s principle contaminants and sources]. The federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s water supplies. Although it sets standards for 60 contaminants, it has failed to define safe limits for over a thousand other chemicals that can occur in water. Ultimately, Orange County opted to dismiss the EPA’s inadequate protections and set its own standards. The water purification system they designed resulted in water that is incredibly clean. Siegel(~) states that for about 60¢ a week per person, any community can enjoy water that pure. Recommendations: Read /Troubled Water/. Donate copies to water managers and boards of directors. Make presentations to local water districts advocating implementation of San Diego’s approach.
Recommended Reading: /Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with What We Drink/
Related Topics: Healing, Water
• • •
• Infrastructure – Rethinking the Sewer System –- Municipal sewer systems are expensive to build and maintain. As sewer pipes and other components age, replacement costs can be daunting for homeowners and communities. Flush toilets seem relatively inexpensive–until owners have to dig up and replace the main drain line from their buildings. Also, in a protracted emergency, if the sewer system fails, the community will be at risk of cholera and other communicable disease outbreaks. What if IV led the way toward a more sustainable waste disposal strategy utilizing modern composting toilets and curbside pickup? Recommendations: Research current composting toilet designs, including solar-powered toilets, waste sterilization features, do-it-yourself plans, non-profit offerings for disaster relief and global south applications, etc. Think about how best to sensitize users in preventing pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, and other toxic chemicals from contaminating the resulting “night soil.” Research county code requirements. Find out if other jurisdictions or nations are moving in this direction. Speculate on possible partners among UCSB departments and community groups including Direct Relief International(~).
Related Topics: Infrastructure, Recycling
• • •
• Learning – Establishing an Earthling FYI Training –- UCSB requires incoming students to attend Gaucho FYI, a 2-hour orientation called covering ____(?) [Research and list Gaucho FYI content]. Does contemporary university education have any relevance? What do we need to know in order to survive and thrive on this beautiful planet? What competencies do we need? What skills should a curriculum for Earthlings include? Recommendations: Start to compile a list of critical discourses and skills, together with speakers, authors, texts, and helpful media.
Related Topics: Learning, Social Justice, Sustainability
• Learning – Expanding Tenure Criteria –- Historically, university professors’ tenure is based on their research: the volume of articles, papers, and books they produce and the number of scholars who cite their work [Verify]. This practice produces a distorted academic environment in which a) many instructors have inadequate teaching abilities and/or poor social skills and b) the university is cut off from the community and the world. Recommendations: Expand tenure criteria so that instructors can also be awarded tenure for a) instructional skills or b) activism. In time, this simple change could radically shift the atmosphere at UCSB. [Research how widespread this movement is.] [Note: This is an example of what R. Buckminster Fuller called a trim tab, a metaphor for a small change that brings about a much larger change. A trim tab is a small surface on the edge of a ship’s rudder or plane’s aileron that with a small exertion of force can move the larger control surface and hence turns the whole vehicle.]
Resource People: Shari S
Related Topics: Community, Learning, Organizing
• • •
• Media – Promoting Reliable Sources of News and Analysis –- How do Isla Vistans learn about what’s going on in the world? How well informed are we? How deliberate are we about seeking out news? How skillful are we at navigating among myriad sources, discerning what’s valuable to us and what’s not, and sussing out the agendas of networks, web sites, channels, shows and their reporters, analysts, podcasters, and commentators? Facebook is reportedly the primary news source for 70% of people in the US. [Find source.] Commercial dedicated news sources such as Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC function as mouthpieces for corporate, administration, and Democratic National Committee propaganda. How can we respond appropriately if we’ve bought into their distortions? Yet there are scores of excellent sources for informative and truthful in-depth reporting. Recommendations: Compile a directory and weekly calendar with concise introductions and links to truthful, useful, and/or inspiring news and educational media. Compile tips on how to discern reliable sources and truthful reports from propaganda, public relations spin, and PSYOPs (psychological operations). Include notable websites, podcasts, radio networks and programs, newspapers and magazines, and Internet, cable, and broadcast television shows. Enroll sociology, communications, and/or media students in surveying students and other community members on their news and media consumption habits and how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with the news outlets they use. Develop a Cool Eco Vista II module to support participants in becoming more discerning and skillful at sussing(~) out media voices’ agendas and interpretive frameworks and navigating available news and media resources.
