Sustainability in Action

My opportunity to showcase Sustainability in Action


Sustainability in Action

I am a huge believer people will view sustainability as something which is happening by seeing sustainability in action in their communities.

I recently had the opportunity to be a tour guide as part of an experience created for Skyline High and Y-Plan in downtown Oakland conducted by Bay Area Green Tours. My portion covered alternative energy while the other portions of the tour covered waste, transportation and food.

Oakland C Substation/ Howard Terminal

I am still surprised how many people are not aware of where the electricity they use on a daily basis comes from. For this reason, I included Oakland’s Substation C on our agenda. Later we went across the train tracks to Howard Terminal where the Oakland A’s Baseball club has proposed a new waterfront ball park.

I discussed the electrical requirements for a baseball stadium. The largest power requirements were stadium lighting during night games and the electronic scoreboard. Baseball fans expect their beer to stay cold and their hot dogs and burgers to stay warm. I asked the students what renewable sources could be used to reduce the use of fossil fuels. If the facility included a dome the HVAC requirement would be a huge piece since the temperature would need to be maintained at room temperature (Note: this would not need to a consideration with an outdoor complex)

Overall Takeaways

Two clear themes resonated after I completed the tour:

  1. The full impact of alternative energy technologies cannot be understood until you understand how traditional energy works.
  2. The younger generation, i.e. millennials will have a huge impact of the how far the sustainability movement goes as to being a part of everyone lives.