First in Series of Presentations Sponsored by Sustainable Ramona

Sustainable Ramona, a grass roots group organized to foster sustainability in Ramona, hosted its first community presentation via a Zoom meeting on May 13,, 2020. Tyler Farmer, Land Use/Environmental Planner for the County of San Diego, provided an overview of the goals and successes of the San Diego County Climate Action Plan (CAP), which was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in February of 2018.

The County Climate Action Plan is a comprehensive plan targeted at the unincorporated areas of the County, including Ramona, and County facilities throughout the region. It focuses on implementation of measures to achieve specific and quantifiable greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set for 2020 and 2030. It uses the resources of multiple departments across the County organization to achieve these targets.

The plan focuses on greenhouse gas emission reductions for the unincorporated County and County government operations in five sectors:

  • Built environment and transportation. The largest contributor to the County’s greenhouse gas emissions is transportation – with approximately 45 percent of all emissions in 2014.
  • Energy. The next highest producers of greenhouse gas emissions are the electricity and natural gas used in buildings. These contributed to 33 percent of the County’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2014.
  • Solid waste. This sector accounted for 11 percent of the County’s emissions in 2014. Materials diverted from landfill disposal will reduce methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • Water and “waste-water.” Although water and wastewater-related greenhouse gas emissions accounted for less than five percent of the County’s emissions in 2014, water and wastewater-related measures included in the County’s Climate Action Plan will both reduce the strain on water supplies and greenhouse gas emissions from pumping and treatment activities.
  • Agriculture and conservation. Livestock, application of fertilizer, and the use of petroleum- or diesel-powered equipment accounted for five percent of the County’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2014.

Through the implementation of 26 measures in these five areas, the goal is to reduce greenhouse emissions by 132,205 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalency (MTCO2e) by the end of 2020 and 897,145 MTCO2e by 2030.

Progress

Through 2018, the County:

  • Achieved an energy use per square foot reduction of 20 percent in County facilities.
  • Planted 13,930 trees in County parkland and open space. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
  • Acquired 3,628 acres of conservation land.
  • Acquired 793 acres of agricultural easements.
  • Permitted enough solar to power 38,510 homes.
  • Reduced County water use by 13 percent.

For updated reports on the progress of the County Climate Action Plan, see their Dashboard at: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/sustainability/dashboard.html

What Can We Do?

As individuals, we can contribute. A summary of easier-to-achieve suggestions:

  • Add mulch or compost to your yard or garden, which will also enhance your soil and make your garden grow better!
  • Reduce waste by composting or recycling.
  • Participate in County tree planting and park events, which will also enhance our parks’ shade!
  • Walk, bike, take transit, or carpool.
  • Take advantage of rain barrel incentives.
  • Take shorter showers and conserve water.
  • Eat a more plant-based diet and prevent wasted food.
  • Avoid single-use plastics and use eco-friendly products.
  • Check out electric vehicle incentives.
  • Install solar panels on your home or business.

For a complete list of suggestions, go to the webpage for the Climate Action Plan at: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/sustainability/TakeAction.html

In response to questions from viewers: Farmer said that they are moving forward during the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic using videoconferencing and other resources and anticipate completing 2020 goals as scheduled.

For more information, the County offers a comprehensive website and newsletter to update us on the goals and activities of the plan.

You can sign up to receive the newsletter here: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/CASAND/subscriber/new?topic_id=CASAND_309

The website is https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/sustainability/cap.html

More to Come from Sustainable Ramona

A key objective of Sustainable Ramona is to connect groups who are either already involved in sustainability activities or want to learn more. Many groups in Ramona are contributing, either by composting, creating electricity through solar panels, using an electric vehicle, or planting trees.

On Wednesday, June 10, Sustainable Ramona will offer its second presentation: Waste Management/Sustainable Gardening with speakers to fill us in on the value of waste management, including recycling, composting, and worm farming.

For comments or to join the group please email joyce@joycestrand.com

Media contact: Joyce Strand 408-210-2422