• Media – Understanding Our Relationship to Phones and Other Devices –- People are walking around with their eyes glued to their smart phones and spending hours browsing, playing video games, watching television, etc. Do we know where folks are going in the media landscape? What propaganda, distortions, distractions, and misdirection–and/or truth telling–are people getting exposed to? What are the implications of these media choices? Recommendations: See if there’s any research on what percentage of time the good residents of the United States and others spend on small screens, tablets, laptops, etc, and what apps, platforms, and sites we use. What do you use and where do you go? What sites or apps do you find particularly valuable that you think others should know about? What percentage of time do we Isla Vistans spend on our phones? What percentage of that time is spent on what apps or sites? How does this differ by group (UCSB & SBCC students, Latinx families, elementary and high school students). Who choses to use older technologies such as flip phones, landlines, sneakernet, snail mail, etc, and why? Research the psychological stratagems media companies use to catch, retain, and exploit our attention, e.g., connections to family and friends, comparisons with others, algorithms that promote the most emotionally engaging postings, controversy, rapid changes from one image to another (~), sex, chained(~) videos, the possibility of making anonymous comments, etc. Enroll Sociology, Communication Studies (~), and/or Psychology professors and students in picking this as a research topic.
Related Topics: Communicating, Culture, Media
• • •
• Nourishing – Permaculture – Converting IV’s Lawns to Food Forests –- The presence of grass lawns around most IV apartments and houses constitutes an absurd waste of space and water. The year-round growing season and good soils of the South Coast support most food plants, yet much of our food comes from remote sources such as central valley mega-farms, Pacific Northwest orchards, Mexican and Chilean agribusinesses, and deforested tracts of the Amazon basin. The practice of planting lawns instead of vegetable gardens and fruit trees around our homes may derive from the efforts of the European aristocracy and later, the middle class, to flaunt their affluence [Research this]. Permaculture is a design movement established by Australian biologist Bill Mollison and his student ____ Holmgren(?). The central insight of Permaculture is that we can create ‘food forests’ with a wide diversity of food bearing plants (including fruit and nut trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, vegetables, fungi, and soil organisms) and beneficial animals in a stable ecological web. We can grow a riotous abundance of food all over IV; create jobs; conserve water; keep the community cooler in summer; be much more prepared for emergencies; minimize carbon emissions from industrial agriculture, factory food, and shipping; eliminate food insecurity; improve our nutrition and health; and convert from economies of extraction, domination, and exploitation economy and foster a regenerative culture. Recommendations: Ensure core Eco Vista organizers get Permaculture training. Attend talks organized by Santa Barbara Permaculture Network. Tour area Permaculture sites. Prepare flyers promoting SBCC’s Permaculture course (much less expensive than most Permaculture Design Courses) and distribute them to related(~) classes, students, community members, and food & housing co-op members. Encourage UCSB, SBCC, and local high school students to get their Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) from SBCC or other Permaculture teachers. Organize a Permaculture & regenerative food production film series. Hold more orchard care work parties at IVRPD’s Sueño Orchard and UCSB’s Greenhouse & Garden Project. Look for a departmental home for a Permaculture program at UCSB. Enroll housing co-ops, home owners, and apartment owners in hosting demonstration sites. Organize “Grow Food Party Crew”-style two-day food forest installation parties with music, great food, and hands-on training.
(See also “Environment – Building Rich Soil while Sequestering Carbon”
and “Water Conservation – Irrigating
– Installing Graywater Systems” entries.)
Related Topics: Carbon, Climate, Dwelling, Film Series, Food, InfoShop, Landscaping, Learning, Organizing, Transformation, Water Conservation
• Nourishing – Building a Certified Community Kitchen –- California State Health Department’s (?) stringent commercial food preparation regulations (?) require certain foods be prepared in a certified kitchen (?). Constructing a certified kitchen is expensive and beyond the reach of many co-operatives, collectives(?), church groups, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. A certified community kitchen can be a key resource for supporting local non-profit groups, etc, and incubating small food businesses. Recommendations: Research California State and Santa Barbara County Health Department (?) regulations as they pertain to local meal servings and startup businesses. Be ready to hang up or leave if officials’ questions get too invasive. Talk with IV Community Center staff, IV Community Center Advisory Board members, Isla Vista Food Co-op board members and management, and area food entrepreneurs. Check Santa Barbara Independent and Santa Barbara Sentinel (~) tabloids for articles on area food startups.
