Eye on the Environment
Upcoming events for those who keep an eye on the environment
By David Goldstein 09/26/2013
Bicycle Safety Day
Bring your bicycle and helmet to a fun a nd instructive event, where you can learn more about bicycle safety, celebrate bicycle culture, promote bicycling in Ventura County, and get free bicycle-related stuff. Ventura Climate Care Options Organized Locally (VCCool), in partnership with Channel Islands Bicycle Club and Trek Bicycles of Ventura, will hold its seventh annual Bicycle Safety Rodeo on Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the San Buenaventura Mission Plaza and parking lot. With a theme of “Bicycles are IN,” organizers are promoting bicycling as “good for fitness, fashion, fun and freedom,” according to Rachel Morris, Executive Director of VCCool.
Free helmets will be available for kids and teens (age 19 and younger) in need. Also, VCCOOL volunteers will provide free bicycle repairs for kids and teens. High school students scoring high enough on a bicycle drivers’ safety test will win a free bicycle odometer and have a chance to win other prizes. Also targeting a younger audience, VCCool will set up and supply a “bling my bike” craft table and will stage a bicycle fashion show, featuring a wide range of items, from “thrift store to the latest threads, with donations from Patagonia and other businesses,” according to the press release.
A skill course with tests designed for teens 15 to 19 will also be part of the fun, and youth who complete all events and activities appropriate for their age will be entered in a contest to win a new bicycle.
Bicycle activists are a special breed of environmental advocates. Organizers of this event are promoting bicycling not only as part of their fight against climate change, but also as a way to make our streets calmer, safer and less snarled with traffic. A key to making bicycles a greater part of the public agenda is to convince more bicyclists to follow the rules of the road and stay safe. Therefore, VCCool promotes not just bicycling, but also bicycling safety.
By focusing the event on kids, teens and bicycle safely, VCCool is helping the next generation keep an eye on the environment, launching youth into a habit with health benefits for individuals, communities, and the planet.
More information at www.vccool.org
When you try to picture the source of most pollution, do you imagine a factory’s smoke stack belching smog and discharge pipe pumping effluent as resources and energy are consumed for the creation of disposable products destined for eternity in a landfill? This archetype of pollution is the image presented to us in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, but it misses a key point. Manufacturers are responding to consumer demand. As in The Lorax, advertisers may try to convince us “everyone needs a thneed,” but if we can get more people to keep an eye on the environment, manufacturers will compete with each other to make those “thneeds” out of organically-grown, locally-sourced, long-lasting, recycled content materials.
The Fabricators and Manufacturers Association is promoting Oct. 4 as National Manufacturing Day (MFG Day), created to improve the public’s perception of the business sector. Events will take place nationwide, but there are currently no events planned in Ventura County. Nevertheless, you can participate by doing something you might not normally associate with an industrial activity. You can recycle.
Recycling is the first step in the green manufacturing process; it is a method of supplying raw material to industry. Recycling enables corporations to mine the urban waste stream instead of extracting resources from nature. The resources provided by recycling are also pre-refined, so manufacturers use less energy and create less pollution when they melt, mulch, pulp or otherwise transform discards into new products. As an added benefit, manufacturing with recycled content creates three to 11 times more jobs than manufacturing from standard raw material, according to Pat Lee, Marketing Director of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, citing data from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.
More information at www.mfgday.com.
Day of Caring
Litter cleanup at the beach is an iconic way to volunteer for the environment, but if you missed Coastal Cleanup Day last weekend, you still have another opportunity to volunteer for the environment at the beach. In association with United Way’s Day of Caring, California Lutheran University’s annual Service Day and the federally designated National Public Lands Day, Friends of Channel Coast State Parks (FCCSP) is organizing an event at San Buenaventura State Beach on Sept. 28. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers will improve and maintain the park facilities by landscaping, painting and removing litter. FCCSP Executive Director Melissa Baffa sent a press release noting that state parks are burdened with “over a billion dollars’ worth of deferred maintenance projects,” so assistance like this is needed. Organizers will provide lunch, water, and United Way “Live United” T-shirts. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves and landscape tools.
More information at www.friendsofccsp.org/npld-2013.
Eye on the Environment is a public service of the Ventura County PublicWorks Agency.