CAUTION: Be discrete when speaking with Health Department personnel. Speak in generalities and avoid naming specific programs or groups. If you are careless, you may trigger inspections and the closure of valued local services that people depend upon. This happened here some years ago when County Health (~) found Catholic Charities // Santa Barbara Rescue Mission (?) was distributing past-date packaged salads donated by Trader Joe’s at a weekday lunch program at St Mark’s University Parish (~). Afterward, the only thing County Health (~) allowed the group to serve was tasteless overcooked prepackaged slop in styrofoam clamshells. The lunch program closed soon afterward.
[Research new relaxed regulations that allow people to prepare commercial food in their homes.]
Related Topics: Community, Food, Infrastructure, Entrepreneurship / Startups
• • •
• Preparing for Emergencies – Planning for Deep Resiliency –- When thinking about emergency preparedness, we tend to think of the standard recommendation that we set a few [how many?] days of supplies aside. But what if the emergency is a regional, national, hemispheric, or global one, e.g., a tsunami, earthquake, or volcanic explosion; a solar electro-magnetic pulse or one from a terrorist or military attack; cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, war, economic or civilizational collapse, etc? What if we consider that no outside help may be coming? Should we prepare for that? What would it take? When Permaculture teacher _ _ (?) moved to Santa Cruz, he proposed to city emergency planners that they switch from a 5(?)-day preparedness standard to a 6-month one. Note that he 5(?)-day plan is based on the economic model of exploitation, extraction, industrial manufacture, shipping, consumption, and disposal (and don’t forget capital accumulation!). Well, for most people it’s impractical to store and maintain six months of water and packaged food, so his proposal pretty much necessitated that the community switch to a more deeply sustainable model, i.e., supporting a subsistence economy in which residents harvest and store rainwater and grow food locally. And–he succeeded in persuading the local Red Cross to adopt this new standard! Freaking brilliant! (Gee, why don’t we hear about stuff like this in the news? Oh, maybe because it doesn’t help with the all-important project of capital accumulation.) Recommendations: Brainstorm what deep resiliency would look like for our town and for the wider area. Contact _ _ (?), the Santa Cruz Red Cross chapter(~), and others in Santa Cruz to learn from their experience. Convene a town hall discussion to explore how we might build deep resiliency for Isla Vista and beyond.
Related Topics: Permaculture, Preparing for Emergencies
• Preparing for Emergencies – Water – Drilling & Maintaining Emergency Wells –- In a severe emergency, if our municipal water supply stopped working for an extended period, IV could become unlivable. Recommendations: Consult with a hydrologist to find out how the water table beneath and around IV is structured, how deep it is, how it flows, and how vulnerable it is to salt water intrusion. Research appropriate water filtration and purification strategies. Ascertain where toxic plumes are likely to exist by checking historical archives, old phone books and newspaper ads, and historical photographs and by interviewing people who have lived here for decades or who used to live here to find probable sources of contamination. [Notes: At least four gas stations and/or auto repair shops were located around the Embarcadero Loop (one repair shop still is). The Santa Barbara Airport was a Marine Air Base during World War II and what is now UCSB was the site of a lot of barracks (and what else?). (Military bases are frequently sources of groundwater contamination.) The Community Hazardous Waste Collection Center (~) and UCSB’s Facilities Management yard (~) west of the Rec Center constitute two more likely sources of contamination. Also, be aware that there’s a repository of nuclear research materials near the campus, too.]
• • •
• Recycling – Initiating a Zero-Waste Campaign // Cultivating a Deep-Rooted Zero Waste Ethic (~) –- Isla Vista generates prodigious quantities of waste. Recommendations: Identify resource people, partners, and communities that are active in the zero-waste movement [See separate list]. Research what other communities and universities have done and how it’s working for them. Explore greenhouse gas ramifications of a zero-waste campaign. (Include carbon dioxide, methane, and refrigerants in your inquiry.) Consider how we might support households, agencies, groups, and businesses with waste audits, lists of low-hanging fruit, and waste reduction targets. Catalog who’s currently fulfilling what waste management & move-out functions in IV and at UCSB. Compile an IV waste management resource directory. Map reuse, second-hand, resale, sharing, repair, scavenging, recycling, composting, and waste management resources in IV, UCSB, Goleta, and Santa Barbara. Convene a town hall to solicit ideas and enroll support. Learn which IVCSD powers are relevant to this endeavour. Brainstorm what’s missing and what new community facilities and institutions are needed (e.g., scrap yard, repair workshop, workspaces, storage, expanded and/or extended GIVE Sale or second-hand store). Speculate on strategies: where to start, who to enroll as key partners, what would be happening at different points in the school year. [See zero waste notes.]
• Recycling – Rethinking June Moveout –- The period when UCSB’s spring quarter ends, seniors graduate, leases end, and most students move out or leave for the summer is referred to as June moveout. This is a stressful period for tenants, students, parents, property managers, contractors, workers, property owners, refuse workers, and long-term residents. Many tenants have to rent a storage unit and move their belongings to storage when their leases end, then move them again when the lease at their new apartment begins a few days or weeks later. People come from far away to gather moveout discards. Scavengers from outside IV frequently trespass to pick through any items they can see from the street as though anything not tied down is up for grabs. It’s also a terrifically wasteful time with tons of furniture, lumber, bicycles, electronic waste, and toxics crushed and carted off as landfill. This moveout chaos is an externality created by the UC Regents and County’s failure to plan comprehensively for the student bedroom community that the UC created when it established the UCSB campus. There have been a few changes over the years: MarBorg Industries trucks now scour the streets for furniture, mattresses, and e-waste and empty trash bins daily for two weeks. The point of this seems to be to reduce the mess that parents of UCSB students encounter, thus safeguarding the UCSB brand. Unfortunately, drivers are under orders to discard everything and show zero discernment regarding the many items that could be reused instead of destroyed. Note that UCSB does collect a small percentage of the tons of discarded items and sells them to benefit IV nonprofit groups and agencies. Recommendations: Rethink June moveout as a multi-faceted “green new deal” and zero waste project. Consult with various stakeholders for their perspectives, complaints, and ideas. Consider how the trend toward unfurnished apartments contributes to the annual waste of cheap furniture. Explore opportunities for worker co-ops and job creation. Articulate categories of materials that call for separate treatment, e.g., green waste, compost, litter, runoff, clothing, rags, bedding, furniture, mattresses, lumber, appliances, scrap metal, junk bicycles, abandoned and non-operating cars, toxic waste, electronic waste, landfill, recycling, and redeemable containers. Research regulations governing reconditioning, reselling, and disposing of mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, clothing, appliances, toxics, etc. Research equipment, materials, and supply costs for steam cleaning, containment, etc. Brainstorm what new community facilities and institutions are needed. [See “Eco Vista June Moveout Notes.doc” for further steps.]
• Recycling – Reducing Contaminants in IV’s Recycling Stream –- The stream of recyclable materials collected in Isla Vista has the most contaminants of any community in Santa Barbara County. The level of ignorance and thoughtlessness regarding recycling among students and residents here is ridiculous. People collecting redeemable containers sometimes empty bags of trash into the blue recycling carts to make it easier to pick out cans and bottles. How could we change this? Recommendations: Find out what’s happening with the recycled materials market, state subsidies, and other contextual issues. Go on a tour of MarBorg Industries’ and Santa Barbara County’s materials sorting facility, the transfer station, and Tajiguas Landfill. Incorporate recycling in UCSB’s Gaucho FYI orientation for new students. Inquire into whether SBCC has a civic orientation program. Consider how we might develop an Eco Vista FYI orientation that includes recycling. Train a cadre of recycling evangelists to increase recycling literacy. Target households with one or more people who want to recycle more skillfully and wish to enroll their housemates; bypass households that show no interest. Consider developing an offer to MarBorg to help make their recycling efforts less costly or more profitable. Consider whether switching from commingled recycling to source separation would make more sense.
Key Distinctions: recycling stream
• Recycling – Fostering Recycling Literacy –- The three ‘Re’s of recycling–Reducing, Reusing, Recycling–don’t provide much insight into how to recycle materials // prevent waste skillfully. We can enrich these moves by distinguishing more choice–some of which even begin with ‘Re’: Restraining oneself, Refusing, Borrowing, Sharing, Making It Yourself, Buying Used Items, Repairing, Repurposing, Parting out, Scavenging, Downcycling, and Reprocessing. Note that there’s something of a logical hierarchy among many of these moves. For example, it’s such a waste when scrap metal collectors toss discarded bikes into their truck to melt down (i.e., downcycling); many of these bikes could easily be fixed and see years more use (i.e., repairing). The lesson here is that repairing consumes far less energy than downcycling and wastes very little material. The scrap collectors weren’t ‘thinking downstream,’ i.e., weren’t considering the consequences of their actions for others or for our planet. Recommendations: Research what other ‘Re’s have people come up with. Rank these moves according to energy and materials saved or wasted. Tease out cyclical, dependency, linear, heirarchical, and cascading relationships among these steps. Inquire whether the term “recycling” has any specific meaning or should it be reserved as a name for this class of actions. Develop an outline or graphic depicting the relationships among the ‘Re’s, including cyclical and linear progressions / stages. Introduce these distinctions into Cool Eco Vista 1 or 2 and Earthling FYI. Develop an educational campaign to help people exercise discernment in minimizing waste. [Themes to develop: ‘thinking downstream,’ nuances, relationships among ‘Re’s, hierarchical / cascading order, how to rank them, embodied energy, delusion of disposal, no such thing as “away”]
Related Topics: Earthling FYI
• Recycling – Reducing Litter –- Litter makes the community unsightly and can encourage others to litter or abuse the community in other ways. Also, litter contaminates the ocean when rain storms wash it into storm drains. The typical litter reduction strategy is place a few trash receptacles along downtown streets and in parks and enroll volunteers to pick up litter. Over the years a number of Isla Vistans have targeted particular sources of litter and worked successfully to minimize them. Such sources include animals especially seagulls, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and dogs; party hosts and party goers; fast food restaurants and their customers; tenants and property owners who leave landfill and recycling bins out at the street; landfill bins overturned due to drunken hooligans, scavenging animals, and careless drivers; scavengers dumping bags of trash to look for redeemable containers; club, show, and festival promoters, cleaning services, and restaurants placing promotional flyers on cars; posters on utility poles; etc. Recommendations: Incorporate litter reduction strategies into Cool Eco Vista program. Keep lids on trash and recycling bins to keep out animals as well as rain and encourage housemates to do the same. Call IVRPD Adopt-a-Block program or SB County code enforcement office to report trash and recycling bins that are overturned or overflowing or vulnerable to getting knocked over because they are out at the street or not in enclosures as required. Think about how best to build respectful relations with the community of people who collect redeemable containers 1) to explore how the wider community can make their lives easier (e.g., by setting redeemables out separately from landfill and recycling bins) and 2) to sensitize and educate them about the recycling stream contamination issue. Continue exploring the question “Where does litter come from?” and eliminating particular sources of litter.
Related Topics: Environment, Ocean, Recycling
• Recycling – Opposing Reliance on Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles –- 70 billion bottles of water are sold annually in US. Few of the containers are recycled; most end up in landfills. Most plastic bottles are flimsy and not suitable for reuse. The quality of the water is often poor; many brands simply use municipal tap water. Bottled waters are exempt from federal standards if bottled and sold in the same state. When plastic water bottles are exposed to heat, the plastic leaches into the water, posing as yet unknown health risks. Some companies get contracts from local officials which allow them to drain the local aquifer and lower the water table, thus denying access to residents and farmers who depend on those wells to live and/or grow food. Recommendations: Calculate how many bottles of water are purchased and consumed by Isla Vistans. (Include out-of-town case purchases from supermarkets, Trader Joe’s, Costco, etc.) List bulk water delivery services. Research how many large (i.e., 5-gallon) water bottles are delivered to campus offices and IV agencies, businesses, and homes. Compile a list of public water fountains indicating the type of water or degree of filtration provided (including the excellent filtered water fountains at various locations around campus). Research and list bad actors among water bottling companies, e.g., those that privatize local water supplies or merely fill their bottles with city water. Note who is providing good quality water, e.g., The Water Store, Mountain Spring (~) water delivery service, IV Food Co-op (inside water dispenser), Keg ’n Bottle (outside water dispenser), Associated Students (?) water fountains, etc. Also note locations of local springs in the back country. Find out what groups are working to reduce reliance on bottled water and what tactics they’re using. Find good guidance on different types of water purification gear including survival, recreational, home, and municipal products and technologies. Craft a social marketing campaign to encourage people in switching to refilling their water bottles from home filters or water filtering machines in stores.
Recommended Reading: /Troubled Water: What’s Wrong w What We Drink/ by Seth M. Siegel(~)
Resources: http://www.SethMSiegel.com, TroubledWater.us
Related Topics: Environment, Recycling, Social Marketing, Waste, Water
• Recycling – Repairing Public Trash Receptacles –- Many of the perforated steel public trash receptacles along Pardall Road and in our parks are in disrepair: They’re missing their cylindrical plastic liners or the heavy hinged steel lids are broken or missing. The trash frequently overflows the bins at particular sites. These receptacles are orphaned infrastructure, leftover from the County’s now disbanded Isla Vista Redevelopment Agency. No County agency has taken responsibility for repairing or servicing them. Recommendations: Check with IVCSD (Community Service District) for a progress report on this issue. Find out how often MarBorg Industries is currently emptying these bins and if they have agreed to increase the frequency of pickups. Inspect bins along Pardall Road, in Little Acorn and Estero Parks (and any other parks equipped with these receptacles) to determine what parts need repair or replacement. Seek funding from IVCSD and/or Pardall Road merchants for replacement parts and repair work. Ascertain who manufactures and distributes these receptacles and how much the replacement parts cost. Ask the Park District what their plans are for repairing the bins in their parks.
Related Topics: Litter
• Recycling – Installing Pocketed Skirts around Public Trash Receptacles –- Public refuse bins such as those along Pardall Road and in our parks are one of many sources for people who support themselves and their families by collecting redeemable beverage containers. To retrieve such CRV containers, one must open the lid and pull them out. UCSB students Will, Garrett, and Hunter from the 2019 Summer Int 133-B class, learned of a pocketed skirt designed and produced in Sweden that was considerately designed to save recyclers the trouble of rummaging through the bins. Recommendations: Contact the manufacturer, inquire about pricing and shipping, and order a sample. Assess whether to order skirts from Sweden or fabricate skirts locally from fabric-reinforced neoprene or hypalon. Speak with IVRPD General Manager, Grounds Department staff, and Park Board directors to ask if they’d be open to having skirts installed on selected bins.
Related Topics: Dignity, Earning, Houselessness, Recycling, Working
• Recycling – Opening a Repair Workshop –- People discard many items that–with access to tools and a little training–could easily be made serviceable again. YouTube videos, user forums, and other sites provide a wealth of free guidance on how to make, modify, or repair a wide variety of items. What if we had a community workshop space where people could have access to space, tools, and guidance for repairing things? Recommendations: Research public repair popups and workshops. [Note that Patagonia brought a repair trailer to campus several years ago and ran a recreational gear repair popup event.] List tools, equipment, and facilities needed. Think about how best to orient and train users, particularly concerning safe use of hand tools and safe operation of power tools.
Related Topics: Earning, Economy of Sharing, Entrepreneurship, Working
• Recycling – Creating a Makerspace –- Makerspaces (a.k.a. hackerspaces) are workshops devoted to fabricating or modifying products / systems such as software, electronics, and mechanical systems [Research]. Experienced volunteers or staff are on hand to provide guidance to users. They often serve as incubators for entrepreneurial startups. They provide participants space, tools, storage, and instruction. Recommendations: Research makerspaces. List tools, equipment, and facilities needed [See separate list]. Visit, join, and participate at SBMakerSpace(~) in Goleta. Interview founders, managers, volunteers, and participants there. Speculate about suitable sites for an IV makerspace. Check out the SBMakerSpace(~) trailer and inquire into brining it to IV periodically. Approach potential hosts or sites such as IV Community Center, IV Community Service District, AS Pardall Center, IV Recreation & Park District, or SBCC Adult Education (~). Visit, join, and participate at SBMakerSpace(~) in Goleta. Interview founders, managers, and participants there. Speculate about suitable sites for an IV workshop and makerspace. Also consider use of the SBMakerSpace(~) trailer here in Isla Vista.
Related Topics: Earning, Entrepreneurship, Working
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• Safety – Training Riders and Calming Traffic –- Getting around Isla Vista and the UCSB campus seems increasingly risky. Factors such as increasing population density (due to UCSB’s growing enrollment), faster vehicles, quieter vehicles, and a higher proportion of foreign exchange students who seem unfamiliar with US traffic customs make our streets and bike paths more dangerous. Small battery-powered vehicles (i.e., electric scooters, skateboards, bikes, and Segway-style 1-or-2 wheeled scooters) are quiet and markedly faster than ordinary bikes. Fixed-gear racing bikes are speedy, silent, and increasingly popular. Electric and hybrid cars are also very quiet. Many cyclists and scooter riders seem ignorant of the rules of the road and basic safety practices such as calling out “On your left!” or ringing a bicycle bell when passing, using hand signals when turning or stopping, riding on the right side of the street, or riding single file when streets are busy. Hardly anyone in IV wears a helmet. SB County Sheriffs deputies and UCPD officers don’t appear to care about bike and scooter infractions and the California Highway Patrol only seems to enforce bike regulations when they get a grant to do so. Recommendations: Download(~) the Department of Motor Vehicle’s (DMV) driver’s handbook (~) and UCPD’s Rolling Stock regulations (~) to get acquainted with traffic laws and ordinances. Find and/or draft a list of courtesy practices for bikes, scooters, etc. Meet with UCSB’s Associated Students Bike Committee and Sustainable Transportation Committee to hear their thoughts and initiatives to make our streets and bike paths safer. Ask UCSB Orientation Programs and Parent Services and UC Police Department how they address bike and scooter safety in the “Gaucho FYI” mandatory two-hour in-person workshop for new students. Develop a transportation module (including a peer support for sensible safety practices) for Eco Vista FYI or Cool Eco Vista II. Support the practice of hollering “Slow down, please!” at drivers, cyclists, and electric vehicle operators tearing through the streets at excessive speed. Target especially dangerous intersections for City Repair style interventions including artwork made with durable highway paint in the street, placemaking amenities, signage, and gentle speed bumps (with County permission, of course). Three locations that seem especially dangerous are the crossing at Embarcadero del Mar and Pardall Road (outside Silvergreens), the intersection where Pardall “T”s into Camino Pescadero, and the blind curve where Embarcadero del Mar meets Trigo Road in front of the IV Community Center. Develop a traffic safety themed social marketing campaign. Consider designing a wind-activated fixie-, electric bike-, scooter-, or electric skateboard-mounted safety whistle that would sound when the vehicle went over 15 miles per hour to alert pedestrians and slower cyclists.
Related Topics: Safety, Social Marketing, Traveling
• Safety – Mapping & Marking Accident Sites –- Bicycle, scooter, pedestrian, and/or auto accidents seem to happen in IV and on campus on almost a daily basis [Fact check], yet after the emergency vehicles leave, no trace remains to warn us how dangerous various spots are. Recommendations: Ask paramedics and law enforcement personnel how often accidents happen in IV and on campus. Research how to obtain data on types of accidents and where they have occurred. If such data is not easily available, lobby officials to change reporting protocols and make this information public. Develop an on-line map to mark accident sites and indicate accident type. Work with UCSB AS Bike Committee and County Public Works Transportation Division to develop designs for physical markers that could be used to mark accident sites and serve as a tangible reminder for people to be more alert and cautious there.
Related Topics: Safety, Traveling, Traffic
• Safety – Closing Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant –- PG&E’s(~) twin aging nuclear power reactors–together with their accompanying fuel storage / cooling pool (~)–constitute the top threat (or one of the top threats) to our lives on the South Coast. The plant is located 80(~) miles north of Isla Vista on the Vandenberg Air Force Base in San Luis Obispo County. Its site is close to or on (~) the Hosgri(~) earthquake fault. The plant was designed to last __ years and has already reached this point; it’s life has been extended __ years. One or both reactors are likely seriously embrittled. PG&E has deferred safety inspections and maintenance for years. In the event of a disaster, the depleted fuel cooling and storage pond (~) has only 1 week of diesel fuel stored on site to run the cooling pump to keep the depleted uranium fuel from melting down [Research, fact find]. Some of the spent fuel is being stored in giant, fragile, stainless steel casks in silos close to the beach, just a few feet above the water table. The plants are running $_ over cost (~) to run each year and the company has arranged with the California State Legislature to spread these excessive costs around–extending them even to customers that have elected to cancel their contract with PG&E and obtain power from another electrical utility. Meanwhile the Legislature is promising PG&E $7 billion over the next few years until the plant closes in 2025. Recommendations: Research the technical, political, and financial situation of these plant, who the players are and what their strategies are, and what groups are working to close the plant now. Speculate on how best to help close this plant.
Related Topics: Environment, Energy, Governing, Healing, Toxics, Preparing for Emergencies, Safety
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• Transportation – Optimizing Transportation & Parking –- The lack of parking in IV is one of the most frequently heard complaints here. Questions: If we organized ourselves to share transportation resources more skillfully, could we park more cars at outer lots, or even make private cars unnecessary for lots of people? What types of trips do people use their cars for? [ How many of these truly require a car? How many students bring their cars with them from home but hardly ever use them? How may of the cars parked on our streets are hardly ever used? What sorts of trips really require a private vehicle? How many students know about the availability of the Zip Cars car sharing service or have used them? What could we do to support simple peer-to-peer car sharing in IV? What is UCSB’s policy toward 1st-year students bringing cars with them? How many students commute daily from outside IV, park here, and walk, bike, or skateboard onto campus? What transportation elements / modalities do we have to work with? [walking, running, bicycles, electric bikes, skateboards, electric skateboards, roller skates, gyro-stabilized unicycles and scooters (e.g., Segways), shared mobility Lime electric scooters & HOPR bikes, MTD local bus routes, Bill’s Bus clubbing buses on that run on party nights, VISTA (Ventura Intercity Service Transit Authority) regional bus service, bike racks on MTD & Vista buses, folding bikes or scooters that can be carried onto buses even when the bike racks are full, SBCAG’s Traffic Solutions regional ride share help line and Emergency Ride Home Program, other ride-sharing sites, the Zip Car car sharing service, taxi companies, Uber, Lyft, and what else?] Recommendations: Ascertain transportation’s portion of IV’s carbon footprint. Outline a strategy for optimizing response times and flexibility while minimizing carbon use and embodied energy costs. Explore how coordination via computer could match individuals’ needs to the mix of options available. Talk with people in UCSB’s Math Department to enroll local Operations Research experts.
Related Topics: Aesthetics, Energy, Traveling
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• Water Conservation – Irrigating – Installing Graywater Systems –- We waste water by only using it once and then sending it down the drain. Recommendations: Install graywater systems on apartments and homes throughout IV to reuse dishwashing, laundry, and shower water to irrigate fruit trees and landscaping. Solicit grants to subsidize staffing and conversion. Develop a social marketing program to support conscientious graywater use. Support co-op and faux-op houses in converting. Expand to sororities and fraternities as the kinks get worked out. Institute an ongoing training program for graywater users. Incorporate graywater advocacy and guidance in sustainable housing guide for rental property owners. (Note: Ordinary cleaning products and fabric softeners, etc, load soil with toxins and must not be used in graywater systems. Such systems require special detergents that decompose into plant nutrients.)
Related Topics: Social Marketing, Toxics, Water Conservation
• Water Conservation – Irrigating – Collecting Rain Water –- Isla Vista is situated in a Mediterranean climate where we’re subject to extended droughts, yet our urban ‘hardscape’ (e.g., roofs, sidewalks, driveways, and roads) is designed to treat rainwater as a problem and get rid of it as quickly as possible. We can, instead, begin to treat rainwater as a blessing, inviting it to stay as long as possible. Recommendations: Plant fruit and shade trees in shallow basins along streets, then cut curbs next to them so runoff can fill these basins in order to water trees and charge ground water. Where appropriate, utilize permeable concrete in new construction and repairs to allow rainwater to support landscaping and trees instead of being shunted out to the ocean. Install or repair gutters and downspouts on buildings and place rainwater collection barrels below for irrigation and emergency use. Note that composite shingles contain fungicides that may harm soil microbiota, plants, and humans; sheet metal roofs may be preferable, especially for those who wish to drink the rainwater they collect.
• Water Conservation – Saving Some for the Fish –- Having just come out of a multi-year(~) drought [Fact check], how many of us are back to treating water carelessly? Lots of people take excessively long showers. Recommendations: Research simple water conservation tips. Ask Goleta Water District what steps they’ve taken to educate, advocate, or require users to save water. Find out if they’ll perform water audits, i.e., checking for leaks and offering water saving tips. Incorporate their insights in Cool Eco Vista I or II water modules and Eco Vista FYI orientation. Talk with your housemates and landlord and install a timer on your shower(s). Require 3-minute shower timers be installed on all bathroom remodeling projects and new construction in IV. Lobby County supervisors or State legislators to subsidize cost of water saving measures for property owners and/or tenants. Orchestrate a “Let’s Leave Some for the Fish” social marketing campaign.
Related Topics: Social Marketing, Water
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• Working – Organizing a Tool Library –- A tool library is a service that allows members to borrow or rent a variety of tools and equipment. It can take several forms. A “virtual”(~) tool library is a network of participants who offer to make loaner tools available for others to borrow and the tools they’re willing to lend. A “physical” / “tangible” (~) tool library is a facility where members can go to check-out tools. It could consist simply of a checkout counter and storage space for organizing and storing tools, or it could provide additional amenities such as a computer station for downloading manuals and accessing training videos together and/or a workshop space for people to work on small projects. Most implementations of tool libraries would need staff and a system for signing out, returning, recovering, servicing, repairing, replacing, and inventorying tools; noting the timeliness of returns and the condition of returned items; handling dues, fees, and fines; and refunding deposits. The Berkeley Public Library system (~) had or has a branch that lends tools. Recommendations: Research virtual and physical tool libraries. Check whether Berkeley still has a tool library; if so, visit it, and document how their system works and how they organize the tools on video. Find out if anyone has created tool tracking software that incorporates an eBay-type user rating system to incentivize returning tools promptly and in good condition.
Related Topics: Economy of Sharing, Working
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